April 27, 2021


Netflix has released a new American series “The Art of Espionage”, which also tells about the events in Ukraine. This was reported by the BBC.

In particular, the second series talks about the poisoning of OUN leaders Lev Rebet and Stepan Bandera, as well as the third president, Viktor Yushchenko.

The series is reportedly based on the plot of the book of the same name by former CIA Technical Service Office Director Robert Wallace and historian Keith Melton, starring writer and journalist Henry Schlesinger. Wallace and Melton are executive producers and co-authors of the film, and they are among the experts who tell the secrets of the secret services on the screen.

According to the publication, the series has no Ukrainian dubbing or subtitles.

The series, entitled “Deadly Poisons”, tells in detail about the murder of Lev Rebet in Munich, whom the filmmakers call an anti-Soviet Ukrainian citizen and dissident leader.

An instant gas pistol was used against him, killing him instantly, invented by the KGB in the 1950s. Traces of cyanide quickly disappear, so at the time of autopsy it is impossible to find anything, experts explain. It is explained that KGB agent Bohdan Stashynsky aimed a gas pistol, hidden in a folded newspaper, in Rebet’s face, tracking him down in one of the Munich houses. Taking a deep breath of the poisonous gas, Rebet died instantly.

Then Stashynsky was assigned another mission – to kill “radical Ukrainian politician” Stepan Bandera, according to the series.

Experts explain that this time the agent used an improved double-barreled gas pistol, but did not provide more details.

Viktor Yushchenko’s poisoning is also mentioned.

“Yushchenko was not a friend of Russia,” the series said, adding that he was a strong candidate and had a good chance of running for president. According to the version of the series, dioxin was poured into the soup, which was served during a dinner with the SBU leadership (according to the investigation, dioxin was in the rice). It is further noted that Yushchenko survived and became president, but nothing more is explained. However, photos of Viktor Yanukovych are on display.

The same series tells the story of the assassination of Bulgarian dissident and BBC journalist Georgy Markov, the poisoning of former Russian agents Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal, as well as the brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


The series says that Stashynsky committed the murder by tracking down Rebet in 1957 near his Munich apartment. According to historians, this happened in the house where the editorial office of the newspaper “Ukrainian Independent”, whose editor was Rebet, was located. Two years later, Stepan Bandera, a leader and one of the organizers of the Ukrainian nationalist movement, was killed in a similar way with the help of potassium cyanide, also in Munich.

According to historical facts, Stashynsky told about the murder himself. He surrendered to West German police and confessed to espionage. At a court in Karlsruhe, where he was tried for Bandera’s murder, Stashynsky not only confirmed all the circumstances of the operation, but also said that he had previously killed Rebet in the same way. Until then, Rebet’s colleagues, despite suspicion, had only the conclusions of doctors that his death was due to cardiac arrest.

A German court ruled that the communist leadership of the Soviet Union was primarily to blame for the murder, and Stashynsky was found guilty of carrying out criminal orders and sentenced to eight years in prison. According to some sources, he served only 4 years.

According to former KGB colonel Oleg Gordievsky, who found refuge in Britain, Stashynsky received new documents, possibly changed his appearance and worked for US intelligence.

The case of Viktor Yushchenko’s poisoning remains unsolved.

Yushchenko became ill after a dinner with the SBU leadership in September 2004, in the midst of the election campaign. Doctors at the Austrian clinic where he was treated said he had been poisoned with dioxin.

According to the newspaper, some witnesses claim that the fact of poisoning has not been established. In particular, Ihor Smeshko, the-then head of the Security Service of Ukraine, who was at the dinner, spoke about this.

As noted, in an interview with the BBC in 2018, the former president said that he was poisoned because of his pro-European position, because such a policy did not suit the Kremlin.

Ukraine is also mentioned in the penultimate series, which talks about cybersecurity. The authors say that Crimea has become one of the victims of Russian cyberattacks.

According to Paul Joel, a former member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee and an expert on Russia’s intelligence services, one of the first targets of Russian special forces during the invasion of Crimea was automatic telephone exchanges to prevent government officials from using mobile communications.

The series warns that Russia’s attack on Crimea is “just the beginning.”

“The war that is taking place in Ukraine today is a testing ground for e-war, information warfare, hacking attacks. It is a laboratory that they use to improve a new complex or hybrid war,” Joel said.