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Eugene Ivanov

Eugene Ivanov


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Eugene Ivanov was born in the Soviet Union on 11th January 1926. The son of a Russian Army officer, he joined the Soviet Navy in 1944. According to Philip Knightley: Ivanov... An intelligent man, he had been marked early as leader material and had been given special intelligence training by the GRU, the Soviet military intelligence service."

Ivanov married Maya, the daughter of Alexander Gorkin, chairman of the Soviet Supreme Court. Ivanov's brother-in-law was head of the GRU at the Soviet Embassy in London.

On 27th March 1960, Ivanov arrived in England as Assistant Naval Attaché at the Soviet Embassy. According to one observer: "He was a keen party-goer, a vigorous singer, ready to perform after a vodka or two. He and Maya were good hosts and good guests, affable, friendly, and both capable of sustained, intelligent conversation."

Philip Knightley points out in An Affair of State (1987) that: "The British security services also noted Ivanov's arrival with interest. He had not come to the MI5's notice before, but no one in its D-Branch (counter-espionage) or in the London Station of MI6

On 21st January 1961, Colin Coote invited Stephen Ward to have lunch with Ivanov. The two men became friends and used to play bridge at the Connaught Club. Ward later introduced Ivanov to Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies.

Keeler described how Ivanov upset Stephen Ward when he arrived at the Cliveden Estate unannounced. "Stephen was furious with him: he looked so out of place. With his dark suit, he looked like a caricature of a Russian spook, a Soviet spy.... He wanted to buttonhole Stephen but Stephen wasn't having any of it. I saw then so clearly who was the boss. Stephen ordered Eugene to go - and he went. Quickly."

Mandy Rice-Davies was very impressed with Ivanov. In her autobiography, Mandy (1980) she admits that: "Eugene was one of the most charming people I have ever met. Very, very handsome in a James Bond sort of way, very easy to talk to, warm, humorous, generous too... With Eugene, Stephen's usually flippant personality took on a more serious note, and they would discuss important political concepts in great depth. The effect was contagious, I would join in these intense discussions with enthusiasm."

On 8th June 1961, Stephen Ward and Keith Wagstaffe of MI5 went out to dinner before going back to the Wimpole Mews flat. Christine Keeler made the two men coffee: "Stephen was on the couch and Wagstaffe sat on the sofa chair. He wanted to know about Stephen's friendship with Eugene. We knew that MI5 were monitoring embassy personnel so this was quite a normal interview in the circumstances." Wagstaffe asked Ward: "He's never asked you to put him in touch with anyone you know? Or for information of any kind." Ward replied: "No, he hasn't. But if he did, naturally I would get in touch with you straight away. If there's anything I can do I'd be only too pleased to."

MI5 saw Ivanov as a potential defector and asked Ward to try and convince him to become a double-agent. Keith Wagstaffe reported back to MI5: "Ward asked me if it was all right for him to continue to see Ivanov. I replied that there was no reason why he should not. He then said if there was any way in which he could help he would be very ready to do so. I thanked him for his offer and asked him to get in touch with me should Ivanov at any time in the future make any propositions to him... Ward was completely open about his association with Ivanov... I do not think that he (Ward) is of security interest."

On 8th July 1961 Ivanov was at the party where Christine Keeler met John Profumo, the Minister of War, at Cliveden. Profumo kept in contact with Keeler and they eventually began an affair. According to Keeler, Stephen Ward, acting for Ivanov, wanted her to get information from Profumo: "Their (Ward and Hollis) plan was simple. I was to find out, through pillow talk, from Jack Profumo when nuclear warheads were being moved to Germany."

Christine Keeler later claimed that she slept with Ivanov on 8th July 1961. "We drank and talked more about his country. He bragged about the size of Russia, how much had been achieved by the Party, how loyal its people were. We drank glasses of vodka and he got annoyed because I kept putting tonic in mine. Then he started kissing me. He wasn't very enthusiastic at first but it was clear what he wanted to do and he got carried away. I could feel him get more excited. He thrust me to the floor. He took his time. He wanted good, old-fashioned sex without any fuss or trimmings. He was a Soviet warrior. He did what Stephen had ordered him to do. And he was pretty good at it. I had just had sex with a Soviet spy, a man from Moscow."

