This week in class I read more of Sergei Kourdakov’s autobiography “The Persecutor.” In this essay I’m going to talk about decisions Kourdakov made that led to his failed assignment.
If you have not read the book here is some background. Kourdakov joined the Soviet Union Navy at the age of 18 and immediately starting climbing in rank. He had self-motivation and had developed a good reputation for himself. One day a man from the Secret Police came to Kourdakov and recruited him. Kourdakov, and 14 of his friends, became a unit working for the Secret Police. They were only called in to do small jobs like breaking up bar fights. These small assignments were actually training for something bigger, breaking up the Believer’s (God worshipping people) meetings. The first raid against the Believers did not go the way Kourdakov’s superior wanted it to go and the men were sent back to bar fights.
Honestly there are quite a few things that led him to fail the assignment. If he never joined the Navy he might have never been recruited for the Secret Police and never would have an assignment to fail. Even if he had joined the Army, he probably would have gotten recruited. With Kourdakov’s motivation and reputation he would have risen in ranks, like in the Navy, and would become known by the Secret Police.
If his reputation and motivation is the reason he became well-known by the higher commanders, what choices did he make that gave him the motivation? His motivation to always get to the top stemmed from an incident that happened to him as a child. Kourdakov, an orphan, was placed in a children’s home with other orphans and children who were taken from their parents. When Kourdakov was young a famine struck the Soviet Union. One of his closest friends, Sasha, died because of the famine. That was the day Kourdakov learnt that in this world only the strongest survived. This drove Kourdakov to always be the best and strongest. He was determined to survive.
He started to throw himself into schoolwork and eventually got noticed by his teachers. The head of his school placed him in charge of the Communist Youth Group of his town. After that Kourdakov, still determined to be the best, worked hard to make his youth group the best in the district. In the book Kourdakov talks about how ambitious this goal was since the district he was in was rather large. But when you are motivated you can do anything. He won the award of best youth group in the district. With this reputation, it was no wonder he started to rise in rank after joining the Navy.
The only way Kourdakov would not have been noticed by the Secret Police is if he joined his friend’s crime syndicate or if he became a normal civilian. I personally think that if he joined civilian life he would excel at whatever he was doing, but he would not be happy. With his ambition he would not be satisfied until he was at the top. Knowing this, I would assume he would have joined his friends’ crime syndicate and become the head of a gang.
As you can see, there are multiple choices that led to the failed assignment. It is funny to think that so many things happened because of one event that impacted Kourdakov as a child. I wonder what would Kourdakov done with his life if he never met poor Sasha. Would he have turned out as motivated and hardworking? Or would he have turned to drugs and vodka like his friends?
I suppose we will never know.