Tragic loss of «Red Pasha»

11.03.2016

 This short study looks into Karim Hakimov, a tragic and outstanding personality of the Russian diplomacy of the USSR times. His life reflects all the contradictions of the Soviet foreign policy in 1920-1930 and the relations with the peoples and leaders of the Middle East, as well as with the Western European powers.

The aim of this work is to understand how and why President Roosevelt came as winner in 1945 in the global fight for the Middle East which saw such striking figures as an English adventurer and spy Thomas Edward Lawrence (also known as Lawrence of Arabia)1, a British diplomat and a friend of John Filbi, the Founding King of Saudi Arabia2, and a Soviet diplomat Karim Hakimov. Why Soviet Russia and Britain in their struggle to win hearts and minds of the peoples and the leaders of the broad region lost the fight at that stage, i.e. at the times of World War II. They lost it in the region which was meant to become one of the key prizes in the geopolitics of the 20th century? The British lost it partially since they let the oil of Saudi Arabia skip through their fingers. Soviet Russia suffered a total loss (apart from establishing relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and signing several trade treaties with this country and Yemen). Moscow was able to return to the region as late as in the 1950s on the wave of the national liberation movements although guided by logs created in 1920-1930.

The roots, dynamics and disposition of the principal players could be made easier to understand through the well-known arrangements of the world powers which became the basis of the international politics in the Middle East after the end of World War I and has been serving as such since then. It is a matter of the secret agreements between Great Britain and France of May 16, 1916, which divided the spheres of influence among themselves and Russia, which could have become a winning powers and a participant of the colonial partition of the region had it not been for the October 1917 Revolution.

According to the agreement, Great Britain gained control over the territory equal to modern Iraq and Jordan along with an area around Haifa. France took over the south-eastern part of Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Subsequently France abandoned the Mosul vilayet, lost the right to administration in Palestine and was content with a part of the historic Levant. The rest of the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River was supposed to be left under international control. Each world power had a right to define the borders of the states within its sphere of influence.

Russia was supposed to have gained part of the territory of modern Turkey up to the line of Trabzon-Erzurum-Van. As after October 1917 the Russian Empire fell apart it received nothing at all and was not taken into consideration by the winners. Moreover, the new leader of the country Vladimir Lenin set the aim of the highest priority to develop relations with new secular Turkey led by Atatürk.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement3 left out important Arab territories, which were of no significant interest to the world powers that had won the war. These were largely vast inland expanses in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. Oil deposits were still to be discovered there. The strategic importance seemed questionable in the eyes of the international players. Of greater interest was the coast inhabited by scattered warring militant tribes who had their own stakes in the game. Great Britain wanted to use them as a support to ensure its national interest in this part of the world. London did not view them as independent players but rather as a tool to build its system of checks and balances within its sphere of influence.

During World War I and later on, up until 1924 the British influence rested largely upon Great Sharif Hussein of the Royal Hashemite dynasty who controlled the Sacred Sites of Islam - Mecca and Medina. His people, people the Great Sharif was strongly connected to, were appointed to the offices to rule in the areas the British had received under the Sykes-Picot mandate.

From the 10th century on, the ruler of Hejaz and Mecca was referred to as the Great Sharif with prime authority to watch over the sacred sites. Initially this title had been granted to the descendants of Hasan – a grandson of Prophet Muhammad. However, later Sharif title was granted to all the descendants of Muhammad.

The Ottoman Turks appointed Hussein the Sharif of Mecca in 1908. In 1916 he was crowned as king. Firstly, this was done due to the fact that the Ottoman Empire was falling apart as the nation controlling the sacred sites. Secondly, Sharif Hussein was relying on promises lavishly given by the British. He believed that the Arab rebellion against the Ottomans would lead to the establishment of the single Arab state under his command. In modern Saudi Arabia Sharif Hussein is portrayed as a man driven by personal ambitions and for this reason only he had sent a letter to the British High Commissioner in Egypt Sir Henry McMahon4 whom he communicated the idea of the Anglo-Arab alliance to fight the Ottoman Empire (Jonh S.Habib 2003: 30-1).

