Anatoli Kuznetsov

Note: Anatoli Kuznetsov is known variously as Anatoli Petrovich Kuznetsov and as Anatoly Vasilievich Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov had a Russian father and a Ukrainian mother, and his passport stated that he was Russian. He grew up in the Kiev district of Kurenivka, in his own words "a stone's throw from a vast ravine, whose name, Babi Yar, was once known only to locals." At the age fourteen, Kuznetsov began recording in a notebook everything he saw and heard about the Babi Yar massacre. Once his mother discovered it and read his notes. She cried and advised him to save them for a book he might write someday.Before becoming a writer, Kuznetsov "studied ballet and acting, tried painting and music, worked as a carpenter, road builder, concrete worker, helped build the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant on the Dnipro, and worked on the Irkutsk and Bratsk hydroelectric power plants in Siberia." In 1955, he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Eventually, he began "studying to become a writer" and enrolled at the Moscow Gorky Literary Institute.The novel Babi Yar, published in Yunost in 1966, cemented Anatoly Kuznetsov's fame. The novel included the previously unknown materials about the execution of 33,771 Jews in the course of two days, September 29-30, 1941, in the Kiev ravine Babi Yar. The uncensored work included materials highly critical of the Soviet regime. Working on it was not easy. Kuznetsov recalled: "For a whole month in Kiev I had nightmares, which wore me out so much that I had to leave without finishing my work and temporarily switch to other tasks in order to regain my senses." Soon after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Kuznetsov defected from the USSR to the United Kingdom. His pretext for traveling abroad was to do research for his new book on Lenin's stay in Britain.[2] He managed to smuggle 35-mm photographic film containing the uncensored manuscript.He arrived in London on a two-week visa, accompanied by Georgy Andjaparidze, a suspected KGB "mamka", a secret police agent. Kuznetsov managed to trick Andjapazidze by saying he wanted to find a prostitute and instead ran for the nearest British government office. There he was connected over the phone with David Floyd, a Russian-speaking journalist and the Daily Telegraph's Soviet expert. Risking being caught, Kuznetsov returned to the hotel to pick up his manuscripts, his favorite typewriter and Cuban cigars.[2]Home Secretary James Callaghan and Prime Minister Harold Wilson decided to grant Kuznetsov an unlimited residence visa in the UK. Shortly after the public announcement of the British decision, Soviet Ambassador Mikhail Smirnovsky demanded the author's return, but Callaghan refused. Two days later, Smirnovsky called on Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart and asked that Soviet diplomats be allowed to see Kuznetsov, but Kuznetsov refused to meet with his countrymen. Instead, he wrote a declaration of his reasons for leaving and three letters: one to the Soviet government, another to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and a third to the USSR Union of Writers.Sunday Telegraph published David Floyd’s interview with Kuznetsov, who spoke about his ties with the KGB, how he was recruited, and how he had formally agreed to cooperate in order to be allowed to leave abroad.Some sources say that Kuznetzov was murdered in London in 1979 by a shot to the neck with a poisoned ice pellet. It is thought that the KGB was involved in the slaying. According to other sources, he died of a heart attack.

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