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The downing of Korean Air Flight 007 demonstrates the level of stupidity and paranoia the Cold War reached. More astounding is this was the second passenger jet the Soviet Union shot down.
The first instance was in 1978 when Korean Air flight 902 was on route from Paris to Seoul with a stop over in Anchorage. This flight took the plane over the North Pole and due to the navigation technology they had at the time and how compasses function when flying over the top of the Earth, the pilots ended up off course. Instead of flying towards Seoul, they ended up flying toward Murmansk in the Soviet Union.
The jet was discovered on radar, the Soviets sent a Sukhoi Su-15 fighter to intercept the airliner. The airliner did not respond to warnings, and the fighter pilot, Alexander Bosov, seeing the plane was clearly marked as a Korean Airlines jet, tried to convince his superiors on the ground the craft he was looking at was a passenger plane. They ordered him to shoot it down. Bosov launched two R-60 short-range air-to-air missiles. One missed, the other hit the left wing and punctured the fuselage. One Korean passenger was killed and others were injured. KAL 902 was forced to land in a frozen lake in Korelia close to the Finnish border. In the aftermath, there were 2 deaths and 107 survivors of the incident, but the Soviets refused to cooperate with the international investigation as to why exactly the plane flew so far off course. Those 107 survivors on Flight 902 were lucky, unlike those on Flight 007. Victims of a titanic conflict between East and West.
We’re going to talk about events mostly during Brezhnev’s leadership of the USSR, a period that’s often dubbed the Era of Stagnation: lackluster economic growth and a feeling of no purpose. I heard a Russian youtuber describe this period as an existence within the movie GroundHog Day -- nothing changes. But the Soviet Union maintained their military might in terms of funding, technology, and firepower. In the game of superpowers, you couldn’t let your guard down. And the KGB was right there on the espionage front.
The Russian Secret Police by Ronald Hingley
Brezhnev: The Making of a Statesman by Susanne Schattenberg
Cold War Conversations podcast - Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev - aspiring actor and poetry fan (209)
The Hated and the Dead podcast - EP38: Leonid Brezhnev
History of Modern Russia: From Tsarism to the Twenty-first Century (3 ed.) by Robert Service (2009).
The Life and Times of Soviet Socialism by Alex Dowlah and John Elliott.1997
The Soviet-Vietnamese Intelligence Relationship during the Vietnam War: Cooperation and Conflict By Merle L. Pribbenow II, December 2014
Vietnam Admits K.G.B. Interrogated American. Barbara Crossette. 1992. New York Times.
Drug Games. The International Olympic Committee and the Politics of Doping, 1960–2008 by Thomas M. Hunt. 2011
Feature History - Soviet-Afghan War. Feature History. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDQLHFBp4aM&ab_channel=FeatureHistory
KGB Spy Gadgets: The Ultimate Secret Cameras & Espionage Tools. Spyscape. Date unknown.
The KGB (Russian Secret Police): Its composition, aims and methods by Lt Cdr H.G. Graser. South African Journal of Military Studies. 1984.
Cold War Mystery – The Umbrella Assassin. Element 18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsVRYhLLPCM&ab_channel=Element18
Gennadiy Nikolayevich Osipovich. This Day in Aviation. Bryan R. Swopes. 2018. https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/gennadiy-nikolayevich-osipovich/
Scorching Action by Jon Presstone
Cinematic Ambient Orchestral Drama Trailer by MEDIA MUSIC GROUP
Dramatic Investigation by Jon Presstone
Gnossienne No. 1 by Erik Satie
Kalahari Wind by Humans Win
Terrifying Journey (Extra Dire) by The Turquoise Moon
Scary Ambient Tension & Suspense Ghost With Pounding Impacts Trailer by MEDIA MUSIC GROUP
Sneaky Snitch by Kevin MacLeod
Select clip(s) from South Park