Escape from the USSR by swimming across the sea: racing swimmer Commissioners

Another 11/01/20 Creative Somemore from the Soviet Union by swimming across the sea: racing swimmer Commissioners

in the Summer of 1965 was made the first successful escape from the Soviet Union. Happiness is to stay alive and not to be placed in a psychiatric hospital smiled the 26-year-old Vladimir Komissarov who wanted to get out on the waves of the Black sea.

the Athlete

Born in pre-war Leningrad, Vladimir, soon, along with her mother was in Novosibirsk, where fate brought them to Germany. Having stayed at the new place of residence until 1949, they returned to the Soviet Union, decided to settle in Moscow.
10-year-old boy Commissioners joined the section navigation, and was not mistaken with a choice of sport because it began to show very good results. When in 1958, Vladimir offered to try their hand at modern pentathlon, which includes fencing, show jumping, running, swimming and shooting, he agreed. After four months of training at the Youth championship of the USSR, he stopped in a step from a pedestal, but in 1959 became a full champion.
the following year Komissarova together with members of the team allowed to travel to European countries, were part of the socialist camp. Life, though a Communist, but the Western States, appeared to him to be more free than that which he led in the USSR, and it was at this point in his mind the idea of escape.
of Course, Vladimir was able to escape and seek political asylum being at competitions abroad, but as he himself admitted in an interview, he didn’t want to expose neither the teammates nor the coaches nor the Federation.

the Escape

5 years the Commissioners have hatched a plan of escape, which in the case of failure to respond he would have one. In the result he had the idea to use your physique, not only in sports but also in everyday purposes.
having Arrived in the summer of 1The 965 in the Georgian resort city of Batumi, Vladimir during the month studied the features of the beach and the Black sea, to swim in which was permitted at a distance not more than 50 meters from the shore.
Another ban was extended to the time of the adoption of water treatments – the entrance to the sea after 9 PM was not admitted.
in order to circumvent these obstacles the Commissioners decided to act in a storm, when the coast and border guards were harder to detect the likely defectors.
Waiting for the optimal weather, Vladimir, accompanied by two friends went to the beach where, after 9 PM, it was crowded, resting, sitting just enjoying the sea views.
At 10 o’clock in the evening they came to the shore with the periphery of the entrance, at this distance from the Central area, that her guests could only see their silhouettes. To the casual witness did not notice that went to the sea and back only a couple of comrades went to the trick – one of them walked a little distance from the other two, which are tightly pressed to each other, imitated the second person.
to Sail from the beach in a 4-point storm was not a simple task, a strong wave threw three Komissarova ashore, and only the fourth attempt allowed him to delve into the black sea waters.
Retiring from Batumi land about two kilometers, he changed course and began to sail parallel to the coast towards the Turkish border.


20 minutes Later after diving into the water feet Komissarova began to hamper seizures that were the result of his bad physical form, and a huge nervous tension. The situation was saved in store in advance of the pin, puncture a few times feet, he began to relax the muscles and continued daring leap to own. On the way to it, Vladimir had to get rid of created additional resistance small bag, in which was laid up nylon pants, shirt and tennis Slippers.

the Floodlight and special PRibori

Once in the open sea, it was important not to fall into the view of guards who to hunt down the fugitives used different types of instruments.
Despite the obvious difficulties of navigation in a storm, the bad weather miraculously helped Vladimir. The raging waters of the Black sea created a noise and aboard submarines, special devices can detect a person’s breath, although in ordinary days, they recorded the movements of schools of fish.
the Other danger is stretching along the coast in a long chain of spotlights whose light went 5-7 kilometers into the waters. Komissarovo to remain unnoticed in a time when the flashlight beam reached his location, was fully submerged in water.


8 hours rowed a total of 25 km, and without knowing, he was already in Turkey or not, the Commissioners began to approach the shore, as the further finding at sea was disastrous – daily at 6 o’clock in the morning over the Black sea very close to the water began to circle around the border of the Soviet helicopters.


Once in Turkey, the Commissioners could not believe that his gamble had succeeded. Four months he felt completely free man until one day the authorities are not forced to visit the Soviet Consulate. The walls of this building, diplomats tried to persuade Vladimir to return home, appealing to the fact that it really want to see his parents and sister he never had. Not yielding to their entreaties, the Commissioners after the meeting, decided to cross the ocean.


In the US, he opted for the life of Texas San Antonio, where he immediately settled in several schools as a teacher of swimming, soccer and fencing.
Improving the English language, Vladimir moved to Vermont, where he enrolled in University to obtain a master’s degree on the subject “Russian literature”.
Along with the passion for teaching, have Komissarova had a dream make it in business. Noticing the unhealthy appetite of Americans to eat, he wanted to open his own restaurant.

Ashkhen Avanesova

© Russian Seven

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