ASSAULT ON THE 14th OF
AUGUST 1981 IN VIENNA, VA.
The assassin made his assault on me around two o’clock p.m. on the hot and humid afternoon of the 14th of August 1981 during daylight hours at a foods grocery store near where I lived in Vienna, Virginia.
Robert, my eight-year-old son and a friend of mine named Marina, a White Russian beauty and her husband Nikki, a son of a famous Tsar’s ballet master Rosanoff, came for a visit. I lived at Westbriar Court in Vienna, in a rental home.
It was a big house, split-level with more than plenty of room for me, my little son and a big Boxer dog named Dux. We sat for a while, had a cup of coffee and then we decided to go shopping together.
I was short of milk, bread, fruits and dog food, and Nikki thought it would be good to do the shopping together.
I liked the idea, perhaps because the presence of a beautiful woman was a part of it. We both; Robert and I were missing a presence of a woman and my wife was hiding somewhere in Chicago, leaving us both to ourselves.
I could not blame her; we lived in a true and real danger and could hardly say who our foe is – The KGB or the CIA.
Nicky wife, Marina was a tall, slim Slavic beauty. She was smart, intelligent and quite brave. She was involved in Russia for Freedom coalition and Nicky’s National Lyric Opera Company, which was struggling to stay afloat.
I met Marina at the Russia for Freedom conference in the Senate Dirksen Office Building. I was asked to address the gathering and I talked about necessity to fight for freedom.
The Soviet Embassy worked diligently to infiltrate the conference, but a few of their agents were spotted and simply kicked out of the room, accompanied by applause from the Russian émigrés.
Marina and I have developed great friendship and visited each other frequently. Quite often, we shopped together and sometimes at Marina home, I delighted myself with piroshki, small Russian meat pies cooked to perfection by Olga Pyetrovna, Marina’s mother.
This afternoon the usual shopping would be different and forever change all our lives.
Nicky’s old Pinto was too small for all of us, so we have decided to pull my station wagon out of the garage.
I started the car and slowly drove towards Vienna Shopping Mall. Right after I have turned into The Old Courthouse Road I saw in my reverse mirror a blue car, one of the newer Chevy models. The car stayed about fifty feet behind us and followed us all the way to the shopping mall parking lot. I found a spot to park and looked around. The blue car was gone and I thought it might have been the FBI checking on me and providing security.
We all have entered the Giant food store and started shopping.
As I was searching the shelves for the assortment of items I had written on a weekend grocery list, I noticed a tall, light brown haired, well-groomed man.
He consistently kept a little distance away from me. I first spotted him through my peripheral view standing still, looking at me.
He was wearing a navy blue waistcoat of sporty design and beige-colored pants.
After he continued to look in my direction, I decided it might be wise to get a good look at this mysterious stranger. Although everyone else in the store had on shorts and sleeveless shirts, because of the extremely hot and humid weather, this man had on a waistcoat and very heavy, double stitched brown leather shoes. In addition, I recall thinking to myself that the man’s shoes were of a design not commonly available here in the United States.
He must be the FBI. – I decided.
When I finally tired of this invasion of my privacy by the young man, I non-verbally confronted him by looking this fellow squarely in the eyes as if to say, – What are you looking at friend?
The man silently answered my glaring look by sizing me up in a way a Prussian officer might stare down his enemy looking for some sign of weakness like an Achilles heal that might assure victory in battle.
At that time, my mind was far from perceiving any threat from this intrusive character.
I thought it likely that this man might be an undercover police detective, or FBI agent, assigned to keep an eye on me.
Since I have engaged in espionage activities against the Soviet KGB Spy Network in Europe, I consider myself in constant danger, yes, even on safe United States soil.
Thank heavens they are looking after me, – I thought to myself, as this authoritative-looking man lurked around the store pretending to be browsing, but never picking anything out to buy.
Unknown to me at that time, the man was stalking me and waiting for the perfect opportunity to fire a lethal pellet from a noiseless highly concentrated air pellet gun that was hidden beneath his waistcoat.
After I completed the process of selecting the food items on my list, I decided as an afterthought to stock up on some summer fruit that was being attractively advertised as fresh and on sale to buy.
