Terence Keyes: The Man Who Bought the Russian Banking System For Britain
Terence Keyes (1877-1939) was an important player both in the Great Game and latterly and crucially in the clandestine war against the Bolshevik regime in 1918-1920. This account concentrates upon his involvement in the First World War and then in the Russian Civil War.
Keyes was the mastermind of a British plot to seize control of the Russian banking system with the express intention of funding Counter-Revolution and overthrowing the Bolshevik regime. There were several attempts to achieve this, one of which only failed because of Lenin’s miraculous recovery from an assassination attempt and the murder of a British Naval Commander on the steps of the British Embassy.
Throughout this time, Keyes also had secret dealings with Lenin and the Bolsheviks, the details of which remain shrouded in mystery. He subsequently became one of the most important British advisers to General Denikin, the most important of the White leaders.
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Earlier in his career, Keyes was actively involved in combating Russian and subsequently German threats to British India and played a crucial but also deft role in defeating German schemes to precipitate full-scale rebellion against the British Raj.
Although little known, Keyes had a Zelig-like ability to be at the centre of events during some of the most dramatic moments of the early twentieth century.
Richard Whittingham has made use of previously unpublished archive material to put together the first dramatic account of an absorbing and complex figure.