Red Square


Yulian Semyonov. The man who knew too much...


How did a popular soviet film reconnaissance officer Isaev-Stierlitz appear? The script of the film “Seventeen Moments of Spring” was written in just two weeks under an umbrella on the beach of Yalta. After the release of “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, all the filmmakers received the State Prize of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.

Due to his series of stories about Stierlitz, Yulian Semyonov — became one of the most popular and published writers of Russia. In the end of the 90ies, he created a newspaper “Strictly confidential”, that earned immense profits.

In 1968, Yuri Andropov, the head of the State Security Committee of the USSR, gave an unexpected phone call to Semyonov: “I read your novel “No Password Needed”. Do you want to know my opinion? Come to Lubyanka next Saturday morning”. His meeting with Andropov laid the foundation of his collaboration with KGB as well as of his long writing marathon. It was rumoured among his collegues that Semyonov was recruited by KGB agents...

Semyonov was married to Sergei Mikhalkov’s adopted daughter. He never made boast of being Mikhalkov’s son-in-law, nor pulled strings for his career progression.

He wrote more than a hundred books in 30 years. A workaholic is not the right word for him. He was an addict to writing. The knocking of his typewriter never ceased at his summer cottage near Yalta. He both wrote and lived greedily.

Since 1979, Semyonov dedicated many years of his life to the search of the famous Amber room. He was threatened many times, and ordered to cease his investigation. Semyonov hardly paid any attention to those intimidations.

Hasn’t he come too far? His brother-in-arms in this investigation — Georg Stein died. Moreover, suddenly died his another collegue in this case — German historian Paul Enke. In the beginning of the 90ies, a series of mysterious accidents took place. Alexander Pleshkov, Semyonov’s deputy in the newspaper “Strictly confidential” suddenly died under strange circumstances in Paris. In two weeks after his funeral, Semyonov himself had a stroke.

He never recovered from illness. Almost three years of his life Semyonov spent in a state of complete helplessness. He had enough time to reassess his life and undertsand what he did to deserve such a punishment.

The filmakers are trying to answer the question: was the death of Yulian Semyonov, a pioneer of soviet detective fiction, accidental?