MAY 25 2008 14:36h
Stop sending agents to kill me or I will send one man to Moscow and it will not be necessary to send another one, Tito told Stalin.
ZAGREB, CROATIA - In his book “Assassination Attempts on Tito”, Croatian reporter and author Vjenceslav Cencic wrote that the chief resident of the military intelligence of the former USSR for Middle and Far East, Josip Kopinich Mali, had written to the president of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito in April 1948 because Stalin and three Russian generals of the NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs) ordered Tito’s assassination. He wrote: “My friend, watch out for their man in Zagreb. He was given an order by Stalin”.
When we brought this up with Cencic, he said all this is correct and added:
- Tito did not trust Kopinich and warned him, via the Yugoslav ambassador in Ankara, not to deal with intrigues. Ivan Krajacic Stevo admitted to Tito that Stalin and the NKVD had ordered him to kill Tito himself. Of course, Tito could not believe what one of his best friends was telling him – he said, adding that Stevo had, of course, not gone through with the assassination.
- This is the short version of the assassination that did not go through and until he died, Stevo remained the chief resident for the KGB for the Balkans, which I published in my book – Cencic said.
- A Soviet historian, Roy Medvedev, was the first one to discover that after Stalin’s death a message from Tito was found on his desk. The message said: “Comrade Stalin, stop sending your agents to Yugoslavia with the order to kill me. We have already captured seven of your men who had the intention of killing me. If this does not stop, I will be forced to send a man to Moscow and if I do that, it will not be necessary for me to send another”. This document is at the NKVD Archives in Moscow and I had the opportunity to see and read it.
After Stalin’s death, in 1955 to be more exact, when Khrushchev came to Belgrade and apologised to Tito for everything Stalin did, he said: “You did well in protecting yourself, you had good guards and good informants who informed you about everything Staling was planning for you.” Tito smiled and said: “Stalin knew very well that I was very well guarded, but after many warnings that it was enough sending assassins, he evidently got a bit scared” - Cencic recalled.