Producer — Pavel Korchagin, Daria Lavrova
Host — Vladimir Vdovichenkov
Director — Igor Holodkov
Fifty two years ago the world changed. Once unthinkable dream came true - space travel became possible.
Soviet astronaut Yury Gagarin was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.
Gagarin became an international celebrity, and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, the nation's highest honor.
The documentary series features interviews with famous scientists and astronauts who were part of the Soviet space program. They share little-known facts about the history of space exploration.
Russian Network: NTV
Number of episodes: 8
Director — Gennadiy Gorodniy, Xenia Shergova
A Duel of Intelligence Services is a cycle of documentary films about the historical relations between the intelligence services of different countries. This information has been kept in the strictest secrecy. Many unique shots and chronicles have never been shown on television before.
This series describes the work of the British and Russian intelligence and counter-intelligence services as a bilateral process that continued throughout the 20th century with blows and counterblows, a sort of “duel” between the two sides. The participants in the film include intelligence service veterans and historians and former heads of British intelligence who have never before been interviewed on Russian television. Declassified materials and documents from both Russian and western archives were used for the first time in the filming.
Russia — USA
At the beginning of the First World War, the USA had neither an intelligence nor a counter-intelligence service in the full sense. The 1917 Russian Revolution upset the geo-political applecart. The first American resident agent in the USSR was the son of a Russian noblewoman and a Greek merchant Ksenophon Kalamatiano, while Ludwig Martens, the first Ambassador of the USSR to the USA, went down in the history of the intelligence services as the “overseas debut” of the young Soviet intelligence. That is how the confrontation began between the intelligence services of the 20th century’s leading powers.
The next stage in the stand-off between the USA and the USSR consisted in the struggle by Soviet intelligence for the Second Front and the atom bomb. While fierce battles were being waged just outside Moscow, the head of foreign intelligence Pavel Fitin and the chief-of-station in America, Colonel Vasiliy Zarubin, were summoned by Stalin to the Kremlin. Ways and channels needed to be sought urgently for bringing America and the USSR closer together and an eye kept out to ensure that the USA and Britain did not conclude a separate peace with Germany or join up against the Soviet Union.
The Soviet-American intelligence “duel” during the Cold War is a detective genre classic. By the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union had over 250 sources in the USA. The USSR managed to penetrate virtually all US government departments. The final episode of the documentary series covers a kaleidoscope of secret operations by the two intelligence services, head-spinning successes and scandalous fiascos, archive materials and memoirs of CIA and KGB veterans.
Russia – Japan
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Tsarist intelligence service underestimated the possibilities of the Land of the Rising Sun. The Far East of Russia and Manchuria were literally flooded by thousand of Japanese agents seeking information about the carrying capacity of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the China-Eastern Railway, as well as about troop deployments in Manchuria. These data were subsequently decisive in the Japanese victory at Port Arthur.
For information: The Trans-Siberian Railway, the world’s longest railway, was built between 1891 and 1916 between Chelyabinsk and Vladivostok, linking the European part of Russia with the Far East. The China-Eastern Railway in the north-east of China was built by Russia between 1897 and 1903.
Screenplay by: Elena Prokhorova, Alexey Kirichenko, Xenia Shergova, Valeriy Tur
Director — Svetlana Chervonnaya, Andrei Vernidub
8 April 1978 was a black day in the history of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, when information arrived from New York that Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the USSR, Deputy Secretary General of the UN for political affairs Arkadiy Nikolaevich Shevchenko had asked for political asylum. This was the first defection by such a high-ranking diplomat in the history of the Foreign Ministry. The Soviet foreign policy elite was in a state of shock — as well as bewilderment. Within the Foreign Ministry, the International Department of the Central Committee, and the USA and Canada Institute, they simply could not grasp this action by Shevchenko, who, by the age of 48, had managed to realise the wildest dreams of this closed, corporate community: a high international post with a dream salary even for the upper echelons of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, prospects of severance benefits sufficient to ensure him a more than comfortable life back home, plus the post of Deputy Minister for Disarmament waiting for him, specifically requested from Leonid Brezhnev for Shevchenko by Minister Andrey Andreyevich Gromyko, who favoured him highly.
The consequences of what had happened seemed unpredictable. In the eyes of the Foreign Ministry counter-intelligence (head of the security service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, KGB Colonel M.I.Kuryshev), the scale of the potential damage was “greater than from the defection by GRU Colonel Penkovskiy, who worked for the CIA and British intelligence”.