The Mezh

THE MEZH – Once Upon a Time in the USSR

„The Mezh – Once Upon a Time in the USSR“ is among the best-selling e-books on Amazon and regularly ranked as a Best Seller in the “Biographies of the Cold War” category.

The Grigorov brothers’ first novel, called “Mezhdunarodnaya – Once Upon a Time in the USSR”, was published in Bulgaria in July 2019. The English translation was released in August 2022 under the title „The Mezh – Once Upon a Time in the USSR .

This fascinating work cannot be put into any single category of genre – drama, espionage thriller, historical epic. Elements of all three are uniquely combined in the novel. Taking into account the experiences of the authors, the style of the book mostly approaches “creative non-fiction”. This popular and emerging new genre is a hybrid of memoir and fiction: based primarily on real-life events, but imagining other events that the author might not have witnessed personally, or inserting fictional characters.

Inspired by real events and based on solid documentary facts, the authors masterfully illuminate the untold story of the Video Revolution and its key role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Considering today’s realities, bearing in mind the importance of the emergence of the Internet, social networks and the subsequent mass dependence on them, it is difficult to explain why no one remembers how Hollywood Destroyed the Soviet Union, and it is even more curious to believe that almost no one knows about it.

The Mezh is a novel about times passed, about the life of foreigners in the Soviet capital in the midst of the Cold War, about a different Moscow that new generations do not know much about.

This is a fascinating story about the extraordinary destiny of a young man facing the challenge of selling his soul and becoming a informer or preserving his dignity, embarking on a new path to a new world.

The novel traces the period from 1982 to 1988 and follows the life of a foreign student in Moscow, who became one of the key players on the Soviet black market and unexpectedly crossed paths with the main participants in the two major Cold War espionage scandals – The Bug House related to the construction of the new US Embassy in Moscow and the racy Sex for Secrets when, for the first time in US history, marine guards of the US Embassy were convicted on charges of espionage and treason.

The authors describe a series of dramatic events that in an incredible way intertwine the life paths of the characters, involving each of them in a fierce battle behind the scenes that accompanies the signing of the INF Treaty.

The accounts about celebrities such as Kim Il-Sung’s grandson, singer Laima Vaikule, Boris Moiseev and the Expression trio, as well as meetings with the US Embassy Rescue Team”, Marine Guards, with President Reagan’s aides and many others are authentic.

The story takes place mostly in the iconic building – The First Business Center at the heart of Moscow – known as Armand Hammer’s gift. The complex described in detail by the authors is unique for its time and includes a hotel with bars and restaurants, where secret deals and meetings were held, for which besides Soviet citizens, for whom access was denied, this place remains a mystery to the world community. Most expats referred to it as Mezhdunarodnaya, or simply The Mezh.

On the left bank of the Moskva River, about a kilometer from the Russian government building, is a huge complex built in the second half of the 1970s, quite modern by today’s architectural standards and adequate to the times we live in now. For the first visitors of this modern facility, it will always be known as The Mezh.