"I have no doubt that I will eventually say whatever it is you want me to say but right now I will say this: I - Anatoly Tarasovich Brodsky - am a vet. Soon your records will say that I was a spy. You will have my signature and my confession. You will force me to give you names. There will be more arrests, more signatures and more confessions. But whatever I eventually tell you will be a lie because I am a vet."[1]
Anatoly Tarasovich Brodsky was a Moscow-based veterinarian.

Despite only being qualified to treat animals, Brodsky volunteered to be a field doctor during the Great Patriotic war, receiving two commendations. One of his patients was Mikhail Zinoviev, with whom he struck a lasting friendship. Anatoly's wife died during the war, and his son later succumbed to tuberculosis.[2]

By 1953, because he was one of the few qualified vets in Moscow and had some competence in English, his clinic was frequently visited by foreign diplomats with their pets. This roused the suspicions of the MGB, which immediately put him under surveillance. Anatoly soon caught wind of this, and burned all incriminating documents, leaving only a note indicating that he'd be heading for Kiev. His neighbour and lover, Zina Morosovna, later revealed to the MGB that he was most likely heading for Kimov, the village where Mikhail had settled with his family.[2]

After spending the night in the Zonoviev family's barn, Anatoly attempted to head north to the Finnish border, but was pursued by MGB agent Leo Demidov. Exhausted from his journey, Anatoly attempted to commit suicide by drowning himself in a frozen river. He was rescued in time and dragged back to the Zinoviev home, where he witnessed his friend's execution by agent Vasili Nikitin.[3]

Taken to the Lubyanka and interrogated by Leo, Anatoly refused to confess to being a foreign spy, maintaining that he was nothing more than a vet. After Leo's attempt failed, Anatoly was injected with a truth serum made of camphor oil by psychiatrist Dr Roman Hvostov, under which he reiterated his innocence. On 18 February, he was executed after having confessed under torture.[4]


  1. Smith, T. R. (2008), Child 44, Pocket Books, p. 88, ISBN 978-84739-373-9
  2. 2.0 2.1 Smith, T. R. (2008), Child 44, Pocket Books, pp. 37-52, ISBN 978-84739-373-9
  3. Smith, T. R. (2008), Child 44, Pocket Books, pp. 53-75, ISBN 978-84739-373-9
  4. Smith, T. R. (2008), Child 44, Pocket Books, pp. 84-94, ISBN 978-84739-373-9
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