1. SMERSH celebrates 60th anniversary

    By Brett McAleer on 2003-05-29

    Yes, there really was a SMERSH.

    The military counter-espionage service set up by Stalin in 1943 is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary with an exhibition in Moscow.

    Not only are various tools of the trade on display, but many items that SMERSH “collected” while operating in Europe are also available for visitors to wonder at.

    While the service only existed for three years, as a result of a merger with NKVD secret police (which in turn later became the KGB) it has been forever immortalised in the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming who had first hand intimate knowledge of the soviet spy apparatus while working with British intelligence.

    The unnamed curator of the exhibition stated that “If Smersh were still around today, this country would be a better place. It wouldn’t be run by bandits and crooks.”

    This sentiment is reflected by many Russian citizens who have already visited the displays and feel that while the organisation was brutal they approved of its existence and its founder, Viktor Abakumov.

    The full report can be found on the UK’s Telegraph newspaper website.