An Interview with Viktor Suvorov
By Viktor Kalashnikov, March 2011
Courtesy of ZAXID.NET http://zaxid.net/article/88901 Translated from the original Russian by Serge Kabud
ZAXID.NET published this interview in the Ukrainian language. The interview was originally conducted in Russian. We offer this English translation courtesy of Viktor and Marina Kalashnikov and ZAXID.NET
Kalashnikov: What happened to your famous Website Suvorov.com, it looks like it changed?
Suvorov: That site was stolen from me. Once I was approached by some good people: "Look, there is this gentleman in Moscow, Sergei Pantsirev. He is so miserable, let him run your site." And I agreed. Then they said, "This will cost you alot, because he will have to buy out something from someone, and so on and so forth. And then he appeared to be under blackmail from someone. Then he started to do things that, to put it mildly, are controversial. Then he demanded something else from me: "If you want me to put an advertisement for your book on your own site you will have to pay me something." So I replied, "No, this will not work." I paid to create the site. I paid to develop the site. And this is the site about my books. Pantsirev replies, "If that is so, then the site will go to a third party." I spent a year trying to figure who is that third party. And I found that the third party is the administration of the so-called President of Russia. That was their operation. The man who is behind this is Mr. Surkov [Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov, currently First Deputy Chief of Staff of the President of the Russian Federation and top aid to Vladimir Putin]. Sergei Pantsirev announced that my books in electronic form belong to Surkov.
Kalashnikov: Is the copyright on the books confused with ownership of the web site?
Suvorov: Mr. Pantsirev re-registered my site to his own name, without letting me know. And now he practically owns everything on the Website. For instance, he could publish photographs of my grandchildren on a pornographic site. He could edit my texts. This illustrates, in my opinion, an amazing weakness of the Russian state. In fighting me, they have to resort to methods of blackmail, threats, and larceny; and publishing ridiculous things under my name. There is the 70th anniversary of 22 June 1941 coming, the anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. They can, in Russia, now publish anything under my name. They published something there that I never wrote, pictures of an airplane. At any moment they can publish my books with whatever changes they can think of.
Kalashnikov: What are you going to do?
Suvorov: To begin with, I am happy I had the privilege to meet this girl, very smart and beautiful, Tatyana. On April 13 we will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Tatyana helped me to sort it all out. For instance, the Russian military academy publishes books under the name Viktor Surovov [as opposed to Suvorov] with the titles Aquarium II and Icebreaker II. People buy them. It is openly printed in those books that Army General Gareev and Colonel-General Gor'kov are behind the publications. The book covers are the same color, designed in the same style, have the same titles, which are my titles. And the author's name is very hard to distinguish from my own. So now, the administration of so-called President of Russia, is using my own name. My dear Tatyana, in her infinite wisdom, comments, "If they publish the books under their own names, no one will read them. That is why they are hiding behind your name; because you are a best-selling author. So be proud."
Kalashnikov: Are you going to open a new Web Site?
Suvorov: I already have it, http://suvorovrezun.com/, and I may open another one.
Kalashnikov: Who will manage the site?
Suvorov: I have no time for the Internet, since I want to write my books. I wasn't involved in the stolen Website suvorov.com because of this.
Kalashnikov: Where will you run this site from?
Suvorov: In the United Kingdom I have good friends to manage the site. A Website requires much time and attention; and I am somebody from the previous millennium. There was no venue for arguing with an author there. I posted books on my Website and got some feedback - positive and negative. A British cat has nine lives; and I am a Russian-Ukrainian man, who only has one very short life. I write my books day and night, and I don't have time for arguing. When I have finished all my books, when I am 120 or 150 years old, I will have time to argue.
Kalashnikov: May I ask you, what are you working on?
Suvorov: The book is called Snakeeater, and it was published in Bulgaria before the end of last year. Soon it will be released in Poland. I want this book released in Russia, but this won't be easy. This book is about Comrade Stalin, and may be considered as a precursor to the books Control and Choice. My best book, out of all my books, is Control. When I am feeling bad, when I was taken to the hospital, and when I hear the ambulance siren, and see the blue lights, I am interrupted by a question: Is this really happening? Yes it is, of course. My Tatyana is running behind me, and carrying my beloved books, my favorite books, and my favorite is Seven Days in May. And also she brings my book Control. I just love this book. So I decided to write something that could be a precursor to the story in Control. I cannot be the judge, so I let the reader decide; but I like this new book [Snakeeater].
