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major requirement for success is mere physical contact with the target
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Rationale of assassinations as practiced by the KGB. According to the Anatoliy Golitsyn understanding  the Soviet government and the KGB would resort to a political assassination of a Western leader only under the following conditions:

A. If a Western leader, who is a recruited Soviet agent, is threatened in office by a political rival. This is based on a statement made by Zhenikhov, a former KGB resident in Finland. He stated that if his agent, holding a high office, was threatened by an anticommunist social democrat during the elections, the latter would be poisoned by a trusted KGB agent.

B. If a Western leader became a serious obstacle to communist strategy and to the strategic disinformation program, he would be quietly poisoned at a summit meeting during negotiations or while visiting a communist country, since detente provides such opportunities in abundance.

The practical lesson here is that a Western leader who is involved in furthering an effective counterstrategy against the communists should not visit communist countries or take part in any summit meetings with their leaders.

The technique for a poisoning was described in a statement made by a KGB general, Zheleznyakov, at an operational briefing devoted to an assassination proposal against Tito in 1953 in Moscow.

Zheleznyakov stated that the major requirement for success is mere physical contact with the target, as the Soviet service has technical means (special poisons) to inflict mortal diseases without leaving traces of the poison, so that death will be attributed to natural causes.

C. If the assassination of a leader provides the opportunity for a controlled Soviet agent to take over the position. According to Levinov, a KGB adviser in Czechoslovakia, this rationale was used by both the Soviet and the Czech services in the assassination of President Benes, thus vacating a place for a communist leader, Gottwald.

D. If a communist leader decided to eliminate his communist rival. It is a well-known fact that, based on this rationale, Stalin got rid of many of his rivals, including Trotskiy in Mexico. According to the author, this rationale is not used any longer because of the cessation of the struggle for power in the Soviet party leadership.

from Anatoliy Golitsyn "New Lies For Old", page 353

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