The Shield and the Sword (film)

The Shield and the Sword (Russian: Щит и меч, romanizedShchit i mech) is a 1968 Soviet spy series in four parts directed by Vladimir Basov.[1] It is based on a novel by Vadim Kozhevnikov, who was Secretary of the Soviet Writers' Union.[2] It was highly influential in the Soviet Union, inspiring many, including Vladimir Putin, to join the KGB.[3]

The Shield and the Sword
The Shield and the Sword Poster.jpg
Part 2 poster
Directed byVladimir Basov
Written byVladimir Basov
Vadim Kozhevnikov
Produced byMosfilm
StarringStanislav Lyubshin
Oleg Yankovsky
Georgy Martyniuk
Vladimir Basov
Alla Demidova
CinematographySergei Vronsky
Music byVeniamin Basner
Release date
  • 1968 (1968)
Running time
325 min.
CountrySoviet Union

The song What Does Motherland Begin With (С чего начинается Родина), sung by Mark Bernes, that was main musical theme of each film in the series, became well known in the USSR.


  • Part 1. No Right To Be Themselves (Без права быть собой)
  • Part 2. The Order is: Survive (Приказано выжить)
  • Part 3. Without Appeal (Обжалованию не подлежит)
  • Part 4. The Last Frontier (Последний рубеж)


The year is 1940 and Nazi Germany is at the height of its military power, having captured most of Europe and eyeing the Soviet Union to the East. The Soviet military command suspects hostile intent from Germany and so arranges for its spies to infiltrate ranks of the German military and the SS. Alexander Belov (Lyubshin) is a Russian spy, who travels from Soviet-held Latvia to Nazi Germany under an alias of Volksdeutsche Johann Weiss. His mastery of the German language, steel nerves and an ability to manipulate others help him to use his connections in the SS to ascend the ladder of the Abwehr and then in the SD. He uses his position to identify sympathetic Germans, who help him to procure vital intelligence, and to help local resistance movements in their collective fight against Nazism.



  1. ^ Hake, Sabine (31 August 2012). Screen Nazis: Cinema, History, and Democracy. University of Wisconsin Pres. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-299-28713-9. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  2. ^ Marsh, Rosalind (2007). Literature, History and Identity in Post-Soviet Russia, 1991-2006. Peter Lang. p. 75. ISBN 978-3-03911-069-8. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  3. ^ Macintyre, Ben (29 February 2020). "Putin's spies are pulp fiction characters". The Times.

External linksEdit