Kalashnikov: Did you publish any of your books, in Russia, in Donetsk [Ukraine]?
Suvorov: Everything that was published in Donetsk was pirated.... I am surprised that my books are published in so many languages, but not in Ukrainian. I have a Ukrainian name, and my wife is also Ukrainian; so I am a bit offended that my books are published in Armenian, Georgian, and many different languages, and in countries so far away from us, in Portuguese and Spanish. This is almost religious to me; my book was published in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, but my books were never published in my native country's language. Why is this so? Sometimes I wake up at night and ask myself the same question, but I don't know the reason. Maybe my books are not interesting.
Kalashnikov: Is anything happening to make Control into a movie?
Suvorov: The screenplay is written. And I think it is even better than the book. I created new characters for the screenplay, both positive and negative. I think that if anybody will make a movie on it, the movie will harvest the best awards. But so far nobody has dared. There is a simple recipe for how to make a good film. You just have to invest your soul, and some money. If you have a good book already, you don't even need that much money. You only have to invest your soul.
Kalashnikov: What are you writing now?
Suvorov: I am writing a book titled Kuzka's Mother. It is not connected to any of my previous books. It refers to the most powerful nuclear bomb in history. This is how it begins: three Muzhiks [dudes] are sitting in the same posture as seen in the famous painting by Perov. They have this newspaper, Pravda, as the picnic cloth. What they set on this newspaper is a vodka bottle, and pickles. By the way, my books are written with a motion picture in mind. I can easily imagine how the camera does the closeup and pulls back. So there is a railway station behind these men. And then they are in a workshop, working on large truck. And what they have behind them is a 48-foot bomb, the size of a submarine, 26-tons. And then you have these three Muzhiks, who just finished putting it together. And they say to each other, "How are we going to call it?" The official name was Unit 602. But that doesn't appeal to the Russian ear. So one of them says, "Let's call her by some name." Should it be Ivan? No good, because Ivan is associated with "Ivan the fool." Should we call it "Tsar Bomb"? Sometimes this name is used for the bomb because the Hiroshima bomb was only 20 kilotons and this bomb was 57 megatons [nearly 3,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb]. Then one of the three who is in charge replies, "Tsar Bomb is no good, because Tsar Bell [the largest bell ever made for a church] never worked, and the Tsar cannon never worked. Do we want to be part of this list? No we don't." So then the other one says, "I got an idea! When Nikita Khrushchev was banging his shoe on the table at the United Nations, he screamed, "I'll show you the Kuz'kina Mat [Fucking Mother]!"
This is the bomb that had an official name Unit 602, Kuz'kina Mat. Then the story goes on about the testing of that bomb. Khrushchev was using that test, along with the space flights of Gagarin and Titov as a leverage to have the German question resolved. The German question was rather critical then. Germans were fleeing socialist Germany at the rate of one person per minute, sixty people an hour fleeing through Berlin. Something needed to be done. So Khrushchev started to bluff. Right after the Titov space flight on 6th and 7th of August 1961 the Berlin Wall was constructed. The world was applauding the Soviet space flights. At the same exact moment the Berlin Wall was built. But it wasn't the full solution yet. Khrushchev decided on real serious bluffing. That is how the Caribbean crisis was born.
Kalashnikov: That is the history. But what is the intrigue?
Suvorov: At the same time, the Soviet generals leaked something to the Americans - in order to warn them. This is how they leaked. The warning is, we are quite behind you Americans in some aspects. We cannot deliver these bombs to America. We do not have a delivery system for it. There is no rocket in the world that can take it so far. Our long range aircraft 295b could then only reach Novaya Zemlya [Nova Zembla], and the bomb could not properly fit in it - as the bomb was sticking out of the plane. So the generals decided to warn the Americans. A special operation was developed and carried out. They found a brave colonel, Oleg Penkovsky, who was given this task. This is a mortal task that you will have to do, in order to save the planet earth. So he accomplished the task of the General Staff, but he lost his life. It is a shame that there is no monument to him in Moscow. "To the man who saved us all."
Kalashnikov: Can you explain what exactly was Penkovsky's task?
