Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun (Russian: Влади́мир Богда́нович Резу́н; born 20 April 1947), known as Viktor Suvorov (Russian: Ви́ктор Суво́ров), is a Russian writer and a former Soviet military intelligence officer who defected to the United Kingdom. Suvorov is best known for writing Icebreaker and several follow-up books on the history of World War II.
Владимир Богданович Резун
|Born||Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun|
20 April 1947
Barabash, Primorsky Krai, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Notable works||Aquarium, Icebreaker|
Life and careerEdit
Suvorov, born Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun, comes from a military family of mixed Ukrainian-Russian descent, having been either born or raised in Ukraine's Cherkasy, where his father served. The family subsequently settled in Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic after his retirement. According to Suvorov, he studied in a Suvorov Military School: the one based in Voronezh (from 1958 to 1963) and later transferred to Kalinin (from 1963 to 1965).
From 1965 to 1968, Suvorov finished the Frunze Kiev Red Banner Higher Military Command School. In 1968, he served in the 145th Motorized Rifles Regiment of the Carpathian Military District in Ukraine, participating in the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. In 1970 and 1971, he served in the Volga Military District Headquarters, and later with the 808th Independent Army Reconnaissance Company (Spetsnaz).
After attending the Military Diplomatic Academy from 1971 to 1974, Suvorov joined the Soviet mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva, working undercover for the Soviet military intelligence service (GRU) and achieving a rank of Captain.
On 10 June 1978, Suvorov defected to the United Kingdom. At the time, he was married to Tatiana Korzh. The couple had a son, Aleksandr, and a daughter, Oksana. They were smuggled out of Switzerland to England, where Suvorov worked as an intelligence analyst and lecturer.
Suvorov is an occasional columnist for the Ukrainian UNIAN news agency's web site. However, he states that he has never visited the countries of the former Soviet Union, fearing a pending search warrant and Soviet court conviction in absentia.
Suvorov made his name writing books about the Soviet Army, military intelligence, and special forces, including The Liberators, Aquarium, Inside the Soviet Army, Inside Soviet Military Intelligence and Spetsnaz, which were partly based on his personal experience. He also joined the team led by the British General Sir John Hackett in writing the book The Third World War: The Untold Story. Published in 1982, this book was the sequel to the 1978 original The Third World War, in which Hackett and his team had speculated about the possible course of a Soviet/NATO war in Germany.
Works about World War IIEdit
Suvorov has written ten books about the outbreak of the Nazi-Soviet War in 1941 and the circumstances that led to it. The first such work was Icebreaker, followed by M Day, The Last Republic, Cleansing, Suicide, The Shadow of Victory, I Take it Back, The Last Republic II, The Chief Culprit, Defeat.
According to Suvorov, Stalin planned to use Nazi Germany as a proxy (the “Icebreaker”) against the West. For this reason, Stalin provided significant material and political support to Adolf Hitler, while at the same time preparing the Red Army to “liberate” the whole of Europe from Nazi occupation. Suvorov argued that Hitler had lost World War II from the very moment he attacked Poland: not only was he going to war with the powerful Allies, but it was only a matter of time before the Soviet Union would seize the opportune moment to attack him from the rear. This left Hitler with no choice but to direct a preemptive strike at the Soviet Union, while Stalin's forces were redeploying from a defensive to an offensive posture in June 1941, providing Hitler with an important initial tactical advantage. However, this was strategically hopeless because the Nazis then had to fight on two fronts, a mistake Hitler himself had identified as Germany's undoing in the previous war. At the end of the war, Stalin was able to achieve only some of his initial objectives by establishing Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and North Korea. According to Suvorov, this made Stalin the primary winner of World War II, even though Stalin was not satisfied by the outcome, as he intended to bring Soviet domination to the whole continent of Europe.
The works by Suvorov remain a matter of debate among historians. While most agree that Stalin made extensive preparations for an upcoming war and exploited the military conflict in Europe to his advantage, the assertions that Stalin planned to attack Nazi Germany in the summer of 1941, and that Operation Barbarossa was a preemptive strike by Hitler, are disputed.
Suvorov also wrote fiction books set in the pre-World War II era in the Soviet Union. The first one, Control, was followed by Choice, and the last and most recent title was Snake-eater. He has also written a film script based on these books.
About the Cold War-era Soviet UnionEdit
- The Liberators, 1981, Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 0-241-10675-3
- Inside the Soviet Army, 1982, Macmillan Publishing.
- Inside Soviet Military Intelligence, 1984, ISBN 0-02-615510-9
- Aquarium (Аквариум), 1985, Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 0-241-11545-0
- Spetsnaz. The Story Behind the Soviet SAS, 1987, Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 0-241-11961-8
- Devil's Mother (Майката на Дявола), 2011, Sofia, Fakel Express, ISBN 978-954-9772-76-0
About the outbreak of the Nazi-Soviet WarEdit
- Icebreaker (Ледокол) 1990, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-12622-3
- Day "M" (День "М")
- Suicide. For what reason did Hitler attack the Soviet Union? (Самоубийство), Moscow, ACT, 2000, ISBN 5-17-003119-X
- The Last Republic, ACT, 1997, ASIN B00271256C
- Last Republic II. Why did the Soviet Union lose the Second World War? (Последната Република II), Sofia, Fakel Express, 2007, ISBN 978-954-9772-51-7
- The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II.. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008 (hardcover, ISBN 978-1-59114-838-8).
- Defeat. Why was the "great victory" worse than any defeat? (Разгромът), Sofia, Fakel Express, 2009, ISBN 978-954-9772-68-5
About Soviet historical figuresEdit
- Shadow of Victory (Тень победы), questions the image of Georgy Zhukov. The first book of trilogy with the same name.
- I Take It Back (Беру Свои Слова Обратно), questions the image of Georgy Zhukov. The second book of "Shadow of Victory" trilogy.
- Cleansing (Очищение). Why did Stalin behead his army?, Moscow, 2002, ISBN 5-17-009254-7
- Виктор Суворов, Биография. Internet Archive.
- Sir Dick Franks. Saboteur with the Special Operations Executive who went on to become Chief of MI6 during the Cold War – Obituary, published by Daily Telegraph on 19 October 2008
- Суворова наградили Золотой медалью Кафки : Новости УНИАН(in Russian)
- The Liberators, 1981, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-10675-3
- Aquarium (Аквариум), 1985, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-11545-0
- Inside the Soviet Army, 1982, Macmillan Publishing Co.
- Inside Soviet Military Intelligence, 1984, ISBN 0-02-615510-9
- Spetsnaz. The Story Behind the Soviet SAS, 1987, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-11961-8
- The Third World War: The Untold Story ISBN 0-283-98863-0
- The Third World War ISBN 0-425-04477-7
- (in English) Who Started World War II? – Stalin as a Chief Culprit, Viktor Suvorov's presentation at the U.S. Naval Academy, Eurasia Forum, in Annapolis, Maryland, on 7 October 2009, as a four-part video: on YouTube, on YouTube, on YouTube and on YouTube.
- (in English) "The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II", a C-SPAN2 video of a February 2009 speech by Viktor Suvorov at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.
- (in Russian) Selection of online books by Viktor Suvorov and links to related online publications at the Maxim Moshkov's Library
- (in Russian) Complete up-to-date collection of Suvorov's online books (some in English), at Militera Project
- (in Russian) Viktor Suvorov, Ledokol, audio book
- (in Russian) Viktor Suvorov's new homepage