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Short summary

The film takes place in Moscow and in the fictional African country of Traziland, in particular, in its capital, Luisburg. The KGB becomes aware that there is a CIA agent working in Moscow under the code name Trianon, who gives the Americans information related to the situation in another fictional African country of Nagony, bordering on Traziland. In search of a spy, the KGB goes to Olga Winter, a researcher at the Institute of Economics.

Mini-series were filmed by the similar name novel of Julian Semionov.

Part of the filming took place in Cuba.

Prototype of "Trianon" - Alexander Ogorodnik was real employee of American Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in USSR.

Prototype of Vitaly Slavin was Julian Semionov's friend Vyacheslav Kevorkov, KGB general.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Detenta
    I don't know why this is so underrated here. In my opinion it is one of the best political detective stories produced in Soviet Union. Yes, it was shot during Cold War and it is sure permeated with the ideology of fight between two superpowers of this time but nevertheless all this can not overshadow plentiful merits of this mini -- elaborated plot, attentive and careful direction, superb music by Eduard Artemyev. And another thing which strikes me every time i watch it -- every, literally every actor and actress hits directly here, there is no at least one bad performance!!! Director manages to create suspension, and he does this not worse than Sidney Pollack in The tree days of Condor. The plot is very intriguing and really absorbing. I want to point out also to another aspect of the movie -- despite the time set in it soviet movie makers tried to depict Americans as very worthy enemies -- American agents of CIA presented here with big respect which means that soviet respected themselves. And this goes in contrast to most of Hollywood production shot during the Cold War where soviets were depicted simply as morons. It is an excellent movie, and i rate it 9
  • comment
    • Author: Nalmezar
    A Soviet spy thriller in the best tradition of international spy fiction, 'TASS is Authorized to Declare' is a 1984 Soviet ten-part television mini-series, based on the novel of the same title by Yulian Semyonov. It reverses the ideological balance of the novels of John Le Carré, Frederick Forsyth and other masters of the genre.

    The conflict centres on the small African state of Nagonia, newly liberated from colonialism and under Soviet protection, which awaits an invasion (Operation Torch) from the 'contra' forces of Gen. Mario Ogano (Kalifa Konde), backed by both the CIA and the Chinese government. The invasion army, led by German Nazi mercenaries, is training in the jungle and preventing essential supplies reaching Nagonia. There has recently been an explosion on a Soviet cargo ship bound for neighbouring Lewisburg with a cargo of agricultural equipment, lorries and medical supplies, causing a fire and killing three crew. The CIA are believed responsible for this.

    In Lewisburg, American commercial interests, working through under-cover CIA agents, and businessman John Glebb (Vakhtang Kikabidze), are warily in contact with field officer Slavin (Yuri Solomin), whom the KGB have sent to investigate the situation and find a way to prevent the invasion.

    Coded radio messages fly to and fro between Moscow and Lewisburg, Washington and the clandestine receiving post of a CIA mole (Trianon) in the Russian capital. Trianon can advise the CIA of likely Soviet responses to American actions. Tension mounts as those with secret knowledge are killed or disappear. At the Moscow centre intelligence agents under General Konstantinov (Vyacheslav Tikhonov) of the KGB work against the clock trying to unravel contradictory evidence and secret codes.

    When the mole is finally uncovered and a CIA officer under diplomatic cover is caught engaging in espionage red-handed, the US ambassador is summoned to the Soviet foreign ministry in Moscow and confronted with the evidence. He agrees to have Operation Torch called off in return for silence on the part of the Soviets.

    Izvestiya is later able to report: "TASS is authorised to declare that Soviet counter-intelligence has uncovered and neutralised a CIA operation aimed against the USSR and Nagonia."
  • comment
    • Author: Fenrinos
    I seen this movie some years ago as a child and now I have the chance to re-watch it again. Many movies that we loved as children now become silly and lose its charm, not this time though.

    The movie is set in the early 1980's, and while the Cold War is over, this remains by far the smartest movie ever made.

    The premise is the following: In a fictional African country that is now supported by USSR, an uprising (that is supported by the USA) is about to depose its leadership. Because USSR has an agreement to step in, the CIA has to find out exactly what will USSR do in order to make their move.

    All this was promoted by the anonymous letter that was given to the consulate of the neighboring country, which the author claims to witness CIA meeting its Russian Agent.

    The other main plots are these: 1 - In Moscow KGB General (Tikhonov) has to find a an American spy, a Russian who is leaking classified information. He sends Colonel Slavin (Solomin) to the African country in order to figure out who the author of the letter is, who the spy may be as well as other CIA related actions.

    The parts that set this movie apart from many others is the details that are missing anywhere else. For example, when Slavin arrives to the country, in order to find out about a previous accident, we see him masterfully banter with few locals. He does not press them for answers but merely uses his superior intellect to slowly massage the conversation to get information he needs.

    Another situation is when KGB General (Tikhonov) is analyzing known information in order to make decisions...The detail given to the back story and the facts and the reasons, makes me plausible and paints realistic view of how such decisions are made. In separate episodes, 10 minute shots were shown in details to not give the audience answers but merely to guide them through the process.

    Yes, I will admit, that at times the movie can be a bit slow, such as during some of the ethical or sociological conversations, where for good 10-15 minutes, nothing really happens except two people quoting famous thinkers of the past in order to push western or socialist reasoning.

    I find that to be the difference between quality adaptations and Hollywood money making layer-less flicks. Yes, you can cut 10-15 minutes from each episode because nothing really happens there, but there is actually something happens.

    ***spoilers**** That conversation Slavin had with another person in earlier episode, was just 15 minutes of nothing really, except it achieved 2 things. 1 down the line when it came to the point to judging that person's motives & reasons to betray his country, Slavin was able to determine that it was unlikely. ***spoilers****

    The last reason why I really enjoyed this movie is because it's the most realistic one, where each side KGB/CIA are treated as smart counterparts. The movie does not try to push agenda or paint one or the other as unpatriotic, it simply stays away from that. Instead of shows both sides thinking, methods, and reasons for doing what they do.
  • comment
    • Author: zzzachibis
    "TASS is authorized to declare" is TV series story created 99% from real events which really did took place in USSR during Brezhnev. CIA managed to recruit an officer working in one of the secret departments of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign affairs, so American intelligence starts to receive highly secret classified information about Soviet international activities directly from the top of the table in the highest cabinets of the Soviet MFA. Quite soon Soviets start indirectly to feel a leak judging by the American government behavior and take active measures to detect who is the mole. The TV series show a big game of the Soviet intelligence VS American intelligence in detail, the characters on both sides brilliantly played by top Soviet and foreign actors, the tactics and strategies of the intelligencies, and the political situation in the world determined by the civilizational clash between the Russian world and the Americanized world. If you are into a good political detective, this is a must watch.
  • Series cast summary:
    Vyacheslav Tikhonov Vyacheslav Tikhonov - Konstantinov 10 episodes, 1984
    Yuriy Solomin Yuriy Solomin - Slavin 10 episodes, 1984
    Nikolay Zasukhin Nikolay Zasukhin - Makarov 10 episodes, 1984
    Aleksey Petrenko Aleksey Petrenko - Paul Dick 10 episodes, 1984
    Boris Khimichev Boris Khimichev - Michael Welsh 10 episodes, 1984
    Vakhtang Kikabidze Vakhtang Kikabidze - John Glabb 10 episodes, 1984
    Eleonora Zubkova Eleonora Zubkova - Pilar 10 episodes, 1984
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