The Man With the Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story
Serhii Plokhy’s book The Man With the Poison Gun tells the story of a KGB officer-turned-defector, Bogdan Stashinsky, who assassinated the central figure of the Ukrainian nationalists, Stepan Bandera, with a specially made weapon that shoots a dart of poison into a person’s heart, causing them to have a heart attack while leaving no trace of the substance.
To many Ukrainians, Stepan Bandera is considered a hero who fought for their national identity. To the Soviets and later the Russians, he is a villain who cooperated with the Nazis and killed many Russians, Poles, and Jews. The whole beauty of the book is that the author paints the picture objectively without taking either side. His account of Bogdan Stashinsky’s assassination of Bandera, his defection to the West, and his later trial is very fascinating and reads like a spy novel.
Overall, I enjoyed The Man with the Poison Gun. I would recommend it to anybody who’s interested in Cold War espionage.
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