Agnessa Mironova-Korol (1903–1982) was born in the southern Russian city of Maikop. She was a provincial girl who dreamed only of romance and passionate love. But civil war was
raging in Russia, and the quiet city of Maikop became the epicenter of bloody events. Agnessa followed her first husband, Red commander Ivan Zarnitsky, to Rostov in the 1920s.
There she met her second husband and the “love of her life”, the Cheka officer Sergei Mironov.
Alongside Mironov, who reached the top of the Stalinist social elite, Agnessa spent the 1930s in happiness and luxury. Later, after Mironov was arrested and executed, she found herself in the NKVD jail and a Gulag camp. Aged Agnes has shared her life story with oral historian Mira Yakovenko, who recorded her memories in the 1960s and 1970s. Agnessa definitely wasn’t trying to elicit sympathy or compassion, but rather to revive the bright and happy days when she was so victorious, beloved, beautiful, and nicely-dressed.
There’s no bigotry or hypocrisy in Agnessa’s life ideology, she is too proud and self-assured in her own attractiveness and her feminine power over men. At certain moments of her life, she demonstrates a highest degree of determination mixed with filibusterism. Her memoirsare a unique document that opens the secret door into living rooms and boudoirs of Stalin’s “hangmen”, top-ranked Soviet secret police officers during the purges of 1930-40s.