Former KGB Chief “Kills Himself”
The wonderfully wry British media strikes again with the BBC headline “Soviet ex-KGB chief Leonid Shebarshin ‘kills himself’”
A former head of the Soviet KGB foreign intelligence branch, Leonid Shebarshin, has apparently shot himself dead aged 77, Russian prosecutors and police say.
Shebarshin was found dead with a gunshot wound at his flat in central Moscow, a ceremonial pistol by his side, police told news agencies.
A suicide note was reportedly also found at the scene.
A veteran of Soviet intelligence in South Asia and Iran, he led the KGB’s First Chief Directorate from 1989-91.
In 1991, he replaced coup plotter Vladimir Kryuchkov for two days as overall head of the KGB before he resigned himself, as the new post-Communist authorities set about dismantling the organisation.
Not a single word in the story casts doubt on the official story. But the scare quotes in the headline sends the signal that more than a wee bit of skepticism is warranted. Well played.