However, London through its agent and adventurer Lawrence of Arabia made rather ambiguous and vague promises to help create a single Arab state. Great Britain was not going to fulfill them. If any, it would be ready to do something partly which would benefit the British interests. The main plan was in implementing the Sykes-Picot Agreement, mentioned earlier, by the hands of Sharif Hussein, and the Balfour Declaration5 of November 2, 1917 on creation of the national home for the Jews on the territory of Palestine (which took shape of the letter of the British Foreign Minister to the representative of the powerful financial Rothschild clan, Lord Walter Rothschild).

Hussein who inspired the Arab rebellion against the Ottomans on June 10, 1916 came to full realization of the situation in 1920 when the winners of World War I prepared the Versailles Treaty. The document did not accommodate any provision for the single Arab state. The British and the French divided the region according to the Sykes-Picot lines. Hussein refused to sign it. In 1921 London suggested Hussein signing a new big treaty on military cooperation with Great Britain. It was designed to arrange significant subsidies and to acknowledge “the special interests” of London in Hejaz. Hussein no longer believed the English and ironically asked them to clarify what was meant by the national home for Jews. Of course, he never received an answer. His hopes to become the King of all Arabs dispelled. London expected him to be satisfied with what he was given, and threw his family a sop thought to be big enough.

The great Russian orientalist Alexey Vasiliev wrote on the postwar design of the Middle East in his fundamental book “The History of Saudi Arabia: 1745-1973” as follows. “William Churchill determined the postwar structure of the Middle East at the meeting in Cairo (in 1921). The English decided to make Feisal the son of Sharif Hussein the King of Iraq and soon he was crowned as such. His son Abdullah was made Emir of Transjordan” (his grandson rules the modern Jordan now) (Vasiliev A.M. 1982: 283).

  • Two new powers intended to interfere into these accounts and plans – Soviet Russia and Emir of Nejd, King-to-be of Saudi Arabia Abdelaziz Ibn Saud struggling to create or, which is more precise, to recreate his state.

Right after the October Revolution Soviet Russia announced itself as a new passionate power presenting the world with its messianic or what many would have said today a global idea of communism – an idea of fraternity and equality of the oppressed peoples all over the world.

On December 20, 1917, i.e. two months after the victory of the rebellion in Petrograd, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin made a statement “To all Muslims of the East”. The document declared that Arabs as well as all Muslims have the right to be masters of their countries and “set their lives in their own image and likeness” (Vasiliev A.M 1993: 11).

At that moment Moscow was guided by understanding Islam as a close ideology to the Communist doctrine. It proclaimed ideals of equality, announced all Muslims as brothers, called for justice, advised to share the wealth with the poor. Islam was viewed in Moscow as the religion of people under exploitation as a form of protest against the oppression and colonialism. Soviet Russia believed that at some stage this ideology combined with anti-colonial slogans of the national self-determination could be transformed or absorbed by Communism. The Middle East was a huge reservoir of fresh energy, which could fuel the wide cauldron of the world revolution.

These beliefs were backed by the experience of countering the Basmachi movement in Middle Asia. Back there, part of the peoples, especially the miserable and the marginalized, followed the Bolsheviks. The local holders of power soon lost their wealth and eventually the power. Based on the experience which Moscow considered positive and fitting its greater plans the First Conference of Muslim communists in Kazan in June 1918 established the Russian Muslim Communist Party (RMCP). The new party was incorporated on the federal basis into the Russian Communist Party (the Bolsheviks). The decision of the First Congress of Muslim-Communists in November 1918 transformed the RMCP into the Muslim committees, which kept on working as such till the beginning of 1930-s.

  • In an effort to win the support of the Arab people and its leaders in their fight against the Ottoman Empire, the Soviet authorities upon direct instructions of Vladimir Lenin in November 1917 published the Sykes-Picot Agreement. This revealed the lies of the English who had tried to entice the trusting Arabs on the side of London in its eternal fight against the continental powers.

Moscow used the British disillusionment of the Hejaz King Hussein in order to ensure its own penetration into the Middle East. Great Britain treacherously breached all promises given by Thomas Edward Lawrence. Moscow in its turn started establishing contacts with Hejaz (it should be noted that the deeds of Lawrence are highly overestimated in the international historiography. The real authors of the Agreement between Hussein and the English were British emissaries in Egypt – one of them Kitchener6 and, as it has been mentioned before, McMahon, who started to hold negotiations in 1914 through Abdullah, the son of Hussein, and constructed relevant arrangements on the basis of secret Syrian pan-Arab societies “Young Arabia” and “Al-Ahd” which Hussein sided with) (Tooma 1977: 141-2). Noteworthy is the fact that the initiative belonged to Hejaz or “Gejaz”7 as it was referred to in Russia of that time.

