Soviet guns lie hidden in British countryside from Cold War, says leading historian
The booby-trapped caches were routinely created near the main European cities, according to files given to the West by former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin
Monday 07 July 2014
Weapons hidden by the Soviets in the British countryside during the Cold War are almost certainly still there, according to a leading historian.
The booby-trapped caches were routinely created near the main European cities, according to files given to the West by a former KGB archivist, Vasili Mitrokhin, who defected in 1992.
Historian Christopher Andrew, who has worked on the Mitrokhin files, told The Daily Telegraph: “Given that Britain was second only to the United States in terms of importance to the Soviets at this time, it would be remarkable if this tactic wasn’t deployed here.
“Of course by now they would not be easy to find and it is unlikely the weapons would be serviceable.”
In his notes, Mr Mitrokhin described how to find one cache near Berne in Switzerland.
“After taking 36 steps you will be at the point between two large leafy trees, the only ones in the sector. The distance between the trees is three paces. The area between the trees has been used for the cache,” the note said.
Video: East and West meet to discuss terms
There were also instructions on how to disarm the booby traps.
The weapons were designed to be available to Soviet agents operating in the West in the event of the Cold War turning hot.
Mr Mitrokhin become disillusioned with the Soviet Union and decided to use his position in the archives to secretly copy some of the thousands of files to which he had access.
Professor Andrew said that dissidents like Mr Mitrokhin “were all hoping that following de-Stalinisation, socialism with a human face would emerge”.
“When that didn’t happen, they could either stand up and be sacked or undermine the system from within,” he said. “I think the risks he took reflect the genuine beliefs he held.”
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Peaches Geldof cause of death: Socialite had taken fatal dose of heroin after years of addiction, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...