However, a close friend of Stephen Ward, the barrister John Zieger points out, Christine Keeler was open about her sex life and if she had slept with Ivanov she would have said so at the time. In fact, she said she had not slept with him. "Two or three weekends later she was gossiping about it. She said Ivanov had been drunk and she was amused by his wavering along the line of being a Russian married man and amorous at the same time. And she said he went off. It was only 18 months later when people were pursuing her and she had a story to sell, and it was only a good story if Ivanov and Profumo were sharing a mistress, that Christine decided she had slept with Ivanov. I don't believe she ever did."

Christine Keeler was also having a relationship with John Edgecombe. On 14th December 1962, Edgecombe, fired a gun at Stephen Ward's Wimpole Mews flat, where Keeler had been visiting with Mandy Rice-Davies. Keeler and Rice-Davies were interviewed by the police about the incident. According to Rice-Davies, as they left the police station, Keeler was approached by a reporter from the Daily Mirror. "He told her his paper knew 'the lot'. They were interested in buying the letters Profumo had written her. He offered her £2,000."

Two days after the shooting Christine Keeler contacted Michael Eddowes for legal advice about the Edgecombe case. During this meeting she told Eddowes: "Stephen (Ward) asked me to ask Jack Profumo what date the Germans were to get the bomb." However, she later claimed that she knew Ward was joking when he said this. Eddowes then asked Ward about this matter. Keeler later recalled: "Stephen fed him the line he had prepared with Roger Hollis for such an eventuality: it was Eugene (Ivanov) who had asked me to find out about the bomb."

Michael Eddowes then went to see Stephen Ward about what Christine Keeler had told him. Ward insisted it was Eugene Ivanov who had asked Keeler to find out information about the delivery of nuclear warheads to Germany from John Profumo. On 29th March, 1963, Michael Eddowes called Special Branch with this information.

On 21st March, George Wigg asked the Home Secretary in a debate on the John Vassall affair in the House of Commons, to deny rumours relating to Christine Keeler and the John Edgecombe case. Richard Crossman then commented that Paris Match magazine intended to publish a full account of Keeler's relationship with John Profumo, the Minister of War, in the government. Barbara Castle also asked questions if Keeler's disappearance had anything to do with Profumo.

The following day Profumo made a statement attacking the Labour Party MPs for making allegations about him under the protection of Parliamentary privilege, and after admitting that he knew Keeler he stated: "I have no connection with her disappearance. I have no idea where she is." He added that there was "no impropriety in their relationship" and that he would not hesitate to issue writs if anything to the contrary was written in the newspapers.

As a result of this statement the newspapers decided not to print anything about John Profumo and Christine Keeler for fear of being sued for libel. However, George Wigg refused to let the matter drop and on 25th May, 1963, once again raised the issue of Keeler, saying this was not an attack on Profumo's private life but a matter of national security.

On 5th June, John Profumo resigned as War Minister. His statement said that he had lied to the House of Commons about his relationship with Christine Keeler. The next day the Daily Mirror said: "What the hell is going on in this country? All power corrupts and the Tories have been in power for nearly twelve years."

Keeler met Earl Felton, a CIA agent, at a New Year party. According to Mandy Rice-Davies, Fenton was a screen-writer who introduced her to Robert Mitchum. The following month Fenton contacted Keeler. According to her account: "Stephen had been telling him lies, feeding him false information and indicating that I was spying for the Russians because of my love for Eugene. The message was to leave the country, say nothing about anything I might have seen or heard."

Eugene Ivanov was recalled to Moscow as soon as the story about Christine Keeler appeared in the newspapers. The journalist Brian Freemantle, who writes on intelligence matters, told Anthony Summers: "In no way did Ivanov return to the Soviet Union under any odium. He may have failed to obtain any military secrets from his shared liaison with Christine Keeler, but his other success was enormous - causing a huge embarrassment to a British Conservative Government and the downfall of a War Minister. His rewards would have been considerable. It has been suggested to me that he was re-posted under another name, to Tokyo."

Mandy Rice-Davies argued in her book, Mandy (1980) that she was told by a CIA agent in Israel in 1977 that they took Ivanov to the United States in 1963: "We couldn't let him go. We didn't know what he had, and what he didn't have, and we didn't want to take any chances. Let's say he was an involuntary defector."

Ivanov reappeared in Moscow in the late 1980s. It was claimed that he had been awarded the Order of Lenin for his work with the GRU in England in 1963. The Daily Express arranged for Ivanov to meet Christine Keeler. She later wrote: "He admitted to me that he had felt guilty about sleeping with me and betraying his wife... When his wife heard about him sleeping with me she left him in an instant and he never remarried."