Suvorov: He had to warn Americans that Khrushchev was bluffing; that Khrushchev only had one warhead for every 17 American warheads. We have to remember several key things about the Oleg Penkovsky story: First, why would Moscow need to place rockets in Cuba if, supposedly, Moscow had rockets that could reach America from Sibera? The answer is, they had no such rockets. All the rockets of that kind, made by the Soviet military industry were immediately used in the space program to show the world their capability. This is what they delivered to Cuba: Rocket 8K-63 [range 2,100 kilometers], and Rocket 8k-65 [range 4,500 kilometers]. The Soviets had nothing to scare America with besides those two types, and only if they were brought under America's nose, to Cuba. The submarine situation was also a complete disaster. For instance, the first Soviet submarine K-19, that carried three rockets ranged 600 kilometers. In order to be effective it should have surfaced practically next to the American coastline. At the same time, during the Caribbean crisis, the Americans had nine atomic submarines of the George Washington and Ethan Allen class. Each of them had 16 rockets, range 2,200 kilometers, and they could launch under the water. The Soviet Union was lagging terribly behind. But on the other hand, the whole world was observing the first sputnik, the first dog, along with Gagarin and Titov and the detonation of a monster bomb. A bomb that they had no technical means to deliver to the United States. And as a result of the bluffing, the whole world thought we were ahead. That's why some people decided to warn America that Khrushchev was bluffing. But how could we warn them? The Chief of the General Staff cannot knock on America's door. Who would believe him? One cannot imagine the chief of the GRU, Army Gen. Ivan Serov, to go and tell all this to the Americans. There had to be an operation conceived to make them believe. So when we mention Penkovsky, we should ask the following question. How could he transfer this information to the Americans when he did not have the information, and had no way to acquire it? Only ten people in the whole Soviet Union had access to this information - regarding how many rockets and nuclear devices they had. The Soviet military high command provided Penkovsky with this information in order for him to pass it to the Americans. What they gave him was something that Americans would trust. What I mean is, that in order to have so much uranium you have to have so many centrifuges. But to run so many centrifuges, you need to have a certain volume of electricity in a certain area, near Chelybinsk-40. But electricity was not there. So this is what Penkovsky was supposed to deliver to the Americans.
Kalashnikov: So if I understand you correctly, Khrushchev, by bluffing over Cuba, was trying to resolve the German question?
Suvorov: Khrushchev's intention was to snooker the Americans in order to make them withdrawal their military from Berlin and Germany. He had the idea of a unified Germany based on a "democratic" foundation [as in the German Democratic Republic].
Kalashnikov: How would you comment on Penkovsky's moral character?
Suvorov: This is what we were told in the GRU; that he loved women and money, and that is why he sold out to the Americans. Then I would ask, if he loved money so much, why didn't he defect? And if he loved women too much - and who doesn't - he also has to defect, doesn't he? He would have enough money and women for the rest of his life, given the information he was providing to the Americans. But he didn't defect, and he wasn't going to defect, because he was following orders. Also, he was very inconvenient to the Americans. That is why they gave him up.
Kalashnikov: Why was Penkovsky inconvenient for the Americans?
Suvorov: Imagine you are an American intelligence official. You report that the Soviet Union is technological advanced. From the reports of American intelligence, President Kennedy then announced that the Americans are lagging behind in rocket technology. Then you get information from a Soviet officer that this is all nonsense, so your self respect is threatened. When it turns out that you spent millions to analyze Pravda and Soviet TV, and at the end, some Soviet colonel claims that you are all fools, he reveals your incompetence. Just because it was thought that the Soviet Union was so far ahead, Americans had to launch an aircraft carrier the size of 80,000 tons every year. In 1961, Americans launched three attack aircraft carriers, including an atomic carrier. And to accompany it in the ocean they added a nuclear rocket cruiser as an escort. Because the Russians were "so far ahead," there was a need to produce Minuteman rockets. Well, a thousand units would be enough. And then the Titan II rockets were produced. And all of them needed silos. Do you know how much the cover of a silo weighs? It weighs 740 tons. Imagine the taxpayer who had to cover the costs for building atomic submarines, planned at 41 units, with 16 missiles each. Imagine the rocket industries and shipbuilding industries involved. Imagine the scale of the rocket industry and shipbuilding industries involved. Imagine the scale of port construction involved, and the cost of highways and housing for sailors as well. Then don't forget that the military industrial complex is followed by the rest of the industries. Money is spent, things are built, and vehicles are purchased, etc. And all of a sudden Col. Penkovsky comes and claims, you don't need 1,000 Minutman rockets. Fifty units would be enough. You don't need 41 atomic submarines armed with 16 rockets each. That is too much. You don't need strategic bombers. Why do you need them? So now, as you see, Penkovsky was very inconvenient. The arms race was good for America. But the same arms race was bankrupting the Soviet Union. The American arms race was an engine for developing business and the economy. That is why they gave Penkovsky away. So the Americans tipped off their Soviet friends in Washington, showing that they have all the Soviet plans, including things that few people knew about. After that, the competent organs quickly sorted it out.
