For GRU Officers Only

I was condemned to death by the Military College of the Supreme Court according to article 64a. My crime — betrayal of the homeland. I still plead not guilty as charged. The betrayers of the homeland are those who are now in the Kremlin. The betrayers of the homeland are those who shot millions of the best Russian farmers. Russia has always grown wheat. Grain was its most important export. Those who have made of Russia an importer of grain — they are the betrayers who should be sentenced under article 64. On the eve of war the communist leaders shot the best marshals and generals. They were motivated not by the interests of the homeland, but by the desire to hold on to their power. They should be tried in a court of law. For the deaths of the marshals and generals, my people paid the price of tens of millions of lives. Those who are guilty of that should be tried. Those in the Kremlin who have brought my people to complete moral and physical degradation — they are the traitors. These people are driving my comrades to their deaths in Afghanistan, demanding the deaths of innocent people — they are the criminals.

If they at some future time should be judged and given their just deserts, and if, then, my country then considered me to be a traitor also for deserting it, then I am ready to take my punishment, but only after they have taken theirs.

When I was in the GRU I could see two ways to protest: either I could commit suicide; or I could escape to the West, explain my disagreement with the communists and then commit suicide. I chose the second way, which is not a whit easier than than the first. It is an agonising way. If any GRU officer now finds himself in the same dilemma — to go or to stay — I advise him to think over his decision a hundred times, and then again. If he is thinking of fleeing to the West, then my advice to him is — don't do it. Article 64 will be waiting for him, as will the shameful epithet 'traitor', and an agonising death, maybe even on the frontier itself. My advice would always be — don't go. He shouldn't go until such time as he is certain why he is going. If you want an easy life -don't go. If you like long, luxurious motorcars — don't go, it is not worth it for the sake of a car. If you are attracted to Western women — don't go, theirs are really no better than ours. If you think that in the West it is good, and at home in Russia bad, then you are mistaken — ours is a beautiful country. Don't go for the sake of foreign beauties and wonders.

Only if you know there is no other way for you, if you consider your leaders as criminals, if you yourself do not wish to be a criminal — then you should go. If you are prepared to risk your life for one minute of freedom — then go. If you don't feel yourself a traitor by going — go. If, by going, you can bring nearer the moment when the communists are judged by the people of our country, if you can help your people, if you are then ready to stand before the people and await their decision on your fate — then you must go. You will dream of Mother Russia every night, but go for the sake of her future and I promise you that you will be happy.