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After telling his story to his intended victim, Khokhlov was persuaded to turn himself over to U.S. agents in Germany. His rendezvous with his East German accomplices was kept by U.S. agents instead, who found the two assistant assassins only too happy to defect themselves. This was in February. Ever since then, until Khokhlov's story was made public last week, American intelligence officers and their British counterparts had been cross-questioning him and cross-checking his story, until a 4 ft. dossier was assembled and they were satisfied that what the ex-MVDemon told them was the truthas far as it went.
There were still, however, some blank spaces in the Khokhlov case. Few competent observers, for instance, could bring themselves to believe that a guilty conscience was his only reason for defecting. Presumably, his own boss in the MVD had been purged along with Beria, which might have provided a further reason. Then there was the still unanswered question of what would now happenor had already happened to his wife Yanina in Moscow. Khokhlov himself seemed to have a strange faith in what U.S. moral pressure might do to save her. "I came here," said Nikolai Khokhlov to the American reporters, "not merely to tell you of an assassination that didn't take place, but to appeal to the one remaining force capable of saving my wifethis woman who told me, 'Do not kill.' "
Could an agent of the Soviet MVD seriously believe that such force could be of help to her now? Whistler Khokhlov was whistling in the dark.