Daily gossips about a new Head of Security Services of Ukraine appointment by the President-elect have been totally hysterical already. Everyone, who considers themselves worthy of this position, orchestrates media intrigues in a traditional “old school way”. It is time to tell another “spy” story. As usual, all the coincidences are random and if someone recognizes themselves, it happens.
According to a Ukrainian popular opinion, a Western experience, which is proposed to fix many local issues, looks always appropriate and successful. For decades the West has been investing tremendous resources in order to create an image of its own perfection and flawlessness, including the Special Services. Western literature and cinema, with a few exceptions (John Le Carre, for instance) create the images of ideal superheroes that are much closer in their abilities to Spider-Man or Batman than to reality.
Despite those glossy images, the Special Services (like the Army) are only a special tool possessed by authorities in different countries. It is a fact, boring and unattractive though. Politicians are the same people as we are and can make quite senseless mistakes. They are perfect in hiding those mistakes and our Ukrainian experience shows a lot of such cases.
The story is about Winston Churchill, one of the “style icons” of prominent politics, who was strong, wise and impeccable. Like Great Britain’s counterintelligence service-MI 5.
Churchill led the British Government from May 1940. The defeat and fragmentation of Germany were so important to him, that in order to achieve this goal he was ready for any military-political alliances, including with the USSR, a Britain’s perpetual enemy. Churchill was opposed by a group of conservatives (not Chamberlain and Halifax), who considered the Soviet Union a bigger evil than Germany.
The British Government tried to support various anti-Hitler conspiracies within the Reich. Such anti-Hitler groups were alarmed by the Führer declining policies and, planning to kill Hitler, were looking for contacts with London. And not just contacts – they, like a “shadow” Chancellor of anti-Hitler opposition Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, offered detailed plans for an immediate end of the war to return Germany to the borders of 1914, etc.
But Churchill was not interested in that. He wanted complete destruction of Germany. Sir Winston had no illusions about Stalin, however, he understood that he had no serious allies in that war. Churchill began to ease his relations with the Kremlin. A major relaxation factor was the British authorities’ warm attitude towards British communists, who were earlier treated almost as the Nazis.
The Prime Minister dismissed from the British Government all leaders who were known for their anti-Soviet views. Two such resignations were completely fatal.
The first was Kenneth de Courcy, who led the Imperial Police Intelligence Team. He had the strong anti-Soviet views and was on the “The Enemies of Russia in Britain” Soviet list.
The second one was Major-General Sir Vernon Kell, the founder and head of the MI-5’s internal counterintelligence. Kell closely supervised all without exception pro-Nazi and Communist groups in Great Britain. Especially those ones in Oxford and Cambridge which immediately “blushed” after his resignation.
Thus, Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, one of the financiers of Churchill’s election campaign and a member of his political team, appeared at MI-5.
He had many true merits serving to Britain and personally to the Prime Minister. But almost nobody knew that he was a convinced communist. In 1934 he was recruited by Soviets in Cambridge and since then had been an agent of the GPU Soviet Secret Service, a CHeKa successor. In 1937 a Soviet resident in Britain advised him to formally renounce communism. Rothschild became a member of the House of Lords and secured a position of a leading counterintelligence officer after Churchill came to power.
Rothschild embedded his entire Cambridge Soviet agent team into MI-5: Kim Philby – intelligence (external), Anthony Blunt – counterintelligence, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess- the Foreign Ministry. John Cairncross received a post at the Prime Minister’s office, followed by a job at the MI-5 cipher service and intelligence (external).
Moscow knew everything that was happening at the British special services for more than twenty years.
It is interesting that Rothschild was never punished. Until his death in 1990, he was an influential British banker and a member of the Shell Corporation Board. It was only after his death that he became known for supporting a spy “Cambridge Five” group. Too many Soviet agents were brought to British politics and the quite respected Brits participated in that.
Thus, a staff appointment, which brought a tactical and operational superiority to the United Kingdom, had turned into a grand strategic defeat.
New personnel appointments, which hungry for sensations Ukrainian public demands, certainly have all signs of the current behind-the-scenes intrigues.
It is important to try not to lose in those intrigues a very essence of the country’s defense ability avoiding new kims filbies.
We better deal with the old ones yet.