Another 08/01/20 Agent “bronys”: how a Soviet actor Donatas Banionis worked for the KGB

Soviet actor Donatas Banionis for his work has received many awards in Lithuania, Russia and other countries. A wide audience he is known for such films as “Beware of the car” and “Solaris”. However, people’s artist of the USSR there was another “line” – as evidenced by the archives, the KGB, he for several years was listed as a secret agent.


the Declassified documents of the security services studied representatives of the state research Center of genocide and resistance of Lithuanian residents. According to the published extract from the records of the KGB, in the 1970s, the Committee of state security of the USSR recruited Banionis, who by that time already more than 10 years he was a member of the Communist party. In the same decade, he was elected Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR.

Examining the paper, Lithuanian researchers found in the journal name recruited the actor, inscribed by the hand of an unknown employee.

Banionis had the online alias of “bronys”. His task was to provide the KGB with information about Lithuanian emigrants living abroad, with whom the artist had personal and business relationships. Speech, in particular, was a trip in 1970 to America where he was invited emigrant Association of the Santara-Šviesa. Features Banionis, these persons helped the KGB to organize the surveillance of immigrants, when they came to the USSR. In addition, meeting with immigrant workers, were sent to persuade them to positive view of Soviet Lithuania.

Banionis was part of a secret network from 1970 to 1974, although magazine, which listed his name, dates from 1987.

After the proclamation of independence of Lithuania the artist has not followed the example of other fellow citizens and not confessed voluntarily, in cooperation with the KGB. However, in 2009, he told the Russian gasete “Moskovsky Komsomolets” that upon return from USA wrote reports for the KGB, in which he had to “lie” to not harm “good people”.

“I had to do it, otherwise I would more abroad was not allowed, and I would not be able to work anywhere else,” claimed Banionis.

About Santara-Šviesa actor told in the memories that these people tried to establish friendly relations with the Soviet Lithuanians in order not to lose their roots.


In Lithuania, after the appearance of this information in mass media artist announced almost an “enemy of the people”.

He Donatas Banionis, who died in 2014, the fact of the publication of his agent last comment could not. But his son Raimundas Banionis accusation from the government center, according to his confession, was “surprised” and even scared. He was thinking about sue, like the relatives of another exposed agent, conductor Saulius Sondeckis.

the Emergence of Donatas Banionis in the lists of KGB Raimundas, in fact repeating the words of his father, explained that before the trip to the States, my father was summoned to the intelligence Agency, where he received instruction on how to behave appropriately. He also added that the actor had a negative attitude to the Soviet power and America was perceived as a free country.

the Lustration Commission of Lithuania decided a case Banionis few months after the publication of the documents, I came to the conclusion that irrefutable evidence of secret cooperation, we believe that the KGB still exists. This was stated by the Chairman of the Commission Algimantas Urmonas. He noted that after reviewing paperwork he was having “dark thoughts” about Banionis, however, the study of the sources showed that they could be “provocative.”

Experts have also criticized the Lithuanian center for the study of genocide and resistance of incompetence. For example, the member of the Seimas Dalia Kuodyte previously she headed the Centre, said they were only using part of the documents, the reliability of which, moreover, under VOPRoth.

Center Director Teresa Bureyskaya, apologizing, said that the documents “were not evaluative”.

the Question of how tightly, in fact, Donatas Banionis collaborated with the KGB, can be clarified, if it will ever be declassified his own business – it is now in the archives of the FSB of Russia.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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