Putin’s Useful Idiotl

by Kenyon Kane

It’s Putin’s side of Moscow, but it’s 1984 when it was the Soviet Union, the USSR, the CCCP, before the Russian Federation, when the hammer and sickle on the red flag meant something sinister and threatening. Back then, Moscow was fresh to Americans, and alluring, our culture, their culture, a romance of cultures. Then it got personal, from new comrades to new lovers, each of them wounded in their own way by their past.

But Moscow back then was a dangerous city too. Powerful men were losing their livelihoods, and murder was a common business practice. And of course, the KGB still used the “hammer” therapy back then to get the information they wanted.

Putin’s Useful Idiot begins in November 1984. Richard Hart lands at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on a hazardous duty project he didn’t want. He carries with him, a dossier he doesn’t have security clearance to open, a map of Moscow missing most of the street names, five ten-dollar bills (probably dyed with invisible ink) and an American Express card. Acting as an independent businessman, Hart must close a real estate transaction with the KGB, rig the transaction to produce enough “black money” to bribe several KGB hard-liners to retire, and get out alive.