Documentary on William Fisher

Today Zvezda TV followed up with a new documentary in its serial on legends of secret intelligence with a piece on William Fisher, the Russian who grew up in the North-West of Britain while his parents were in exile from the Russian empire. It is a fascinating story of how he became a key radio operator in both London and later the United States on behalf of officers in Soviet intelligence.

We have the usual presentation involving veteran Sergei Yakovlev and historian at the SVR Svetlana Chervonnaya. Unfortunately the series is visibly going down hill. The documentary is seriously marred by the crudest presentation of the international background in the 1940s.

Both Britain under Churchill and the United States under Truman are presented as bent on a third world war, this time against the Soviet Union, apparently with Stalin entirely innocent of having provoked anything. And Churchill somehow managed to declare a cold war while serving as leader of the opposition in Britain! Not a word about the Soviet take-over of Eastern Europe, the imprisonment and torture of anyone deemed an enemy, and the consolidation of Communist dictatorships in the region that ended only in 1989.

It is hard to see how Russia today can hope to deceive a knowing West about established historical fact, even if the fairy tales in approved textbooks within the country can do so to the unfortunate school-child and the unknowing university student. On the other hand the “squad” in the Democrat Party in its ignorance of the past may yet give cause for hope in the Kremlin.

My book Russia’s Cold War from the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall gives the most up to date evidence from Russian and Western sources for the stark clash of interests that actually led to the Cold War. Read and weep.