SOVIET DEFECTORS: The KGB Wanted List by Vladislav Krasnov


Email this review


Purporting to be a comprehensive list of all Soviet defectors since WW II, this is formatted as a statistical abstract. Krasnov, himself a defector, is head of Russian Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. From this perch, he developed an all-consuming curiosity about his fellow defectors that resulted in this current study. The first half turns the KGB's own records against it. Krasnov had found a list issued periodically by the KGB that included all defectors prior to 1969 (he determined its validity by the accuracy of information therein concerning his own case). Following that, he depended upon basic news sources to fill out the list with post-1969 defectors. Krasnov breaks down defectors based upon sex (only 19% are women), age (average age is 28.56), ethnic origin (almost 62% are either Russian or Ukrainian), education (53.3% have no higher than a seventh-grade education), profession (over half held ""low prestige jobs,"" while only 12.6% are intellectuals, even though they get the most attention), and country of defection (57% of all defectors go to West Germany or Austria). While Krasnov claims to be comprehensive, there are some missing names--one that comes to mind is a writer by the name of Lev Navrozov, who several years ago headed a Committee for an Alternative to The New York Times. Krasnov's purpose in all of this is to combat the government bureaucracy's seeming lack of concern about defectors, who are viewed by the West, he contends, as embarrassments and liabilities adversely affecting d‚tente. Grist for the academic mill, then, and likely to remain behind university walls.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1985
Publisher: Hoover Institution