I went to the fruit stands and began to sort through a large stack of Florida oranges.
Then, I reached up and pulled a plastic bag from the rolls mounted above the fruit and produce sections. Just as I was trying to pry an opening in the tightly laminated plastic bags to insert my oranges, I felt what seemed to be sting by a bee or a large insect, in the lower right hand side of my back (just above the hip bone) in the area of my kidney.
Later I found out it was a miniscule pellet, but then I thought it could be a bee sting.
The area of my back that had been penetrated hurt very much initially.
As I say, I was ignorant of the fact that I was attacked at that time.
I reacted to the sharp, sudden pain by slapping at the area of my back that burned. I turned to my friend Marina who was shopping nearby and said, Marina, the damn thing bit me.
When I reached under my short-sleeve shirt to check my skin for some evidence of a bee or insect bite (like a stinger or something), I found only a small drop of blood emerging from a wound no larger than a pinprick.
The low-level sensation of pain annoyed me, but I resigned myself to my misfortune and set about waiting in the long lines of last minute grocery shoppers at the front of the Giant store. Since I had no medical history of allergic reaction to either bee stings or insect bites, there was no reason for me to worry.
I did not tell the manager because there was no sign of a bee around the stack of oranges; there seemed to be no danger to other patrons in the store.
It was not until suppertime on the evening of 14 August that the real symptoms of the toxic poisoning began to take hold. As I sat, (totally relaxed on my easy chair,) and watched a program on the television set, my vision began to blur. I started to feel progressively weak and faint, as if my blood was being drained from my arms and legs. My son Robert was playing nearby my chair when he first noticed the funny expression that came over my face as I began to feel sick.
Robert stood before me by the side of my chair and said, -Dad, you have red blotches forming on your cheeks, throat and arms. Since I was the only person of authority in the house, I did not want to panic by telling him how sick I felt at that moment.
I said to my son, Robert I think I am going to be a little sick; I am going to go upstairs and lie down for a while.
I could not understand why I felt this way so suddenly or why I was having so much trouble keeping my balance as I mounted the five stairs to my second floor bedroom. I collapsed on the bed like a ton of bricks.
I could not believe that my energy had been so sapped by the short distance I had walked from the living room. I knew then I was going to be in for more than just a moment, but again, I did not want to panic the Robert too much.
I called downstairs to Robert to have him fetch me the thermometer from the bathroom.
Four or five minutes later I discovered to my surprise that I had a body temperature of 42 (C), or 106 (F).
My temperature alternated between high fever and below normal readings for the next five hours or so. Throughout this time, though my temperature was extremely high at times I felt consistently cold as if I were going to freeze to death.
My heart was the first vital organ to be effected by the toxins that swept through and ate away at my body. Several periods of prolonged heart palpitations, and chest muscle spasms lead me to believe I might be suffering from advanced angina or the opening phases of a heart attack. My speech became almost inarticulate as the evening progressed.
I could hardly see Robert as he fretted over my worsening physical condition. My son became increasingly stressed as he scrambled from room to room, checking beds and storage closets for any extra blankets to cover my shivering body. Using his imagination to help me out from the grips of the fever, Robert eventually started heaping winter coats and a sheepskin rug over me to maintain a stable body temperature. I can remember him staring at me in utter disbelief as continued to shiver loudly in spite of all of his efforts to warm me up.
Luckily, before I lost my conscious state and slipped into a delirious stupor, I managed somehow to make Robert understand that I wanted him to find the heart medicine that had been left behind by my elderly mother (who suffers from a heart ailment) in the course of her stay with us a month before.
Although I avoid taking other people’s prescriptions as a rule, my mother’s pills were the strongest medicine available at the time and I could not wait for a doctor.
I was having considerable difficulty staying conscious, breathing, seeing and speaking. It was a blessing that there was heart medicine in the house at the time I needed it so badly.
Robert apparently searched and searched the bathroom cabinets for heart medicine, but was finally unable to find it anywhere and eventually decided to place an urgent call to Marina to see if she knew where the missing medicine could be found.
