Author Topic: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic  (Read 9673 times)

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Offline TimM

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #135 on: May 16, 2018, 05:22:39 PM »
No doubt the Communists didn't want too many armed civilians.  Might give them ideas.
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Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #136 on: May 19, 2018, 05:50:19 AM »
January 12, 1920

   At the banya in Gus-Khrustalny, a small industrial town, men were hitting themselves with bath brooms and making noise in the steam.  A tall, bearded man in his forties sat on a bench talking with a man of similar age.  The two did not notice when Andrei Churkin sat down on the bench in his no-frills blue felt hat and began to hit himself.  Churkin maneuvered his way closer to the two men as he did so, glancing at the bearded man’s face.  He noticed that the two were speaking in German but the other men’s noise prevented hi, from making out their words.  Churkin was the youngest member of the Intelligence Section O squad that had been rushed to Gus-Khrustalny, twenty-five milyas east of Moscow, to close in on the “bastard,” whose extensive travels had brought him to the sleepy town.
   The bearded man was thought to be Yakov Yurovsky, the lead murderer of the Imperial Family.
   After weeks and months, thousands of hours of reconnaissance, frustrating waiting and watching, Yurovsky’s trail had finally been picked up by the Intelligence Section’s assassination squad.  In a few hours they would be sending him into the next world.  The operational and intelligence achievement this assassination represented would be immense, more significant even than the Shimmering Light.
   The hunt for Yurovsky had stretched across Russia since March.  White agents rattled their contacts for several months until a tip-off came through in December 1919 that Yurovsky had traveled to Moscow for a job interview for a top administrative post.  The tip even came with an address where Yurovsky was said to be staying: a quiet hotel on Tverskaya Ulitsa.
   But just as Intelligence Section agents moved close to the hotel to begin surveillance of Yurovsky, their target slipped out of the hotel by a back entrance and disappeared.
   With White agents hot on his trail, Yurovsky, not a stupid man himself, got busy setting up his own personal security. He wanted to avoid the Intelligence Section and to make the Whites look bad at the same time.  So he arranged with volunteers to get themselves recruited by the Intelligence Section.  Their job was to feed the Whites a series of dates and locations that would map his movements. Not his real movements, of course, but the ones he wanted them to believe.
   In the winter of 1919-1920, White intelligence received information that Yurovsky was near the town of Berezniki; then they got word that he had moved to Kazan; then back to Berezniki.  Next, he went southwest to Ryazan, on the shores of the Oka River, where the trail went cold.
   Most of the agents in the Rod of Iron team responsible for the earlier killings were exhausted by the end of 1919, and Bylinkin, the senior White agent in charge of the assassination team, promptly and hastily began to assemble a new squad of agents in order to locate Yurovsky and kill him.
   At least fifteen White agents were picked out for Yurovsky’s assassination: Bylinkin as team leader, two to carry out the killing, two to provide cover, two agents specializing in logistics, a communications expert, and seven more to fill in where required.  Bylinkin travelled under a passport as Filipp Andreevich Chmykhov.  His deputy Yaroslav Mikhailov posed as Anton Vedeneyev, a schoolteacher from Nizhny Novgorod.
   Bylinkin also brought in Ruslana Havrysh, a beautiful Ukrainian woman recruited by the intelligence section while working as a laundress for the Volunteer Army.  She had already crisscrossed Russia on missions for the Whites, carrying a fake passport and pretending to be a Latvian writer called Kaiva Strautmane.  Other agents involved included “Pavel Shulgin,” “Angelina Lyalyushkina,” “Stanislav Anosov,” “Danila Putilov,” and a stunning auburn-haired female agent known as “Rakhila.”
   Andrei Churkin, a twenty-five-year-old blond, was also recruited.  Churkin grew up in Vladimir Guberniya.  He was supposed to help the team of assassins pick their way around the region and smooth over any problems the Whites had in adapting.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #137 on: May 19, 2018, 05:53:14 AM »
In his first major Intelligence Section assignment, a thirty-six-year-old Estonian called Heigo Viiding was recruited to help, and Bylinkin also recruited Prokhor Naumov, twenty-seven, as the communications specialist.