Eugene Ivanov died on 17th January, 1994.

She (Christine Keeler) was strongly attracted to a daily visitor at Wimpole Mews and Stephen's closest friend at that time, Eugene lvanov, second naval attache at the Russian Embassy. And hardly surprisingly, for Eugene was one of the most charming people I have ever met. Very, very handsome in a James Bond sort of way, very easy to talk to, warm, humorous, generous too - his frequent gifts of vodka and caviar always presented with a little joke about "the luxuries you capitalists appreciate."

With Eugene, Stephen's usually flippant personality took on a more serious note, and they would discuss important political concepts in great depth. The effect was contagious, I would join in these intense discussions with enthusiasm. I really became interested in Russia and very curious about communism when I met Eugene.

Then there was a double wrestling match. Each man took a girl on his shoulders and tried to tip opposing couples into the water. The winner was the girl who was not unseated. Needless to say, Christine and Profumo were a team. This time there were photographs. Some show Profumo, Christine, Ward and other guests. Some were captioned by Profumo himself: "The new Cliveden set" but they were later stolen from Ward's flat. One of the surviving pictures shows Ward, slim and smiling, handsome behind his sun-glasses, with Christine in a one-piece black swimsuit leaning on his shoulder. Resting her head on his thigh is a brunette, Sally Norie, and sitting by his feet is a blonde, both women later to figure in Ward's trial as prosecution witnesses.

Late in the afternoon Ward took Ivanov aside and asked him to drive Christine back to London. He said he had an hour or so's work to do on Bill Astor's back but he encouraged Ivanov to wait for him at Ward's flat so that later that evening they could play bridge. Ivanov agreed, but Ward never kept the appointment. What happened at the flat is unclear. Christine said later that Ivanov took a bottle of vodka from the boot of his car; they drank it and when it became obvious that Ward was not coming to play bridge, they went to bed together. But, as we will see, Christine was encouraged by newspapers to say that she had slept with Ivanov whether she had or not. Ivanov's version was that he got very drunk on vodka while waiting for Ward and when it became late he decided to leave. He said he was so drunk he could hardly find his way home.

Christine's story must be treated with great scepticism. As the barrister John Zieger points out, Christine was quite frank about her sex life and if she had slept with Ivanov she would have said so at the time. On the contrary, at the time she actually said she had not slept with him. "Two or three weekends later she was gossiping about it," Zieger remembers. "She said Ivanov had been drunk and she was amused by his wavering along the line of being a Russian married man and amorous at the same time. I don't believe she ever did."

What is more important was Ward's motive in deliberately throwing Christine and Ivanov together. If he really had to treat Astor, what was to prevent Ivanov and Keeler from waiting for him at the cottage? Then they could all have driven back to London together. If he was baiting the "honey-trap" for Ivanov then it was a strange way of going about it, since Ivanov was smart enough to see what was happening, having been trained to recognise such risky situations and having learnt to avoid being compromised. (Would a Soviet GRU officer really have intercourse with a girl steered his way in the flat of a man he knows is in contact with the British security services? Any intelligence officer, Soviet or Western, would automatically assume in such circumstances that he would be photographed and blackmailed.)

What is not speculation is that first thing on Monday morning Ward telephoned his case officer, Woods, and went to see him. He gave him several significant pieces of information: that he had pushed Keeler in Ivanov's direction; that Ivanov and Profumo had met at Cliveden; that Profumo had shown interest in Christine (Profumo had asked Ward for her telephone number); and that Ivanov had asked him when the United States was going to arm Germany with atomic weapons. This flood of information was almost too much for Woods to handle. The routine entrapment operation was becoming complicated.

Woods was not concerned about Ivanov's interest in Germany and atomic weapons - that was to be expected of a serving GRU officer. But Profumo's interest in Keeler could interfere with the honey-trap. The aim was to catch a Russian in an indiscretion, not a British Cabinet Minister. Woods decided he was out of his depth. This was a matter for his Director-General, Sir Roger Hollis.

We drank and talked more about his country. And he was pretty good at it.

I had just had sex with a Soviet spy, a man from Moscow. If anything went wrong from now on I was the wanton woman who had betrayed her country by bedding a spy and selling secrets. I was not that willing a partner and he didn't like it much either but he'd carried out his orders, even if it made him feel a little ashamed of himself.