The starting point in the Soviet-Arab and particularly the Soviet-Saudi relations was the Lausanne Conference attended not only by officially invited delegations (one of them was the USSR delegation headed by Georgy Chicherin8), but also by many representatives of other organizations and movements of the Middle East. Delegates from Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Hejaz, Iraq carried out active work on the sidelines of the conference in order to fulfill the promises concerning independence given by the Western powers during World War I.

The Russian delegation was led by Georgy Chicherin, the Head of Foreign Policy of the Soviet Russia. On December 17, 1922 in his note to Maxim Litvinov9 he wrote about his talks in Lausanne the following:

“I received the Syrian Prince Habib Lutfallah (a Christian), a counselor of the King of Gejaz on foreign affairs and currently the representative of Gejaz in Rome and Washington. Gussein the First, the King of Gejaz, is quite independent. He has no mandate to his kingdom from the League of Nations. He participated in several European treaties and I don’t know if it was kind of double-dealing but among other things he pursues policy of establishment a big and independent Arabia and expresses discontent with England. Lutfallah put forward his plan of establishment of the Great Federative Arabia headed by Gussein the First as the Supreme Ruler of the Union. He presented me incredible plans for Russia’s participation in the establishment of this Union… Strictly confidentially he informed me that Mussolini promised him full support against England. America is expected to join the project. When he came to me second time he presented a text of the secret treaty and proposed me to sign it. I left this text with me and subsequently sent it to you. It deals with the Great Federative Arabia. I told him one thing: it is preferable to stay in contact. For this purpose he should get acquainted with Comrade Vorovskiy who will become the Permanent Representative in Rome and will be available for meeting there. This is what I did. Besides I spoke about desirability to reestablish the Russian Consulate in Jeddah”.

“I believe that it is very important for us to have a Consul in Jeddah. Jeddah is close to Mecca…, our Consul in Jeddah will be at the center of the Muslim world…, thus very many political movements in the Muslim world, which until now escaped our attention, will be in front of the eyes of our Consul. With our Muslim politics we need to have a person in the center of the Muslim world” (Vestnik MID SSSR 21(79) p.37).

It is necessary to take into account that the approaches of the USSR in the world affairs evolved. By 1924 when the diplomatic relations with Hejaz were established these approaches had undergone serious changes. First, instead of champions of the world revolution, control over the USSR was gradually taken by upholders of strong state, such as Joseph Stalin. Georgy Chicherin despite his communist views evolved together with the new Head of State - from Lenin’s ideas of the world revolution (which Lenin himself abandoned in the last years of his life) towards a more careful account of national interest of the Soviet State. Soviet Russia continued to be the stronghold of the communist movement, however, it developed as a big independent state with its national goals. Yet, like Czarist Russia the USSR long continued to be double-headed till 1943 when Stalin in his search of allies support against Hitler abolished the Comintern.

The quintessence of this dual approach in all areas including Islam was outlined in the letter of Georgy Chicherin to Yurenev, the Permanent Representative of the USSR in Italy10, on April 3, 1924. “Establishment of relations with King Gussein does not mean in any way our readiness to recognize him as Khalif. Our government has no relation to religious organizations and ignores their institutes, as well as the Khalifat. As for the Muslim religion on the territory of the USSR, its role, as it seems now, will stand in support of full abolishment of Khalifat institutes. In this capacity Islam in Russia will try to influence Muslims of other countries. This is the best option for us (Vestnik MID SSSR 21(79) p.38).

In other words Soviet Russia was in position to support the single secular independent Arab state and to establish diplomatic relations with such a state in order to confront Great Britain and France and inflict losses to their interests in the Middle East. This was meant to make them more compliant in other matters that the USSR deemed important. All in all, it was an understandable geopolitical game of the states and the initial plans to transform Islam into an Eastern edition of Communism were archived. This was so even when Georgy Chicherin announced on March 17, 1925 – “We are interested in the issue of Pan-Islamism as a special form of national movement or as an ideological mask of it” (Vestnik MID SSSR 21(79) p.41). Subsequently even these hopes to use Islam were dashed.

Thus exploiting growing resentment of Hussein against Great Britain and his ambitions to establish a broad Arab state, fantasies of his Syrian representative, Russia decided to play big steps. However, people to Hejaz by Moscow did not realize this and clung to the line of combining communist and Islam ideas and of further spreading them among the population. A group of communists in Hejaz appeared in 1924 and was headed by Karim Hakimov. Besides tasks designed by Moscow he had his own vision of goals and ways to achieve them. It might have been what overwhelmed and ruined him.

The personality of Karim Hakimov is quite extraordinary and mysterious, and it has not been thoroughly investigated yet. In his life questionnaire, that is the way a form of identification documents used to be titled in 1930-s (a copy of the document is in the author’s possession), he stated that he was born in 1892 in the village of Dyusyan (now – Dyusyanovo), Il-Kulmin oblast of the Belebeyev county in Bashkiria. In the same documents he goes further: “My family comes from peasants, they cultivated land. My parents had a little farm, which had to be closed in 1918” (cited as in the aforementioned source).

As it was discovered and stated in the dissertation on Hakimov’s biography by Ruslan Khairetdinov in 2006, according to the register of births Hakimov was born in 1890 and not to a poor family but having ten dessiatinas of land… This contradiction could have been used to file information to the authorities, finally leading Hakimov’s arrest in 1938. Later we will get back to this issue.

Why Hakimov concealed his origin? Why he changed the year of his birth? This still remains a mystery.

The simplest explanation is that religiously minded Hakimov could not have succeeded in his career in Soviet Russia had he revealed his true origin. His successor Nazir Tyuryakullov11 did not hide his bourgeois origin. Anyway he ended up the same way.

Still, the established fact is that Hakimov received excellent education in the remarkable madrasa in Ufa “Galiya”. This fact only proves his high-class origin. Also, as Gadilov and Gumerov, first researchers of his life (Gadilov Gumerov 1960: 8-9), claim that Hakimov being an active and very curious young man was not satisfied with his education in that school and two others preceding “Galiya”. Some say that he was teased and chased by his richer and luckier classmates who looked down on him. This frustrated the young man. His self-respect was hurt. This was a personal blow on him making Hakimov quit the madrasa and leave for Tashkent.

Hakimov was a smart and cheerful lad. He was a nice singer, played the violin and the mandolin. Hakimov possessed personal enchantment and this helped him enter different circles of society. Having wandered across Middle Asia, he realized that the entrance to the high society under existing system of social relations was closed to him no matter how clever he was. He was an alien there.

Being an adventurer he managed to adapt himself to any way of living. Without means to survive and having no desire to return home which was equal for him to admitting insolvency before his parents (Hakimov made his way home only in 1914) he was recruited as a miner in Kanibadam, now Tajikistan, which predetermined a big change in his life. Later, on the grounds of this period in his life he began to call himself proletariat. One of the leaders of the Russian revolution Kuibyshev12, who highly appreciated Hakimov, used this reference. This “incorrectness” was, as it seems now, noticed in 1930-s by meticulous investigators who looked into his file.

It is more likely that Hakimov was just proud of this proletarian episode in his biography and later shared it with Kuibyshev. During the three years of labor at the mine he met a political exile Kovalevskiy, a Pole (Gadilov Gumerov 1960:10), who gave him first lessons on Marxism.

It was then and there that Hakimov, a young and hot-tempered person, with good Muslim education started to combine the principles of Adala (justice) with Marx’s postulates of fraternity and equality of the proletariat. A magic chemistry evolved which shaped the system of Hakimov’s beliefs and those of many Muslims of the Russian Empire who supported the Bolshevik revolutionary movement.

From now on his life was predetermined. With Allah in his soul and with Marx in his knapsack he set off along a new path, which brought him finally to execution plaza “Kommunarka” in Butovo, the suburbs of Moscow, on January 10, 1938.

Back in those days no one would have thought of dark prospects. Young enthusiasts in Russia believed that the fire of the world revolution was setting up that would fuel the hearts of millions. This fire would burn the old world. Hakimov wanted to participate in this big process and searched for his place in the revolutionary movement. After the February revolution he fully immersed himself into stormy political activity. The revolution became a launching pad for the gifted young man helping him to have a meteoric career.

In 1918-1919 he was a member of Orenburg Muslim military-revolutionary committee, a regional commissar of the popular education, a commander of the 2nd battalion of the international regiment in Aktyubinsk line of the Orenburg frontline and after that the Head of the Political department of the First Regular Volga Rifle Brigade. In 1920-1921 he was a deputy Head of the Political Department of the Turkestan frontline and at the same time a Secretary of the Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkestan and a Plenipotentiary Representative of the USSR in Bukhara Peoples Republic, a Secretary of the Central Committee of the Bukhara Communist Party.

There Hakimov’s fate made another big turn. After his participation in the III Congress of Comintern, Kuibyshev recommended him to work in the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs which delegated him as a Consul General in Meshhed and Resht in Persia. In 1921-1924 he started to develop as a professional diplomat. There he for the first time came in contact with the Soviet intelligence and started providing the relevant assistance.

In December 1923 Moscow decided to transfer Hakimov to Hejaz where on August 9, 1924 he passed his credentials to the King of the new state - Hussein Al-Hashimi.

He arrived in Hejaz where Russia had a Consulate General to serve the needs of the Russian Muslim pilgrims. He was not alone but with the so-called Arab Five which worked with him in the Consulate General – 1st Secretary Yusuf Gulmetov, a right hand of Hakimov (mastered Turkish and Persian), 2nd Secretary Naum Belkin13 who spoke German, French and Arabic (he was said to have worked at Hejaz railways), an interpreter Amirkhanov who used to live in Syria, and a lawyer Akselrod14 who had studied Arabic in Moscow and wrote article on the Middle East under the title of Rafit Musa. The group looked more like a special agent team rather than diplomats.

At the outset their main task was to form an alliance of Russia and Hejaz against England and France according to instructions of Georgy Chicherin.

The Head of the Soviet Foreign Service viewed the situation as it was put in his letter to Hakimov on November 14, 1924 several months after his arrival to Hejaz :

“Dear Comrade,

By this letter we want to brief You how recent events in Arabia appear to us according to our information. We ask you to inform us of any inaccuracies in this scheme, which in general we deem right.

The attack by Ibn Saud on Hejaz was provoked by England, which wanted this way to put Gussein on his knees since he started to disobey and tried to ensure that England would implement its promises given in 1915. The most offensive and dangerous for England was the Palestinian ambition of Gussein. Due to continuing anti-English movement in Egypt the prospect of establishment of an Arab government in Palestine connected to Hejaz began to scare England. The collapse of Zionism in Palestine would have led to Arab nationalists in Egypt and Palestine shaking hands with each other. Such a political bridge over the Suez would have put England in a very awkward situation.

Such a prospect as it seems predetermined the English approach to Pan-Arab movement and made London pursue the policy of Balkanization of the Arab territories and prevention of the union in Arabia under single ruler. Some time ago England seeking support of Arabs tried to meet their Pan-Arab expectations by accommodating the dynasty interests of the member of Gussein family. This was meant to create a vision of the Pan-Arab stance of England. On the ground it had a counter effect – sons of Gussein Faisal and Abdullah became British servants, which by the force of consequences lost their tie to the Pan-Arab policy of Gussein. Thus wide Arab territories united under Gussein rule were in fact separate states but not a single one (Vestnik MID SSSR 21(79) p.38-9).

To be continued

1

Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) (1888-1935) – an English intelligence officer, became popular during World War I as a leader of the rebellion against the Turks. He was also famous for his secret political activity in the Middle East after World War I (Liddel Hart B.H. 2009).

2

Harry St John Bridger Philby (1885-1960) – an English orientlaist, writer, intelligence officer. He assisted Ibn Saud in his ascent to the throne. Philby played a significant role in ensuring the ARAMCO oil concession in Saudi Arabia(Monroe E. 1998).

3

The Sykes-Picot Agreement as of May 16, 1916 – the Agreement between Great Britain and France to devide the Asian Turkey. The name to the Agreement was given in recognition of the authors – an English Mark Sykes and a French Francois Picot (Vyshinskiy, Lozovskiy 1948).

Mark Sykes (1879-1919) – a British diplomat, writer, politician.

Francois George-Picot (1870-1951) – a French diplomat in Beirut.

4

Arthur Henry McMahon (1864-1949) – a British diplomat. He served as the High Commissioner in Egypt in 1915-1917. He occupied the post of the High Commissioner in Belujistan (British India) twice. He was famous for his correspondence with Hussein on Tibet and India.