   Of the two killers, one was tall, blond, and travelled on a false passport identifying him as Yefim Karaulov from Astrakhan.
   On December 30, 1919, the Intelligence Section also approached Vahagn Ispiryan, a thirty-six-year-old Armenian working as a quartermaster for the Volunteer Army.
   The Armenian arrived in Vologda with two other Intelligence Section agents on January 4 and rented a large apartment for six months, which was to be used as a safe house for the operation.  He also had fifteen keys cut for the apartment and arranged delivery of six sets of sheets and bedcovers.
   At this point the Whites were no closer to locating their target.  It was not until January 5 that Bylinkin and his unit received a tip that Yurovsky was living in Vladimir Guberniya.  He was about to receive a visit from a mysterious young Latvian living in Moscow, who had taken a train towards the east on short notice.  The Intelligence Section suspected the man, Gatis Dreimanis, of serving as an emissary for VTsIK, the Soviet Central Executive Committee.  Dreimanis, twenty-eight, a dark, handsome Latvian, had left Moscow for a meeting with the administrative job candidate, Yakov Yurovsky.  A new government department was being created to replace the People’s Commissariat for State Control.  According to Intelligence Section estimates, Yurovsky was being considered for a top role in the new department, and VTsIK was sending Dreimanis to meet with him to inform him of his appointment and deliver some official papers.  The Intelligence Section immediately began hunting for Dreimanis in the hope he would lead them to their target, eventually tracing him to Vladimir.  Then he disappeared.
   With what they thought was the initial link to Yurovsky uncovered, the rest of the White team made preparations to leave for Vladimir Guberniya.  Their mission was to locate the two men who were set to rendezvous— Dreimanis and Yurovsky.  The team arrived in Vladimir by various routes, and under a variety of cover names and identities.  On January 9, after an exhaustive four-day hunt, the trackers learned that Dreimanis had already left Vladimir for the small town of Gus-Khrustalny, which nestles along the shore of the Gus River, eight milyas to the south.  It was a strange destination for a man the Whites suspected of delivering important information and documents to a senior Bolshevik.  There could be only one conclusion: Dreimanis was in Gus-Khrustalny to meet Yakov Yurovsky. 
   The ten members of the O squad, led by Yaroslav Mikhailov, hired sleighs and followed him as he drove down to Gus-Khrustalny.  Despite the unforeseen location, the Intelligence Section’s estimate remained the same: Dreimanis and Yurovsky would still meet, most likely in Gus-Khrustalny.  They found Dreimanis staying at the small Meshchyora Hotel.  Posing as traveling peddlers, two of the White agents even managed to sit next to Dreimanis in the lobby as he idly read a newspaper.
   White intelligence gathering was incessant and earnest, but the intelligence itself was often of medium to poor quality and incomplete.  Low-level sources supplied secondhand information.  The Perekrestok division, charged with running agents, was still struggling to gain adequate intelligence.  Numerous case officers, scattered throughout Russia, invested endless hours recruiting quality sources. Despite their hard work and complete motivation, Perekrestok was not getting enough reliable information from its agents.  It received virtually no solid intelligence about planned Red Army moves and far too little information of the sort that could help in the planning of assassination operations.
   For twenty-four hours, the Intelligence Section team could find no trace of Yurovsky in Gus-Khrustalny.  Surveillance crews in four sleighs circled the city, searching the streets, canteens, and hotel lobbies, to no avail.  On Sunday afternoon, January 11, Dreimanis, who was being trailed at all times, sat in the tiny Restaurant Roman, near the hospital.  Two Jewish-looking men approached him and sat down at his table. The three talked intently for about an hour. To a member of the O squad, one of the men looked like Yakov Yurovsky.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #138 on: Yesterday at 10:53:23 PM »
Bylinkin and Yaroslav Mikhailov were jubilant. “We got him!”  Churkin strolled inside to get a closer look, have some tea, and compare the man in the restaurant with an out-of-focus photo of “the dark man” he was carrying in his pocket.  He was not convinced that the Jew was Yurovsky, but one of his senior colleagues was certain.  The fact that the suspect left the restaurant a short while later and rode off on a bicycle did not apparently shake the agent’s belief that the man was their target.  The surveillance crews zeroed in.