On 22 January 1963 came the logical outcome of Christine Keeler's contacts with the Sunday Pictorial, the newspaper that had infiltrated Keeler's circle through her friend Nina Gadd. For a down payment of £200 - and the promise of £800 to come - Keeler told, the Pictorial everything. With the deft help of professional, an accurate draft story was assembled. The truth was told better in this first draft than it ever would be when Fleet Street finally broke into print. Speaking of her relations with Profumo and Ivanov, Keeler said: "If that Russian ... had placed a tape-recorder or cine camera or both in some hidden place in my bedroom it would have been very embarrassing for the Minister, to say the least. In fact it would have left him open to the worst possible kind of blackmail - the blackmail of a spy... This Minister had

such knowledge of the military affairs of the Western world that he would be one of the most valuable men in the world for the Russians to have had in their power..."

The article referred to the request that Keeler ask Profumo about nuclear-armed weapons for Germany. Finally, as proof that there really had been an affair, Keeler gave the journalists Profumo's letter of 9 August 1961, addressing her as "Darling". A copy was placed in the safe at the office of the Pictorial. The story was dynamite, but, as is the way with Sunday newspapers, the editors did not rush into print. What with cross-checking, and the need to have Keeler authenticate the final version, nearly three weeks slipped by - time for much skulduggery.

Four days after telling all to the Pictorial, on Saturday 26 January, Keeler had a tiff with Stephen Ward. It happened when Ward, not knowing that Keeler was listening in, had a telephone conversation with Keeler's current flatmate. The Edgecombe shooting incident was proving a nuisance, and he burst out: "I'm absolutely furious with her ... she's ruining my business. I never know what she'll do next, the silly girl..."

Keeler was angry. What she did next was to tell the Profumo story all over again, this time with Ward as the villain of the piece, the man who had made all the introductions. She told the story to the next person who came to the door, who by unhappy chance was an officer in the Metropolitan Police calling to say that Keeler and Rice-Davies would have to appear at John Edgecombe's trial. The detective listened to Keeler, then went back to the office and filed a report. It included all the main elements of the story, along with the allegation that "Dr Ward was a procurer for gentlemen in high places, and was sexually perverted," and the fact that the Pictorial already had the story. The detective's report went to his Inspector, and - given the content - he passed it on to Special Branch, the police unit which liaises with M15.

That same Saturday, Stephen Ward learned from a reporter of the impending story in the Sunday Pictorial. He was the first of the principal male characters to learn of impending disaster. Ward at once demonstrated a loyalty to his friends that none of them would ever show towards him. "I was anxious," he said in his memoir, "to save Profumo and Astor from the consequences..."

Next morning, Monday the 28th, Ward called Lord Astor. The two men met, Astor also took legal advice, then personally took the bad news to the Minister for War. The time was 5.30 p.m.

Profumo's immediate response was remarkable - he urgently contacted the Director-General of M15, Sir Roger Hollis. It was an unusual procedure for a minister of Profumo's rank to call in the head of M15. Yet Hollis was sitting in Profumo's office in just over an hour. Both men, of course, remembered the occasion in 1961 when MI5, through the Cabinet Secretary, asked Profumo to take part in the Honeytrap operation to make Ivanov defect. Now, so far as Hollis could tell, Profumo wanted help in getting a "D Notice" - a Government gag - slapped on the Sunday Pictorial. Hollis failed to oblige.

It was later reported that Eugene was recalled to Russia in January 1963 - I believe he left London in December. Stephen was as mystified as I was. "He's probably been sent back to Moscow," he said to explain the absence of his friend, but he was hurt at not having had the chance to say goodbye.

If Ivanov was a Russian agent, and his masters decided to whisk him away before the Profumo scandal erupted, why not complete the charade and allow him, in the character he portrayed as just a very charming embassy official, to ring his friends and say farewell. Why such a mysterious departure? It was an anomaly that bothered me for many years.

Three years ago I had my answer. I was filming in Israel. I had just announced my engagement to a multi millionaire and been interviewed on the subject. When I was told that two reporters wanted to interview me for Time magazine, it seemed reasonable. However, their choice of hotel, and especially their suite, seemed rather extravagant for journalists' expense accounts.

The spokesman of the two immediately came clean. They were not reporters but private investigators from New York, investigating on behalf of a wealthy client one of those messy domestic wrangles involving paternity claims and so forth. The woman in question, to provide an alibi for a period in her life, had named me as a friend in London at a particular time. I did not recognise her name, or her photographs.

"Sorry, I can't help," I said. "Incidentally, you don't even look like newspaper reporters. You look more like the CIA".

They smiled at this. "Right first time," said the chatty one. "I was with the CIA for twenty-five years. I spent a lot of time in London - I was involved in that George Raft affair at the Colony Club."

"You'll probably remember the Profumo scandal," I said. "What did you make of Eugene Ivanov? What ever happened to him?"

He gave me an odd look. "Don't you know? We took him."

"What do you mean, you took him?"

"We. The CIA. We couldn't let him go. Let's say he was an involuntary defector."


A very British scandal: The tale of Christine Keeler

Christine Keeler was the girl at the heart of the notorious Profumo affair in 1963 which rocked the British establishment, convulsed Westminster and ultimately contributed to the downfall of the beleaguered Tory government the following year.

Christine Keeler was the girl at the heart of the notorious Profumo affair in 1963 which rocked the British establishment, convulsed Westminster and ultimately contributed to the downfall of the beleaguered Tory government the following year.

She was the central and seductive figure in a searing story of sex, intrigue and espionage which led to the shaming of John Profumo, who was forced to quit his job as war secretary, and to leave the British parliament altogether.

It was a scandal which was both seedy and sinister, uncovering a hitherto secret world of sex, horse-play, drinking orgies and spying, in high places, in which Ms Keeler shared her favours with Mr Profumo, and Commander Eugene Ivanov, a Russian intelligence officer and the Soviet assistant naval attache in London.

The security implications &mdash and indeed the security consequences &mdash of a British call-girl sleeping both with the War Secretary and a palpable Soviet spy were breathtaking.

Astonishingly, the patrician prime minister, Harold Macmillan, was initially in disbelief that not only could such things could happen, but worse, that the trusted, brilliant and ambitious John Profumo could have been embroiled in them.

It was only after Mr Profumo was forced to admit that he had lied to the Commons in March 1963 when he

denied any impropriety with Ms Keeler, that Mr Macmillan accepted the full enormity of the scandal.

The Conservatives, already looking careworn, had been in office for nearly 13 years, and this explosion of sleaze and scandal at the top echelons of society was more than enough to help topple them from power.

Christine Margaret Keeler was born in 1942. She left school at the age of 15 and left home, at Wraysbury, Bucks, a few months later. She worked as an office junior, a showroom assistant and a barmaid.

Before she was 16 she was working as a showgirl in a club in Greek Street, in the heart of London&rsquos red-light Soho district. She was said to be earning about &pound8 a week.After 1960, there was no obvious employment in her records, almost certainly because she had become what in those days was euphemistically termed a &lsquomodel&rsquo.

Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan

It was during this period that she found herself launched into the unsavoury world of high-society osteopath Stephen Ward, variously described as an artist and a procurer of women, as well as suspected of being a double-agent.

This marked the beginning of the biggest British political sex scandal of the 20th century.

Christine Keeler was stunning, leggy and red-headed and was soon moving in Mayfair&rsquos smartest but not necessarily the most savoury circles.

Ward, who lived in a Thames-side summer house on Viscount Astor&rsquos famed estate at Cliveden, arranged an unsuccessful screen test for her with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

But he also introduced her, fatefully, to Ivanov and Profumo. Keeler also had a West Indian lover, John Edgecombe, a petty criminal and film extra, whose actions, ironically sparked off the whole Profumo&nbspscandal.

Mr Edgecombe was involved in a shooting incident outside a flat &mdash Stephen Ward&rsquos &mdash in&nbspWimpole&nbspMews,&nbspMarylebone. It was alleged that he fired shots at her, but was acquitted on charges of shooting at her with intent to murder her or cause grievous bodily harm.

But he was convicted of having a firearm with intent to endanger life. He was sentenced to seven years.

However, Ms Keeler, who was due to give evidence at his trial, had gone missing. By now, March 1963, Westminster, and indeed the whole country, was teeming with rumours about Profumo&rsquos presence at wild parties at Cliveden and his association with Keeler.

Questions were asked in the House of Commons about the suspicious and intriguing circumstances surrounding the &ldquomissing witness&rdquo, who had fled to Madrid, where she was actually tracked down by reporters.

Meanwhile, Profumo (below inset) was forced to make a statement to the Commons in March that year, in which he denied any impropriety in his relationship with Keeler and threatened libel writs on those who suggested otherwise.

