"I haven't trusted paper evidence for a long time, nor should you."[1]

Ivan Kuzmitch Zhukov was an undercover MGB officer posing as a language and literature teacher at Moscow's Secondary School 7.

He fabricated an identity for himself as a maverick with Western leanings, hoarding prohibited books and lending them to colleagues, whom he would later denounce to his superiors. In June 1953, Ivan was approached by fellow schoolteacher Raisa Demidova and her husband Leo, both on the run for having independently investigated a series of child murders throughout the western Soviet Union. Raisa trusted in Ivan, hoping that he would be able to provide the two of them with forbidden literature on serial killers, while Leo became suspicious, noting that Ivan had never been arrested for his Western leanings and that his house was unusually well furnished. His suspicions were confirmed when Ivan attempted to call an alleged psychiatrist friend of his for help, speaking in coded language Leo recognised from his MGB days. Leo strangled Ivan to death, aware that they had now been exposed.[2]


  1. Smith, T. R. (2008), Child 44, Pocket Books, pp. 325, ISBN 978-84739-373-9
  2. Smith, T. R. (2008), Child 44, Pocket Books, pp. 319-339, ISBN 978-84739-373-9
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.