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Author`s books
About the authorBooksGeorgi Markov`s casePiccadilly fileThe archives of the SSSContacts
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He was sent to London...

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He underwent special training...

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He was presented with medals...

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The Double Life of Agent Piccadilly. The file of the only agent suspected of the murder of the writer, Georgi Markov and the key archive of the First Main Directorate of the SSS

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He was paid well...

Contents E-mail


Chapter 10

Offensive against the dissidents
This chapter traces changes in Moscow’s policies towards dissidents after Helsinki and how this was reflected in the decisions of the regime in Bulgaria.
Part 1: The New Fear
In March 1977 a meeting of the secretariats of the communist parties took place. The Soviet representatives submitted an extraordinary matter for discussion on the agenda: a motion to censure the growing movements of dissidents. The decision was supported by all representatives.
Part 2: Treachery in Paris
In the summer of 1977, Vladimir Kostov, a Bulgarian intelligence officer who had worked in Paris under the cover of a correspondent for Bulgaria television, betrayed the Bulgarian regime. Together with his family he requested political asylum due to the complete Sovietisation of Bulgaria. His treachery was to become one of the biggest espionage failures of the Zhivkov regime. The Politburo took a secret decision to declare war on the “hostile” émigrés and dissidents. Bulgarian State Security was given carte blanche to deal with the most well-known of the emgres.
Part 3: The Final Taboo
In the autumn of 1977 Radio “Free Europe” began to broadcast Georgi Markov’s reports about his meetings with Todor Zhivkov. Markov thus committed the greated taboo in communist Bulgaria – to talk openly against the first party secretary. Markov constructed the most objective image of Zhivkov. He revealed his brutal interference in culture, criticized him for corruption and his policy of complete dependency of Bulgarian on the USSR. The regime’s reaction was swift.
Part 4: Help from Moscow
At this time the KGB received a request from Zhivkov through the Interior Minister, Gen Dimitar Stoyanov, to assistance in the liquidation of Markov. The chairman of the KGB, Iuri Andropov, decided to offer only technical assistance for the operation. A group of Soviet toxin specialists went to Sofia.

Part 5: Diplomatic Ultimatum
While Free Europe was broadcasting reports of the meetings between Markov and Zhivkov, John Cloake, the British Ambassador, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia. He was given an ultimatum to stop Georgi Markov slandering the head of state. It was declared that if this continued, “we would take our own steps”.

Chapter 11

Death at 1.5 millimeters
This chapter describes the entire operation conducted by Bulgarian intelligence on the liquidation of Georgi Markov and the three attempts to poison Markov in Germany, Sardinia and the final assassination on Waterloo bridge. The factual sequence of events used the Scotland Yard report on the incidents and the evidence of a number of British doctors and experts who confirmed the use of ricin and discovered the pellet.

Chapter 12

After the 11th September
This chapter traces all the events in the UK and Bulgaria after the murder of Georgi Markov, diplomatic meetings in the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, political reactions in London and Sofia, as well as the discovery of an identical pellet in the back of Vladimir Kostov in Paris. It describes the operations conducted by British investigators within various circles of Bulgarian émigrés by deliberately creating conflicts amongst the émigrés. It traces the secret decrees signed by Todor Zhivkov to reward agents involved in the Markov assassination, including the directors of the KGB later to be indicated by Gen Oleg Kalugin. The BSS closed their files on Georgi Markov and in the documents indicated their motives for doing so, they noted that he had been killed in London in September 1978. (This document was discovered in 2000 in the archive of the Ministry of the Interior.

Chapter 13

The End of Zhivkov and the Purge in the Secret Archives
This chapter traces the Markov case after the collapse of the Zhivkov regime in November 1989 and all attempts in Bulgaria to destroy traces of the crime and the destruction of the Georgi Markov files.
Zhivkov was removed from his post after a decision made in Moscow. The BCP went into panic mode to save itself after the collapse of the Eastern bloc. State Security began to destroy all traces of the regime’s crimes. One of these was the murder of Georgi Markov.
While the inexperienced opposition were trying to provoke early elections the Ministry of the Interior and the Intelligence Services had begun a secret operation to destroy the files and other documents which would compromise the communist regime.