In an interview on the Arabic-language Russia Today TV, former senior KGB official Yuri Kotov recounted behind-the-scenes secrets from the days of Perestroika. Kotov said that Mikhail Gorbachev, who was "intoxicated" with the new relationship with the West, had ignored information provided by the KGB to the effect that the Americans were continuing to act against the USSR, deceiving its leadership. According to Kotov, when KGB head Kryuchkov brought highly reliable information to this effect, Gorbachev shouted: "Don't try to drive a wedge between the Americans and me. Take this information with you. I have no need for it." The interview aired on December 21, 2016.
Yuri Kotov: "During and following the dissolution of the USSR, I was an intelligence officer in a country that I cannot name. This was in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. I used to come from where I served, and naturally, I felt what was going on in Moscow, and in the leadership in the various state institutions, including the Committee for State Security – the KGB.
"In my view, the country's top leadership, especially Mikhail Gorbachev, were under the influence of the intoxication that began in the late 1980s, when various agreements were signed with Western countries, such as the reunification of East and West Germany. Back then, Gorbachev was full of praise for the Western leaders. The word perestroika became a well-known international term, and Gorbachev, in particular, became famous worldwide. For many Soviet politicians, especially Mikhail Gorbachev, a new era had begun – an era of false cooperation, rather than confrontation.
"Gorbachev publicly declared that the USSR no longer had any rivals in the world, but only partners. That was the situation. It reached the point that Vladimir Kryuchkov, head of the KGB at the time, would inform Mikhail Gorbachev of top secret information, obtained from important intelligence sources, pointing to anti-Soviet plans and intentions of the United States. Despite the external [façade] of affection, the U.S. never stopped its policy of conflict and sabotage against us. The Americans wanted to make further inroads, to weaken the USSR, and to prevent it from developing. Therefore, Kryuchkov's information was essential to our leadership, and should have led to resolute political positions.
"Once, after Kryuchkov had placed grave documents on Gorbachev's desk, the latter realized that they contained information pointing to the fact that the Americans were deceiving [us], and doing the opposite of what they say. The head of the KGB told him that the source was completely trustworthy, and that he personally knew the person who had divulged this information."
Interviewer: "Kryuchkov brought it to Gorbachev?"
Yuri Kotov: "Yes, he brought this secret information. At that moment, Gorbachev shouted: 'Don't try to drive a wedge between the Americans and me. Take this information with you. I have no need for it.' Can you imagine that?"
Interviewer: "How terrible."
Yuri Kotov: "Nobody knows about this."