Defiant Defectors and Rebellious Refugees
While defectors could be an important symbol for a country or a coup for an intelligence agency, they were also human beings that were forced to flee their home country. Similarly, refugees are “displaced” by everything from conflict to famine. Their stories not only provide insight into our shared histories, they shape geopolitics in profound ways. A displaced group disrupts whatever balance there was in the surrounding areas, increasing social stresses and sometimes depleting resources. Failing to deal with refugees in a proactive way enhances the tragedy of displacement, for everyone.
Shortly before he was set to testify before Congress, Soviet defector Sergei Kourdakov’s “accidentally” committed suicide with a gun the Central Intelligence Agency allegedly told him to illegally get - and the Federal Bureau of Investigation refused to investigate.
Sergei Kourdakov’s story is controversial, unusual, and utterly unforgettable. From when the Soviet defector swam from a Russian trawler to Canada until his supposed accidental suicide with a gun a Central Intelligence Agency officer allegedly told him to illegally get shortly before he would testify before Congress, his tale is straight out of a pulp fiction spy thriller - with an evangelical twist complete with bible smugglers who may have had CIA ties of their own.