Kalashnikov: Are you following other authors who publish in Russian on your subjects?
Suvorov: I maintain contact with Mark Solonin and Vladimir Beshanov. I like those authors. There are many new historians, as well, who have left me behind. I acted as sort of an icebreaker, who broke the ice and now new historians are operating in clean water. They have better access to archives than I do. I was only working with open sources. The new guys are digging deeper, and I wish them success. There is a whole group of historians that sometimes I have conflicts with, but only at the tactical level. We all agree on the major point: Stalin was going to attack Hitler. I have to say that my top opponents do not argue against this anymore. I am accused in anything but this. It was claimed that I didn't create this idea, but British intelligence. Thank you very much, guys. Please provide me with your top experts. I demand this for 25 years already. Put your top experts in front of the camera, live, and let's see how these experts debunk me. They are professionals and I am an amateur. And if I am coached by someone, it should be easier to make me confess.
Kalashnikov: What is Russia's military potential today?
Suvorov: I have some observations. From ancient times, the one who leads his subordinates into the death-struggle, should be different from others. The Roman centurion was different from the soldier. If a man leads us to death, there should be something that makes us submit to his will. A man with a military bearing differs from others, and this is very important. This kind of man should be someone who deserves the respect of others. In a Russia that is falling apart I count 21 different organizations that adopted uniforms and insignia for their members. The Russian Army today doesn't have a single officer in the rank of Marshal. At the same time, the Russian prosecutor's office ordered all prosecutors to wear a military uniform; the same type and color as the air force, with golden shoulder boards. Imagine a prosecutor general wearing a military uniform with the shoulder board of a marshal with a giant golden star. Where does this lead? To the fact that the soldier is losing respect for his commander. So the soldier will salute someone who could be a customs bureaucrat. This is awful. Russia has General Shoigu, with four stars, who is the Minister of Emergency Situations [like FEMA]; and all those generals are not military. The military has their own ethics. A soldier respects a commander and salutes him. But this is not a commander. This is a prosecutor, who does not respond to the soldier's salute. Then the soldier meets someone else and salutes. But this is not the military again, and only a firefighter. He is with the MVD. Sometimes he wears a military uniform, a green uniform. But he is just a cop, not a general. Stalin loved the uniform and the shoulder boards. But in his time, customs officials were just called "controllers" and their uniform was different. Like in America or the United Kingdom, the police wear their own uniform. So there is a difference between the military and them. Today, in Russia, every bureaucrat has some uniform; but nobody wants to serve in the army. This is a real destruction of the army.
Kalashnikov: Well, all of this is only about the uniform. Explain the meaning of it.
Suvorov: Regarding the idea and meaning of it, I can give you a good example. Not that long ago there was this professor in the academy of the General Staff; a self-named Eurasian, Mr. Dugin. This signifies an utter, and total collapse. This person doesn't even have a college education. He showed some piece of paper that supposedly says that he graduated from some virtual college that doesn't exist. Imagine the military academy of the Russian General Staff lectured to by this man, who puts out wild theories.
Kalashnikov: What circles do you mix in?
Suvorov: It's rather big and not limited to the United Kingdom. I travel to many countries. I've had many appearances in America talking to my former compatriots - also in France. The first of my readers that wrote to me was Viktor Nakrasov. He wrote a letter to me with only one word: Recognition. It means that "you are my brother, I recognize you as a writer." I have no contact with any oligarchs, but I have many friends among writers, poets and journalists. A writer should have a lot of time, if he starts to partake in conferences and seminars, and his appearances become frequent on TV he would have no time for his main work, writing books.
Kalashnikov: What do you think of the recent political activity of Vladimir Bukovsky?
Suvorov: This man took on the system alone, and that was a Communist system that couldn't ban or break him. That's why everything done by Bukovsky is an example to follow. If Russia would be able to provide 10,000 people like him we would be living in a different society; but we only have a handful of such people. Thank God those few still exist.