At the beginning of the Cold War in 1940, the KGB leaked classified information about an American project to build a superweapon that could disrupt the global military balance.
Despite America’s successful detonation of the first atomic bomb, Stalin remained unfazed due to the intelligence provided by KGB spies, enabling the Soviet Union to rapidly develop their own nuclear arsenal by reverse-engineering acquired materials.Post-war, the Soviet Union expedited its nuclear program, eventually revealing their possession of an atomic bomb on August 29, 1949. This revelation left the world astonished, fueling debates on the relative contributions of scientists and spies. It was concluded that a close collaboration between Soviet spies and scientists had been instrumental in achieving this feat, further intensifying the Cold War.
Stalin’s primary objective during this era was to instill fear and establish the Soviet Union as a formidable superpower, allowing him to prioritize infrastructure and living standards. The success of Operation Enormous, executed by strategically positioned agents, transformed the Soviet Union into a major global player, solidifying the Cold War’s dynamics.
Following Stalin’s death in 1953, Lavrentiy Beria, a key figure in the intelligence service’s transformation, anticipated assuming leadership. However, Nikita Khrushchev, another influential party official, outmaneuvered him, resulting in the imprisonment and persecution of political opponents. The KGB continued to play a pivotal role in maintaining Khrushchev’s authority and suppressing dissent.
In 1954, influenced by the deaths of Stalin and Beria and the promise of reform under Khrushchev, inmates began demanding their fundamental rights. Khrushchev, informed through KGB intelligence channels about America’s covert deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe, responded with counter-threats in America’s own sphere of influence. During this crisis, the KGB’s vital intelligence facilitated understanding and communication between Khrushchev and Kennedy, shaping the course of the Cold War.
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