His statement, which took no more than two minutes to read in a half-empty but rapt House, said: &ldquoI understand that my name has been connected with the rumours about the disappearance of Miss Keeler.&rdquo

Profumo

Indeed, he said, he and his wife, the late actress Valerie&nbspHobson, had met her at&nbspCliveden, and he had

subsequently seen her &ldquoon about six occasions at Mr Ward&rsquos flat&rdquo in London.

&ldquoI last saw Miss Keeler in December 1961, and I have not seen her since. Any suggestion that I was in any way connected with or responsible for her absence from the trial is wholly and completely untrue.

&ldquoThere has been no impropriety between myself and Miss Keeler. I shall not hesitate to issue writs for libel and slander if scandalous statements are made outside this House.&rdquo

His assertion of a platonic friendship with Keeler, which he said had ended in 1961, was accepted, incredibly, by the Cabinet. Downing Street described the matter as closed.

But MPs and newspapers remained sceptical. There were thinly veiled suggestions that Keeler had been packed off to her hiding-place in Madrid to avoid an embarrassing cross-examination at the Edgecombe trial, so as to protect those in high places with whom she had cavorted, and also those who might have been guilty of treachery.

Finally, on June 4, 1963, Profumo resigned after confessing he had lied to the House. It was at the time when Ward was arrested and charged with living on immoral earnings. Ward committed suicide after being found guilty of some of the charges.

But Keeler&rsquos troubles were by no means over. In December 1963, she was jailed for nine months after

admitting perjury and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

This arose from evidence she had given at the trial, the previous June, of Aloysius &ldquoLucky&rdquo Gordon, a

Jamaican jazz singer. In her evidence, she had falsely denied that two other black men were present during an attack on her by Gordon.

Years later, in 1986, Keeler was to revisit Cliveden and the famous swimming pool. She said: &ldquoI was just a 19-year-old girl having a good time. I loved every minute of it. But if I had known then what was going to happen, I&rsquod have run off and not stopped until I had reached my mum.&rdquo

She said Profumo, who was introduced to her at Cliveden, chased her twice round the dining room, before finally stealing a kiss in the library. The following day, at the swimming pool, as the champagne flowed freely, Profumo horsed around with Keeler on his shoulders. It was at this point that Ivanov came into the picture, with the fateful consequences that became history.

Eugene Ivanov

In 2001, Keeler wrote a book in which she claimed that Ward ordered her to sleep with Ivanov and&nbspProfumo in the hope she would pass on secrets. She also claimed that Ward threatened to kill her when he thought she was about to expose his part in the spy network.

She also insisted that Roger Hollis, the former head of MI5, was the mysterious &ldquofifth man&rdquo in the 1960s spy ring that included Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt. And according to her version, Lord Denning, author of the&nbspProfumo report, refused to accept her evidence on the involvement of Ward and Hollis.

&ldquoI went to Lord Denning looking for a way out of the mess I was in and he juggled with my life and, like a conjuror, made the truth vanish.&rdquo

She made considerable sums from her memoirs, but this money was soon spent. Although her name will forever be associated with the Profumo scandal, Keeler disappeared from the scene and for years lived either at Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, or at a dingy flat in Chelsea. She was married twice and had two sons.


1763: John Wilkes’ Parliamentary Ouster

In 1763, a member of Parliament named John Wilkes spread a false rumor that King George III had only appointed John Stuart, earl of Bute, as prime minister because the king’s mother was sleeping with Bute.

“It’s a completely ridiculous accusation, but this was meant to discredit the prime minister,” says Anna K. Clark, a history professor at the University of Minnesota. Wilkes’ false accusation left him open to criticism of his own private life and the next year, his colleagues kicked him out of Parliament over some supposedly pornographic writing he had privately published.

Frederick, Duke of York, and his mistress Mary Anne Clarke.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images


How did Christine Keeler meet John Profumo?

The story goes that on 8th July 1961, a 19-year-old Christine Keeler emerged naked from a swimming pool at Cliveden, the Buckinghamshire mansion, owned by Lord Astor, where she was visiting. It was there during a pool party, also attended by Stephen Ward, that she was spotted by John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War – they were introduced while Keeler attempted to cover herself with a towel.

Profumo, then 46-years-old, was married to his wife Valerie, a former actress, known professionally as Valerie Hobson, who had appeared in a roster of acclaimed films including 1946’s Great Expectations, Bride of Frankenstein, The King and I, and Kind Hearts and Coronets (Keeler herself was impressed that Profumo was married to the famous actress). The Profumos made a glamorous and well-connected couple, and John Profumo seemed to tipped to become the next Prime Minister.

However, just two days after Profumo and a teenage Keeler were introduced at Cliveden, Profumo tracked her down, before meeting her while Valerie was away in his constituency and having, as Keeler would later put it, a “screw of convenience,” thus beginning the affair that would eventually end his political career.

Producer Rebecca Ferguson told RadioTimes.com she believes that there are certain similarities between the Profumo Affair and the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal, which rocked the White House some decades later. “The parallels between Monica and Christine are very, very obvious and other things that are happening right now,” she said. “It’s a very interesting – this series couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Ferguson added: “She’s not a kind of Snow White character, Christine, but she certainly didn’t deserve what the press did to her… She experienced abuse as a kid, and she experienced abuse in relationships, and this – the context of Christine Keeler ‘the myth’ really needed to be unpacked, and I think that’s what a long-form series does as opposed to a film.”


The Ivanov Report

The Olympic Mythology

I can understand why Yevgeny Plyushchenko's silver medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics men's figure skating competition was such a huge disappointment for him and for the whole Russian team.  And although I generally try to stay clear of discussing sports events, let me say this: in the controversy between "without a quad, it's not men's figure skating, now it's dancing" and "it's called figure skating. not . figure jumping", I tend to support the latter statement.  In other words, I believe that Evan Lysacek has earned his gold.  

But this isn't why I'm writing this post.  Incredibly enough, another Russian has been dragged into the competition between Plyushchenko and Lysacek.  Who?  You bet: Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.  All Putin had to do to become a Vancouver Olympian was to congratulate Plyushchenko with his silver: "My sincere congratulations on your excellent performance at the XXI Olympic Winter Games.  Your silver is worth of gold.  You were able to overcome all the difficulties and obstacles to make a brave and gutsy move - to come back with brilliancy into big sports and to show the most difficult program on the Vancouver ice."

It turned out that some folks took offense with Putin's "your silver is worth of gold."  Why?  This is exactly what many parents in this country (including yours truly) tell their kids: it's your effort, not your mark that matters the most.  Would you prefer your kid's hard earned B+ to an A- for nothing?  (A rhetorical question, I guess, if your kid is going to apply to Harvard. ).

But then the creative interpretation of Putin's words began.  The Washington Post's Tracee Hamilton reported: "Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Plushenko's finish was worth a gold medal."   And Reuters'  Gennady Fyodorov (whose name suggests that he, in contrast to Hamilton, could read Putin's quote in the original) took it a step further:

"Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin climbed into the controversy surrounding Evgeni Plushenko's surprise defeat in the Olympics figure skating by claiming on Friday that he should have been awarded gold."

The headline of Fyodorov's article is even more creative: "Putin attacks Plushenko judging."

To me, the allusion that Putin attacks judging doesn't sound funny anymore.  I can almost see how judges who awarded Lysacek with the gold begin mysteriously dying.  You know: dioxin, polonium-210.

Vladimir Putin is obviously the world's most misquoted public figure.  Volumes have been written -- and, I suppose, millions in fees were earned -- about what he said about the "collapse" of the Soviet Union or the death of Anna Politkovskaya.  His Vancouver Olympics quote/misquote will go down the history as yet another example of the Western media-perpetrated political mythology. 


The Ivanov Report

The China Card

These days, Russia’s young, youthful and fit leaders travel abroad non-stop.  However, it’s not arms control negotiations, much less “ideology,” that is driving them.  It’s all about business.  Usually accompanied by a bunch of prominent businesspeople, Russian top guns relentlessly tour the world to advance Russia’s economic interests.

President Dmitry Medvedev’s three-day trip to China last week was no exception: Out of 15 documentssigned by the two countries, 12 dealt with different aspects of Russia-China economic cooperation.  The visit itself pointedly ended with Medvedev and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, presiding over the opening of a 625-mile oil pipeline from Eastern Siberia to China.

Does this mean that the visit was devoid of any geopolitical overtones? Certainly not. It coincided with a moment when China’s relations with some countries are turning edgy.  A minor collision of a Chinese fishing boat with Japanese patrol ships has elevated to an ugly shouting match between Beijing and Tokyo.  China’s dispute with the United States over the undervalued yuan keeps heating up.  And should the U.S. Congress adopt legislation threatening to bloc Chinese imports, a bona fide economic war between China and the U.S. may well erupt.  Against this background, the deliberately warm, problem-free, tenor of Medvedev’s interactions with Chinese leaders could not but send an unmistakable message to the whole world: In Russia, China has a long-term, faithful, and understanding friend.

