[After a meeting with the Central Committee, Legasov confronts KGB official Aleksandr Charkov about Khomyuk's arrest]

Legasov: She was arrested by the KGB. You are the first deputy chairman of the KGB.

Aleksandr Charkov: [amused] I am. That's why I don't have to bother with arresting people anymore.

Legasov: But you are bothering with having us followed.

Shcherbina: I think the deputy chairman is busy...

Charkov: No no, it's perfectly understandable. Comrade, I know you've heard the stories about us. When I hear them, even I am shocked. But we are not what people say. Yes, people are following you. People are following those people. And you see them? They follow me. The KGB is a circle of accountability. Nothing more.

Legasov: You know the work we're doing here. You really don't trust us?

Charkov: Of course I do. But you know the old Russian proverb: ‘Trust, but verify.’ And the Americans think that Ronald Reagan thought that up. Can you imagine? It was very nice speaking with you. [turns to walk away]

Legasov: I need her.

Charkov: [turns back] So you will be accountable for her? [Legasov nods] Then it's done.

Legasov: Her name is—

Charkov: I know who she is. Good day, Professor. [walks off; Legasov glances at Shcherbina]

Shcherbina: No, that went surprisingly well. You came off like a naive idiot. And naive idiots are not a threat.”
Tagged: KGB, Ronald Reagan

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