For a humanist, a person of liberal views, such as Vladimir Pozner, cooperation with the KGB, with all the ensuing consequences, is a stigma. Nikita Mikhalkov quoted the post from Yandex.Zen by journalist Maxim Novikovsky, “The complete failure of snooper Pozner”, as evidence:
“In the dusty and stuffy Foreign Ministry archives of the former KGB of the USSR, some of you know where it is located, on our wonderful television station by the famous showman Vladimir Pozner, there is a huge dossier under the notorious bar.
Rumor has it that Putin personally, in a personal meeting with Pozner, said a word about it, putting an American intelligence agent in an awkward predicament that, you see, you are not being imprisoned or questioned, you were even allowed to work on central television and talk with me, and all this thanks to freedom and democracy in the country.
Posner is silent about this conversation with Putin in front of his colleagues. But when communicating what is called without cameras with some pro-Kremlin senior official, our beautiful Posner changed his face, turning into a beluga, as if he would have been unobtrusively reminded of a dossier stored on him, so that he knew his place and purpose in this a complex, ambiguous, but still democratic society.
Pozner has a difficult situation, not to say that it’s completely awful. He is a social person, smart and well-read, but so simply and at ease failing all his appearances, passwords and addresses that no one asks him.
Of course, Posner is an interesting multi-faceted person from the point of view of observing a figure immobilized in harsh conditions of a tough political regime, which causes admiration at the same time as pity, ”wrote Maxim Novikovsky.
I turned to Vladimir Pozner himself with a direct question about his relationship with the KGB, referring to both the Besogon program and Novikovsky’s post. Vladimir Pozner replied by e-mail literally in a minute (so that there would be no manipulations and distortions - I quote literally):
- For your information: the KGB recruited me about 7 or 8 years, I persistently refused any work with them. Finally, the KGB was behind me, but I was told: keep in mind that you will never go anywhere! I was not allowed to travel abroad for 27 years, then the “ban” was lifted for two years, then the exit was again closed. Only under Gorbachev I, like all citizens of the country (except for people who have access to classified information), got the opportunity to travel freely wherever I want, - says Vladimir Pozner.
Incidentally, the conflict between Nikita Mikhalkov and Vladimir Pozner has a long history. He is associated with rejection of Samuel Marshak, whose literary secretary was Pozner, the father of Nikita Mikhalkov, Sergei Mikhalkov. Samuel Marshak believed that Sergei Mikhalkov gave his poems as his own (of course, adapting it for himself). Vladimir Pozner talked about this in an interview. To find out the truth today: was Samuel Marshak right in his suspicions? hardly possible: both writers are not alive.
I note that Vladimir Pozner is far from being such a cold-blooded person as he looks from the TV screen. When we did an interview with him about Shakespeare (he is the author of the film "Shakespeare. A Warning to the Kings"), to my question: "Do you react to criticism, do you feel offensive statements, slander?", Answered:
- I take everything to heart. This is sometimes very difficult. Over the years, I realized that I have a tragic perception of the world. Some do not believe, they say that I am pretending or exaggerating".