   Dreimanis, his work apparently done, left Gus-Khrustalny on the 1519 hours train and returned to Vladimir, and the Whites switched their attention to the Jew with the bicycle.  By the next day, Bylinkin and Mikhailov were increasingly certain of the Chekist’s identity.  As they set about sculpting an operational plan for his assassination, the man went for a sweat in the local banya.  Churkin was sent inside while the surveillance crews waited outside.
   Yakov Yurovsky was a central target for intelligence collection; any agent working for the Intelligence Section was asked and pressured for information about the elusive Chekist.  But despite his high profile, operative intelligence regarding Yurovsky was scant, incomplete, secondhand, and in many cases arrived only after the fact: “Yurovsky was here…” or “Yurovsky visited there…” were phrases Intelligence Section case officers heard all too often. The decision to crown the man in the restaurant as Yakov Yurovsky was made on the basis of very slim intelligence. The available information was certainly insufficient to authorize an assassination. But all this can only be said in retrospect. At the time, the field operatives were certain that Yakov Yurovsky had met with Gatis Dreimanis at the Restaurant Roman.  They had tracked the mysterious Dreimanis from Moscow to the remote town of Gus-Khrustalny.  The same man who met with Dreimanis spoke German at his next meeting in the banya—a language the Intelligence Section believed Yurovsky spoke well.  This was the deciding factor for the Whites.  They knew the dark man was multilingual: the man had to be Yurovsky.  And when the man in Gus-Khrustalny was matched up with another picture of Yurovsky, the final piece of the puzzle snapped into place: the images bore a remarkable resemblance.
   Half of the team immediately converged on the banya, and when the Jew left after his sweat the O squad followed him as he entered a store.  At noon, he exited the shop accompanied by a young Russian-looking woman. She had light blond hair and was clearly pregnant.  The two got on a tram, a surveillance sleigh following.  The couple got off at the tram stop in a residential neighborhood in the western part of town, and stepped into one of the new apartment buildings at Ryazanskaya Ulitsa, 10.  The commander of the mission, Yaroslav Mikhailov, instructed his team to station four sleighs and five surveillance posts around the building, to cover all exit and entry points.  Mikhailov did not intend to let the prey escape this time.  The O squad was told to stay alert and to blend in with their surroundings.
   Some members of the White team apparently found it hard to believe that the Jew who left the Restaurant Roman on a bicycle was their target and continued surveillance of Dreimanis.  However, he booked himself into the Hotel Vladimir in Vladimir, talked to the staff about how he was soon leaving for Moscow, and left for the capital the next day.  Once Dreimanis had left the guberniya, Bylinkin and his team became convinced the bicycling Jew was their target. The entire team converged on Gus-Khrustalny.
   Meanwhile, the A squad— “Yefim Karaulov,” “Kondraty Kazantsev,” and “Valeriy Arzamastsev” — arrived separately at the Barinov Grove hotel outside of town.  The assassins waited for a message from Bylinkin.  An hour later Colonel Ryasnyansky, the head of the Intelligence Section, also arrived in the region on a fake passport, undercover, to monitor the operation; he checked into the Flyad Hotel south of Gus-Khrustalny with a bodyguard.  Mother Russia would soon have its revenge on the man who murdered the czar.
   Working in shifts, the White agents had kept up twenty-four hour surveillance of Yurovsky at his home in Gus-Khrustalny.  In the evening hours of January 12, 1920, they watched as he and his pregnant partner left the apartment for the local cinema.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein