“Trusov was not taken there”: as an employee of Smersh Vasily Chebotaryov, he received the Hero's star
75 years ago, during the liberation of Belarus, Smersh's operative Vasily Chebotarev died. According to the reports of the command, performing the task in the rear of the enemy, he destroyed more than ten Nazis in battle and died in the melee. For this feat in 1945 he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously. As historians note, military counterintelligence officers very often took part in hostilities, although this was not their direct duty. Experts call them the “elite of the Soviet power structures” of the times of the Great Patriotic War.
Vasily Cheboratyev was born on June 25, 1918 in the village of Gavrilovka of the Akmola region of the RSFSR (now the village of Kokazhadar of the North Kazakhstan region of Kazakhstan. - RT) in a peasant family.
“The childhood and youth of the future counterintelligence officer were the most common for a young man of that time. He studied at school, worked as a tractor driver at the state farm “Khleborob”, then as a miner at the mine, ”said Andrei Kuparev, a methodologist at the Victory Museum, in an interview with RT.
In addition, Basil managed to marry and become the father of his daughter Helen.
In 1938 he was called up for military service in the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army.
Sniper and secretary of the Komsomol bureau
In August 1941, Vasily Chebotaryov was sent to Khabarovsk to study at the sniper school of the 12th separate rifle brigade.
“Why he came out this direction - we can not say. Either in his native lands he was engaged in hunting, or he acquired such experience on an urgent service, ”writes the writer and military historian Alexander Bondarenko in his book“ Heroes of Smersh ”.
In the army, Vasily Chebotaryov was in April 1942 when he was appointed as a sniper fighter in the 310th Infantry Division, which led intense positional battles in the area of the Volkhov River.
- Soviet Army Snipers
- RIA News
- © Ruskin Semen
In July 1942, Vasily Chebotaryov was awarded the Order of the Red Star. In less than three months of fighting, he managed to destroy 33 Nazis. In addition to the sniper case, he dealt with military and political issues as a deputy political officer of the detachment.
At the end of 1942, Chebotaryov received a new appointment, becoming the secretary of the Komsomol Bureau of the 1080th Infantry Regiment of the 310th Infantry Division.
In January 1943, the troops of the Leningrad and Volkhov fronts launched an offensive, the purpose of which was to break through the blockade of Leningrad.
“In one of these battles, the Komsomol secretary, Junior Lieutenant Chebotaryov replaced the company commander who had been out of action, but he was soon wounded, raising the fighters to attack,” writes Alexander Bondarenko.
In the course of the fighting in the Volkhov area, Chebotaryov eliminated a total of more than 60 Nazis, and was wounded three times. The last wound was serious - the junior lieutenant had to be evacuated to the rear for serious treatment at the hospital.
After his recovery, Chebotarev turned out to be on refresher courses for political personnel at the headquarters of the Urals Military District. Upon their completion, he intended to return to the front, but fate decreed otherwise.
In April — May 1943, the Smersh Counterintelligence Directorate was created as part of the People’s Commissariat of Defense. His personnel were massively replenished with young commanders who had combat experience. I liked the leadership of military counterintelligence and Vasily Chebotaryov.
“Although Vasily tried to object that, they say, he had to return to the regiment, to his Komsomol organization, it was said in response that he would first go to Moscow, to the 1st school of the Main Counterintelligence Directorate Smersh,” writes Alexander Bondarenko.
- The column of the 9th German army, crushed by an air strike near Bobruisk
- © Wikimedia Commons
At the end of 1943, after special training, Vasily Chebotaryov was appointed officer of the Smersh department of the 19th Guards Tank Brigade of the 3rd Guards Tank Corps, which was included in the 5th Guards Tank Army in the spring of 1944. In June of the same year, she was destined to become the main unit that secured the success of the Soviet troops in the course of the Belarusian offensive operation Bagration.
“The command of the 3rd Guards Tank Corps was thrown at a breakthrough at Borisov. At the same time, Soviet troops needed to cross the Beaver River. In order to facilitate the task of the main forces, the command formed troops from motorized riflemen and tankmen who would secretly penetrate the rear of the enemy and hit the Nazi forces defending the crossing. With this group, Vasily Chebotaryov also went to the rear of the enemy, who was faced with a difficult task - to capture a Hitlerite officer, ”said Kuparev.
On June 27, 1944, the Soviet landing force knocked out the Nazis from the positions on the outskirts of the village of Beaver and went to the crossing of the river of the same name. Guard Lieutenant Chebotaryov captured Hitler's lieutenant, but he himself was surrounded. Sensing that help was near, the prisoner lashed out at Chebotaryov, but the military counterintelligence officer coped with it, and then gave battle to the Nazis who surrounded him, but died in hand-to-hand combat. According to a report from the 19th Guards Tank Brigade, the head of the counterintelligence department of Smersh, when colleagues were found to be Chebotarev’s body, there were more than ten German soldiers killed around him.
According to the memoirs of the commander of the 3rd Guards Tank Corps, Major General Ivan Vovchenko, recorded in his book Tankists, Vasily Chebotaryov tried to save a nursed woman captured by the fascists before his death. However, this version is not displayed in official documents.
June 29, 1945 Guard Lt. Vasily Chebotaryov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously. In place of the death of the counterintelligence, a monument was erected. Streets in various locations in Belarus and Kazakhstan were named after him, and postage stamps were issued. Relics associated with the activities of the hero, are stored in the local history museum of Bobrska secondary school.
- Monument to Vasily Chebotaryov
- © fotobel.by
According to the writer and historian of the special services Alexander Kolpakidi, Smersh’s servicemen very often took over the command of the front units of the Red Army, covered the withdrawal of fighters, acted together with the paratroopers in the rear of the enemy.
“This happened in Smersh regularly. No cowards were taken there. On the contrary, ideologically motivated, courageous young people were selected. They belonged to the elite of Soviet power structures during the war. Although it was not part of their direct functional duties, Smerzens were always eager to take part in the battle, ”stressed Kolpakidi in an interview with RT.
According to him, due to the specifics of the service and the “remoteness” from the headquarters that made the award decisions, orders and medals did not reach the Smersh fighters infrequently. Attention to the exploits of operatives often paid after their heroic death.
“Those who today compare Sirzhans with the SS often don’t know the truth, but are consumers of fakes created during the Cold War under the wing of the Western special services in order to discredit our heroes and deprive the people of historical memory,” Kolpakidi said.