5

Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930) – an English statesman, one of the leaders of the Conservative party. In 1887-1891 he served as the Minister on Ireland, in 1891-1892, 1895-1902 – as the Minister of Finance. In 1902-1904 as the Prime-Minister. In 1915-1916 – as the Sea Minister. In 1916-1919 – as the Foreign Minister. He was the author of the “Balfour Declaration” in November 1917 on creation of the Jewish national home in Palestine. (Bolshaya Sovetskaya Encyclopedia 1969-1978).

6

Horatio Herbert Kitchener (1850-1916) was a British Field Marshal. In 1886-1888 served as the General Governor of Eastern Sudan. In 1895-1898 he commanded the British troops in Egypt against the rebellion of Mahdis. 1899-1900 he was the Chief of Staff (1900–02) in the Second Boer War. In 1911-1914 he was the British agent and the Consul General in Egypt. In 1914 he was the War Minister of Great Britain. Kitchener was killed in 1916 when the warship taking him to negotiations in Russia was sunk by a German mine. (Bolshaya Sovetskaya Encyclopedia 1969-1978).

7

Gejaz. Traditionally in the Russian transliteration Hejaz was registered as Gejaz. After the relations with Saudi Arabia were cut the British use of the name was introduced, i.e. Hejaz. In particular the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (1904) gives Gejaz spelling. Hejaz was referred to in the Big Soviet Encyclopedia (1969-1978).

8

Georgiy Chicherin (1872-1936) – a Soviet diplomat. In 1918-1930 he served as the Foreign Minister of the USSR. He was the member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR (Bolshaya Biograficheskaya Encyclopedia 2009).

9

Maxim Litvinov (1876-1951). His real name was Ballah Max. He was a Soviet statesman and a member of the Communist Party. In 1930-1939 he worked for the Foreign Minister of the USSR. In 1941-1946 Litvinov served as the deputy Foreign Minister. In 1941-1943 he was Ambassador to the USA and Cuba. In 1934-1941 he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshaya Biograficheskaya Encyclopedia 2009).

10

Constantin Yurenev (1888-1938) – a prominent Soviet politician, communist. In 1921 he served as the representative in Bukhara. In 1922 he was appointed the USSR Representative in Latvia and in 1923 in Chechoslovakia. In 1924-1927 he served in Italy, Persia and Austria as the Representative. (Bolshaya Biograficheskaya Encyclopedia 2009)

11

Nazir Tyuryakulov (1893-1937) – a Soviet State and Communist Party leader. He served as the USSR Consul General and the Representative in Hejaz and Saudi Arabia in 1928-1936. In 1936 he worked in the Moscow Instute of language and writing of the East. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. On November 3, 1937 he was accused of panturkism propaganda and was sentenced to death by shooting. At the same day he was executed. He was rehabilitated in 1958. (Bolshaya Sovetskaya Encyclopedia 1969-1978).

12

Valerian Kuibyshev (1888-1935) was a Soviet Party leader. Since 1926 he was the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. In 1920-1930 he was a member of the Editorial Board of the 1st edition of the Big Soviet Encyclopedia. Since 1927 he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshaya Biograficheskaya Encyclopedia 2009).

13

Naum Belkin (1893-1942) was an officer of the Soviet Intelligence service as a senior lieutenant of the State security. In 1925 he served as the Trade representative in Hejaz and Yemen. After that he served in Jeddah anh Kholeid in trade mission. In 1931 he was recruited to the foreign service of the Intelligence. In 1933-1934 he illegally stationed in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. After he was sent to Uruguay where he employed a valuable source from Berlin. Since 1936 he was a deputy head of the Intelligence in Spain.

14

Moses Akselrod (1898/99-1939) – an orientalist, historian, revolutionary, diplomat, intelligence officer. He was a member of Hakimov mission to Jeddah. Up till 1927 he served in the Consulate General in Saudi Arabia. In 1928 he was a member of the Soviet delegation in Yemen. In 1926 he served for 6 months in Turkey. He returned to Moscow to the Moscor State University in 1930. On October 16, 1938 he was arrested on personal command of Beria. On February 20, 1939 he was sentenced to capital punishment and was shot to death the same day. He was rehabilitated in 1955.