The three versions of Nikos Zachariadis death

A. The first two versions

In the first days of August 1973, when the Soviet authorities and the 
Khruschevian Florakis leadership announced that Nikos Zachariadis died, two 
different versions of his death were immediately formulated. The first and the 
official one was presented by his executioners, the social-democratic 
Brezhnev-Florakis leadership: “On the 1st of August Nikos Zachariadis died from 
heart attack at the age of 70” (Announcement from the CC of “K”KE). The second 
one was supported by the overwhelming majority of Greek communists (more than 
95%) who rejected at once the version according to which Nikos Zachariadis died 
from “heart attack”, regarding it as a KGB fabrication, and believed that he 
was murdered by the Khruschevian revisionists (Soviet and Greek) in Sorgut, 
Siberia, his place of exile. 

B. The third version, of “suicide”, or how the soviet revisionists and the 
social-democratic clique of Florakis-Tsolakis-Koukoulou et al. contradict 

Seventeen years after the initial “announcement” of the Soviet authorities, 
Alexander Petrushin, a KGB Colonel, sent a note to the newspaper “Tiumenski 
Izvestia” in which he contradicted the original version and presented a third 
one, that of “suicide”: “the General Secretary of the CC of KKE, Nikos 
Zachariadis, did not die from heart attack, as it has been known until now, but 
he committed suicide by hanging himself on the 1st of August of 1973 in Sorgut, 
Siberia, where he was in exile under the name of Nikolai Nikolayevich 
Nikolayev” (“Rizospastis”, 9/12/1990).

It is obvious that these two versions of Nikos Zachariadis’s death, the one of 
“heart attack” and the other of “suicide”, are mutually exclusive and, 
therefore, false.

The treacherous social-democratic cliques of Brezhnev-Florakis, the actual 
executioners of Nikos Zachariadis, flatly contradict themselves. When were they 
telling the truth, in 1973 or in 1990? In both cases they were, obviously, 
lying in order to cover the crime they committed, that is, the murder of Nikos 
Zachariadis, a crime that even the Nazis did not dare to commit.

The Khruschevian revisionists’ second version, the one of “suicide”, is anyway 
without a basis because: a) communists do not commit suicide and under no 
circumstances  would Nikos Zachariadis, as a communist leader, do such a thing 
because his philosophical outlook was that of revolutionary 
Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism, i.e. the militant philosophy of revolutionary class 
struggle and, moreover, he had never advised any communist to kill himself but 
to fight until the end sacrificing their very life for the interests of the 
working class, the cause of the proletarian revolution and socialism-communism; 
b) Nikos Zachariadis “committed suicide” exactly like our people’s hero, the 
leader of the trade-union association, Dimitris Paparigas whose own murder was 
presented by the Greek State Security as a suicide committed allegedly using 
his pyjamas’ cord.

C. The murder of Nikos Zachariadis

The overwhelming majority of Greek communists correctly reckoned, and still  
reckons, that the Soviet revisionists were the ones who murdered Nikos 
Zachariadis following an agreement with and a demand from the treacherous 
clique of Florakis-Loules-Tsolakis-Koukoulou et al. in order to maintain the 
existence of the social-democratic “K”KE whose presence and action served, on 
one hand, the foreign policy of the revisionist-capitalist Soviet Union and, on 
the other, the interests of the indigenous reactionary bourgeois class acting 
as its agency in the ranks of the Greek working class movement.

It was not a coincidence at all that the heinous crime of Nikos Zachariadis 
murder was committed on the eve of political “change” in Greece. The Soviet 
revisionists, due to their collaboration with the American imperialists, were 
aware that a political “change” is imminent in Greece, namely the replacement 
of the military-fascist dictatorship by a bourgeois “democratic” government. If 
the new government wanted to maintain its democratic faηade, it had not only to 
legalise the revisionist “K”KE but, also, to allow the repatriation of the 
communist political refugees, the former DAG partisans, from the revisionist 
countries. However, it was known to both the Greek and Soviet revisionists that 
the great majority (about 85%-95%) of the Greek communists were staunch 
supporters of Zachariadis and, upon their return to Greece, would immediately 
raise the issue of his liberation from exile employing all possible means 
including daily
 demonstrations in front of the Soviet embassy and an international campaign. 
Under such pressure, the Soviet revisionists would be compelled to set him free 
and let him return to his homeland. 

