An astonishing statement comes with a price.
Soviet Minister of Sports Delmont Zegnies makes Cold War history when he announces that the Latvian Socialist State will no longer seek Moscow’s approval for its affairs. That costs Zegnies his life—and spins the wheels that drags an American bobsled coach into political trouble in a foreign land.
Inspired by what is believed to be the start of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Norman Miller’s IceSpy details the fallout in the aftermath of that 1989 interaction with the press that Zegnies called with U.S. Olympic bobsled coach Norman Miller in Riga, Latvia. Their announcement, that the Soviet Bobsled Team will visit the United States in February 1990 to take part in the 10th anniversary celebration of the 1980 Olympic Games, was made as planned until a reporter from the Soviet state media asked the sports officials about the controversial move to let Americans in Latvia without permission from Moscow. “The Latvian Socialist State … made the decision … to handle their own affairs, and not Moscow,” Zegnies told the reporter.
That was believed to be the first public statement—made by a Soviet official, no less—that Latvia would no longer be under Moscow’s rule. In a highstrung series of succeeding events, Miller found himself evading the KGB and ending up in Estonia, and Zegnies suffering from the consequences of his action.
Drawing from 33 years of military experience, author Norman L. Miller is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran.
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