Assassination Techniques of the CIA and KGB

(orig. published Aug. 29, 2010)

In his book Target Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton (Regnery Publishing Inc.: 2008), Robert K. Wilcox sets forth the evidence that General Patton was assassinated, the first step (the auto accident) probably having been staged by an OSS agent named Douglas Bazata on the orders of American General William “Wild Bill” Donovan (who was likely a British agent). The second step was Patton’s sudden death in the hospital two weeks later, when he was on the verge of being discharged. Bazata–working for the OSS (later called the CIA)–has revealed his involvement in numerous assassinations, of Americans as well as foreign nationals.

At p. 209 Wilcox documents methods by which both the CIA and KGB assassinate political opponents. I quote from his book, below, as support for my “Log of Accidental Deaths,” the implication being, of course, that arranging accidents and heart attacks is what the spooks do if they want to get rid of someone, and happens far more commonly than we suspect. Wilcox’s footnotes are at the bottom.

“[A scenario such as introducing a harmful substance from a window into Patton’s hospital room] is not far fetched in the clandestine world following World War II. Exploding cigars, poison needle umbrellas, even radioactive coffee have been publicly shown to have been weapons in the Cold War arsenals of the CIA and KGB.[11] World War II was an incubator for such grisly exotica, including biochemical assassination weapons. They were used surreptitiously by both sides. By the start of the Cold War, the Russians operated a “Special Bureau” with a lab for “undetectable means of exterminating human beings.” [12] For instance, Soviet agents used an “atomizer” containing a bio-poison “which leaves no wound or other evidence of the cause of death.[13] “Natural killers” were created that could induce heart attack, “cerebral apoplexy,” and other medical maladies leaving little or no trace.[14] For assassination, according to a formerly classified CIA study, “the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated.” [15] In a hospital, “drugs can be very effective,” the study continues, “if the assassin is trained as a doctor or a nurse and the subject is under medical care. [It] is an easy and rare method. An overdose of morphine administered as a sedative will cause death without disturbance and is difficult to detect.” Bazata told the Spotlight that a form of “refined cyanide” can “cause or appear to cause” embolism.

[There follows a discussion of the Soviets’ use of traffic accidents and hospitals as methods of murder. On pp. 222-23, Wilcox discusses the death of Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera, who:]

“…had been found dying outside the entrance to his apartment in Munich, Germany, in 1959. After autopsy, the death had been officially ruled the result of a natural heart attack. Little publicity was given to the death. But in a well-publicized trial in 1961, Stashinsky [a defected Soviet assassin] had testified he had been ordered by the KGB to assassinate Bandera, proof of Soviet assassination aims and methods that the outside world could not ignore. Stashinsky had killed Bandera with a specially designed gun that sprayed gaseous hydrogen cyanide in Bandera’s face. The cyanide, a massive artery and vein constrictor, had induced heart failure. He had used the same “spray” gun two years earlier, Stashinsky confessed, to assassinate another Ukrainian leader, Lev Rebet–also thought to have been a natural death–and been told then that the weapon had been used successfully many times prior.

“On Patton?”


11. Judyth Sassoon, “Biochemical Assassination Weapons,” Encyclopedia of Intelligence, Gale Group, 2004. (

12. John Barron, KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents (Bantam Books, 1974), 419.

13. CIA memorandum entitled “Soviet Use of Assassination and Kidnapping,” prepared in February 1964 for the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy and declassified in 1971; obtained at the UCLA Library.

14. Richard Camellion, Assassination: Theory and Practice (Paladin Press, 1977), 139.

2 thoughts on “Assassination Techniques of the CIA and KGB

  1. CBMay 28, 2017 at 11:26 PM

    Is this a paradox? The more clandestine the assassination, the less legitimate it appears. Yet now certain executve orders make it possible to disappear or kill anyone without due process.

    AlisonMay 29, 2017 at 6:45 AM

    Yes, we are killing people routinely via drones in the Middle East, people who never harmed or threatened us in the slightest respect. The U.S. is the scourge of the world.

  2. Alison commented on “Assassination Techniques of the CIA and KGB”
    Nov 3, 2019
    There are many books detailing the widespread network of assassins working for the CIA, the network which also undoubtedly killed JFK. See, e.g., “The Skorzeny Papers” by Ganis as well as “The CIA as Organized Crime” by Valentine.

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