The Lithuanian press published a sensation: a number of prominent Lithuanian artists in Soviet times, was recruited by the KGB. Local media publish the data of the research Centre of genocide and resistance of Lithuanian residents. According to them, beloved by millions of Soviet – and not only – citizens actor Donatas Banionis had a nickname of “bronys” and gave Moscow information about living in the US citizens.
Donatas Banionis and Natalya Bondarchuk, frame from the film “Solaris” (A. Tarkovsky, 1972)
Donatas Banionis was recruited by the KGB in 1970, reports Delfi with reference to the published data of the Patriotic research center.
It is alleged that he received an invitation to visit the United States in that year, and since then began to give the Soviet secret police information about Lithuanians living in the United States.
“Agent (stating that Banionis had the call of bronys – “MK”) has established contacts with some Lithuanian emigrants, which interested the KGB. He introduced them to the feature. This could facilitate the operational work (shadowing) during a visit to these people of Lithuania”, – stated in the published report.
According to the Lithuanian researchers of the intelligence network, the actor came out in 1974. The probable reason for this is the fact that Banionis was elected Deputy of the Supreme Council of the LSSR.
Donatas Banionis was awarded the title people’s artist of the USSR in 1974. A wide audience he is known for his roles in the films “Nobody wanted to die”, “the Little Prince”, “King Lear”. Played a major role in “Solaris” by Andrei Tarkovsky, the film won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival in 1972.
Read the material: “Donatas Banionis. The one and only and last”