Dad needs heart medicine very fast Marina and I think he is dying, – Marina recalled Robert saying in a nervous tone when she answered the telephone.
She was concerned by Robert’s panicked request and asked to speak with me first. Robert said, No Marina, he can’t come to the phone, I am telling you, he is too sick for that.
Marina rushed over by cab and found me very pale and close to death just a few hours after we had parted company after the food from the grocery store was put away.
Since I insisted that the worst of the symptoms had passed, (they had not), and I stubbornly refused to allow Marina to take me to Arlington Hospital until the next day. Marina spent the entire night treating my fever.
The next day Marina brought me to the emergency room of Arlington Hospital where I suffered another attacks of high fever.
I was prescribed an antibiotic to combat possible infection. My stomach and intestines felt as if they were being slashed open by a sharp knife. At my own request, they released me and after a day of vomiting and urinating a dark-colored blood, I was taken back to the hospital. The foul smelling blood made me think I had a more serious illness like cancer.
I was given more and more tests by increasingly baffled doctors.
My white cell count was extremely high, but there was no sign of an infection as the doctors had first diagnosed.
Marina consulted a local internal medicine specialist by telephone, but I failed to keep an appointment because of relapses of the high fevers that left me powerless and exhausted.
The answer to the riddle of my perplexing and nearly fatal illness came almost a week after the sting incident in the grocery store.
I opened my eyes early one morning, and winced with excruciating pain in my lower digestive tract. By this time, the horrible high fevers had subsided a little and I had regained some of my strength again. However, my ability to diminish this agonizing pain by pressing down on my abdomen for relief did not last long. Before long, I started to writhe in pain on my bed.
Out of concern that I might be about to pass a gallstone, I vent to the bathroom and grabbed some toilet paper to try to filter out whatever was about to pass out of my urinary system.
I thought by saving the material that I passed that morning; I might get a clue to the illness that was devastating my body.
The object that passed out was not a stone in any sense of the word.
Instead, the toilet paper contained a small blood clot with harden layers of blood on the outside aria soft, pink cell tissue within.
The entire clot was not more than one millimeter around. At the very center or core of the clot, I found a man-made object. I squeezed the blood clot between my thumb and forefinger and there emerged a tiny silver-colored metallic pellet with four minuscule openings criss-crossing through the sphere vertically and horizontally. Since I am a professional specialist in high-technology electronic components, I knew that there were very a few places where a pellet such as the one I was looking at, could be produced. The Soviet Union’s KGB and American CIA were the most likely candidates.
I have no idea how I managed to survive the deadly effects of the bio-chemical toxin that was probably inside that pellet.
Perhaps, as was the case in the attack by the KGB on Vladimir Kostov, there was not enough of the lethal agent inserted into the pellet by the Soviets or the CIA.
Maybe not enough toxins leaked out from the pellet into my system. I have since learned that my pellet was made of the same platinum-iridium alloy as the pellets removed from Georgi Markov and Vladimir Kostov. I was surprised to hear this fact because my blood definitely agglutinated around the pellet and the urinary track forced it out of my system, despite the fact that the metal alloy used in constructing the pellet was selected because it is not supposed I to be rejected by the human body.
I knew that the toxin that was probably employed in this attack was so deadly that only one microgram (a thousandth of a gram), was needed to kill a man.
Although I miraculously survived the murder attempt this time, I feared that the KGB or the CIA may try to strike at me again.
After a year and a half, I have mostly recovered from the effects of the toxin, although doctors kept monitoring my health very closely for signs of any relapse. My pellet was extensively photographed here by the Press since the US Government refused to investigate for whatever murky reasons and tried to spike the story.
I decided to send the pellet to London’s Scotland Yard for further testing by anti-terrorist division experts in the field of bio-chemical warfare.
The pellet mysteriously disappeared and only an empty package with an indent in a shape of the pellet reached the Scotland Yard.
Khokhlov believed; with such a weapon as a bio-chemical pellet, the KGB or the CIA can whisper in the ear of oponents everywhere, we can get you at any time we want…we can kill you and nobody will ever find out who did it.
Was it the KGB or was it the CIA?
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