Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

Renegade Russian general, portrayed by handsome Dutch leading man Jeroen Krabbé, who joins forces with arms dealer Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker) to perpetrate a huge drug deal in The Living Daylights. Actually, Koskov’s story begins a million miles away from anything resembling a drug deal: he’s introduced in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, as a defecting Russian general. Bond (Timothy Dalton) is assigned to help him cross the border into Austria, and during the operation, he foils an assassination attempt on a beautiful blonde cellist named Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo). Bond is unaware that Koskov is Milovy’s patron/lover and that he planned the assassination attempt to make his defection appear genuine. Koskov is actually partnered with Whitaker in the aforementioned drug deal.

Using a $50 million advance provided by the Russians for Whitaker’s latest high-tech weapons, Koskov and Whitaker plan to convert the money into diamonds and trade them to the drug-dealing Snow Leopard Brotherhood of Afghanistan for a cache of raw opium. They will then sell the drugs on the open market, making enough of a profit to have enough money left over to supply the Russians with their arms. All they need is time, but KGB chief General Leonid Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies), already on the trail of Koskov, won’t give it to them.

Arriving in England, Koskov is quartered at the heavily guarded Bladen safe house. There he quickly tells M (Robert Brown), Defence Minister Freddie Gray (Geoffrey Keen), and Bond that Pushkin is behind a fiendish plot called “Smiert Spionam,” which is designed to kill off British and American spies. Soon after spilling this information, which compels M to order 007 to liquidate Pushkin, Koskov is abducted from the safe house by what appears to be a KGB agent. In actuality the agent, Necros (Andreas Wisniewski), is working for Koskov, and the abduction is another ruse designed to confuse both the British and the KGB.

Brought safely to Whitaker’s house in Tangier, Koskov prepares to leave for Afghanistan and his drug deal. First, he informs Whitaker that Pushkin will be killed before Whitaker has to return the $50 million arms advance, but Whitaker’s not convinced that the British will assassinate Pushkin. Koskov determines that another British agent must die before the British act. Necros then goes to Vienna, where he kills Saunders (Thomas Wheatley), the local British Secret Service section chief. Determined to stop “Smiert Spionam,” Bond arrives in Tangier to kill Pushkin—but instead joins forces with the KGB general to expose the Koskov/Whitaker plot. Pushkin “dies” in a sham assassination at the hands of Bond.

But 007 forgets about Kara, who is tricked by Koskov into thinking that Bond is a KGB agent. Drugged by Kara, Bond is shipped to Afghanistan on Koskov’s transport plane. Kara soon learns that she followed the wrong man’s advice. Still, she and Bond manage to escape from a Russian air base, and with the help of local mujahedeen rebels, they’re able to disrupt Koskov’s drug deal, destroying a cargo plane full of raw opium. Koskov unbelievably survives a truly incredible head-on crash with a twin-engine plane, but is later captured in Tangier by Pushkin. His probable destination: Siberia.


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