The topic of defection is taboo in the USSR, and the Soviets, are anxious to silence, downplay, or distort every case of defection. Surprisingly, Vladislav Krasnov reports, the free world has often played along with these Soviet efforts by treating defection primarily as a secretive matter best left to bureaucrats. As a result, defectors' human rights have sometimes been violated, and U.S. national security interests have been poorly served.
Many defectors have described their experiences and shared their insights about the Soviet system. This book is the first work written by a defector about the phenonmenon of defection itself—its scope, characters, and trends. Its principal source is a secret Soviet document, the most KGB Wanted List, which provides information on the personal background, circumstances of defection, and current status of post—World War II defectors. Analysis of this data provides an unusually broad picture of defection that will be of interest to the newspaper-reading public, students of Soviet affairs, and even to individual defectors.