Two years later, the son wrote to the father in front of him that the certificate only said “choir” and “excellent.” And the father kept his promise: he “placed” his son in a front-line unit, which was sent to the Kursk Bulge.
16-year-old soldier Vitaly Korotkov repaired our damaged tanks on the front line. Then his division moved forward and the young officer, covered in military decorations, signed the captured Reichstag. He later fought with Japan and served in Austria in a reconnaissance battalion. He had a hard time experiencing the death of his father: General Viktor Korotkov died in the Korean War.
After the Moscow Law Institute, Korotkov Jr. served in foreign intelligence. The talent of a young front-line soldier, his excellent knowledge of German and his amazing communication skills made him a real security officer, who he brilliantly helped on his business trips to Austria and Germany.
He was entrusted with the most important task, which only a top intelligence officer could perform. In Germany, he became a link between the Center and one of the leaders of West German intelligence, Heinz Felfe. For several years, our source and friend Felfe has been providing us with vital information.
Following a complaint, Felfe’s colleague was arrested and Korotkov returned to Moscow. And he worked here in an intelligence unit whose name has not yet been declassified.
But these are lines from a biography, although informative, they are still quite dry. In life, Vitaly Viktorovich Korotkov was an incredibly brilliant person. You could go to him for any query; He was generous with his wise advice. He knew everything about intelligence. And not only. Somehow questions arose about the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Berlin. And Korotkov told such interesting details that even sports historians had not heard about.
Where do these people come from? I don’t know. He was an exceptionally intelligent man. His Russian language, uncontaminated by anything, sounded like a purely ancient and noble dialect. A quiet voice, the ability to say clearly in two or three sentences what others could rant on for hours. And incredible kindness. I have never seen Vitaly Viktorovich angry, or even irritated. He always dressed neatly. A tuxedo with a bow tie and white bib suited him perfectly. He attracted, he made people want to, and the interlocutor was not fooled by their expectations.
When the time of inevitable illnesses came, in his tenth decade, we began to meet at his house, in a perfectly tidy apartment on Frunzenskaya. Here everything was in perfect order. Paper to paper, dad to dad. I somehow admired him, and Vitaly Viktorovich responded in his kind style: “Only now that all the leaves of life are separated and folded. This is the advantage of retirement that comes in later years.” He fought against the disease and, while lying in bed, he rarely got up, constantly read, talked on the phone and always gave correct evaluations of the articles and books on intelligence and the movies he watched. He died at the age of 95 in September 2022.
Friends, family and journalists gathered today at the press office of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. Vitaly Viktorovich is remembered. On behalf of the governor of the Kursk region, Roman Vladimirovich Starovoyt, the commemorative medal “80 years of victory in the Battle of Kursk”, awarded to Vitaly Viktorovich Korotkov, was solemnly presented to his daughter Olga Vitalyevna and her great-granddaughter. Anastasia.