Consequently, under these circumstances that were beyond their control, and 
aware of the great authority Nikos Zachariadis enjoyed among the Greek 
communists, the Soviet revisionists of the Brezhnev anticommunist clique 
decided to murder the great communist leader and former member of the EC of the 
Third International in accordance with the agreeable opinion and demand of the 
social-democratic Florakis leadership. The reasons behind this decision were 
directly linked with the consequences the return of Nikos Zachariadis to Greece 
would have:  a) the inevitable downfall of their instruments in the country, 
that is the liquidation of the two social-democratic parties “K”KE and “K”KE-in 
due to great influence he had on Greek communists b) the reorganisation of the 
communists and the formation of the revolutionary massive KKE, guided by 
revolutionary Marxism, that is of Leninism-Stalinism, and the concomitant 
preservation of the antifascist,
 anti-imperialist EDA party (that was liquidated by the revisionists and 
replaced by, the harmless to the interests of the bourgeois and the 
imperialists, PASOK) c) the prospect of a revolutionary KKE in alliance with 
the socialist Albania would be very dangerous, at that time, to the fate of 
Kruschevian revisionism in Europe, to the existence and activity of the Soviet 
and European revisionists. 

In addition to the above, what shows that the third version of Nikos 
Zachariadis death, i.e. the one of his murder, is correct and convincing are 
the following: 

First, the statement-confession made by Stavros Zorbalas, the director of the 
Centre of Marxist Studies, in 1980: “How could there be a Party (meaning the 
revisionist “K”KE) if Zachariadis would come to Greece?”  (D. Vyssios: “Open 
letter to Boris Nikolayevich Panomariov, former head of the Department of 
International Relations of the CC of CPSU) but, also, by Panos Demetriou: “at 
any rate, only a KGB report can solve the riddle concerning his death” 
(“Ethnos”, 29/12/1990).

Second, the very important testimony of the journalist Vera Kuznechova in her 
interview: “I brought G. Mauros (Greek journalist) in contact with competent 
persons like Zachariadis’s guard and the forensic doctor who, under pressure, 
wrote falsely in his report that Nikos Zachariadis died from heart attack. When 
I talked to him, he admitted that he had diagnosed assassination, no heart 

Third, the statement made by Natalia Tomilina, the director of the Russian 
State Archives, in the spring of 2000: “Not all evidence pertaining Nikos 
Zachariadis has been published and, especially, the documents related to the 
circumstances of his death. These documents have been classified as top secret 
and no access to them is allowed until they are declassified.” (Lefteris 
Apostolou “Nikos Zachariades”, p. 15, Filistor, 2000).

But the fundamental question arises here: if the case of Nikos Zachariadis 
death was drawn to definite close with the establishment of the “suicide” 
version, why, then, the part of the Archives related to the circumstances of 
his death is not published?  Why the documents about the circumstances of his 
death are, still, classified as top secret and no access to them is allowed?

It is evident that the anticommunist Khruschevian revisionists and their 
fascist secret services, even after more than three decades (1973-2006) and 
despite continuous “editing”, cannot render their Archives plausible as to the 
second false version of Nikos Zachariadis death, the one of “suicide”.

The above statement of the director of the Russian Archives makes the version 
of adopted by the exiled Greek communists even more convincing. According to 
this version Nikos Zachariadis was murdered by the Kruschevian-Brezhnevic 
leadership having secured the consensus of H. Florakis who “even if he did not 
ask for this himself”, as the veteran communist N. Kepesis wrote: “at any rate, 
H. Florakis was the instigator of Nikos Zachariadis’s murder”.

Movement for the Reorganisation of the Communist Party of Greece 1918-1955

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