It is so tempting to compare Medvedev’s visit to China to his summer trip to the United States.  True, President Hu did not treat Medvedev to lunch in a popular fast-food joint, but they signed a joint declarationin which the words “strategic partnership” were almost as common as commas and prepositions.  In contrast, in the United States, analysts still struggle to find a proper term to characterize U.S.-Russia relations options oscillate between the bold “selective cooperation” and more cautious “engagement.”  Although Medvedev did begin his U.S. trip with a stop in Silicon Valley, his Chinese itinerary was more diversified, including meetings with people from all walks of life.  Speaking with students and the staff at the Dalian University of Foreign Languages, Medvedev said: “China is very close to me…I feel comfortable here.”  Does anyone remember Medvedev saying anything similar about America?

Medvedev hardly tried to play the proverbial China card against his friend Barack Obama, but this card will certainly be played against him at home.  It’s not a secret that a large and influential faction of Russian political elites is actively pushing for more close cooperation with China.  This “China party” is likely to use the success of Medvedev’s trip as a vindication of their views.  With the “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations limping along, the supporters of Russia’s pro-Western orientation with have little to brag about in response.

Even if playing card games isn’t a favorite pastime at the White House, Obama’s foreign policy team ought to pay close attention to the Moscow-Beijing romance. It should also take a note that while staying in China, Medvedev received a message from French President Nicolas Sarkozy: Sarkozy invited Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkelto come to France in October to chat “about security.” All things considered, President Obama and his advisors will be wise to realize that the directions of Russia’s foreign policy are not fixed and that Russia is keeping its options open.


ARTMO

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2018. Solo Exhibition. Zojak gallery, Prague, Czech Republic.

2017. Francysk Skaryna and Prague, National Library of the Czech Republic, Clementinum, Prague, Czech Republic.

2017. Solo Exhibition, Gallery by Jiri Konecny, Veseli nad Moravou, Czech Republic

2013. Solo Exhibition, Krcek Gallery. Ostrozska Nova Ves, Czech Republic.

2010. Solo Exhibition, Russian Centre Of Science And Culture, Prague, Czech Republic.

2009. "At the Water’s Edge" Solo Exhibition by Eugene Ivanov, EE Fine Art, Cambridge, UK.

2009. EE Fine Art gallery, January Sale, "Keeping it Small", Cambridge, UK.

2009. Solo exhibition, ATRAX Gallery, Prerov, Czech Republic.[17][18]

2008. The Christmas exhibition (with Julius Cincar and Moarch Eveno), Ostrozska Nova Ves, Czech Republic.

2005. The Christmas exhibition (with Moarch Eveno and Adolf Born), Ostrozska Nova Ves, Czech Republic.

2003. Solo Exhibition, Russian Centre Of Science And Culture, Prague, Czech Republic.

2002. Solo Exhibition, "Spolek Mlejn", Ostrava, Czech Republic.

1993. Group Exhibition 1/2 (with Sergey Shapoval). ONMO Kultura Gallery, Tyumen, Russia.

1991. Group exhibition. Exhibition hall of the association of painters (Tyumen artists union), Tyumen, Russia.

1991. Solo exhibition No.9, Most Gallery, Palace of culture of oil workers, Tyumen, Russia.


The election of President Vladimir Putin as the chairman of United Russia crowns the long-lasting relationship between the two. They are like sweethearts who have finally gotten married after years of romance and courtship. Will this union produce anything more &hellip Continue reading &rarr

In March 2006, a group of Russia experts issued a report, "Russia’s Wrong Direction." The report has held that the "strategic partnership" between the United States and Russia wasn’t possible anymore and had to be replaced with "selective cooperation." The &hellip Continue reading &rarr


The Profumo Case: Eugene Ivanov In 1963

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Comments:

  1. Tezcacoatl

    No matter how hard I tried, I could never imagine such a thing. How is it possible, I don't understand

  2. Bardulf

    I think you were deceived.

  3. Donel

    Could have written better

  4. Bladud

    Not in it the essence.

  5. Gilmer

    Mirka do not boil !!!

  6. Ricardo

    As much as you like.



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