After the release of the first James Bond novel Casino Royale in 1953, Ian Fleming said about the protagonist that agent 007 was just a pale literary shadow of Sidney Reilly, about whose adventures he had read while studying the archives of the British intelligence.
The adventurism and charisma of Reilly, born in Odessa Solomon Rosenblum, made him the prototype of the protagonists of not only Fleming’s novels. He himself, for example, said that it was him Ethel Lilian Voynich wrote about in The Gadfly after a short affair they had. And Valentin Kataev, brother of Yevgeni Petrov, one of the authors of The Twelve Chairs and The Golden Calf, asserted that the character of Ostap Bender was largely copied from Sidney Reilly, who really passed himself off as a Turkish citizen and visited Brazil. Bender’s famous phrase: “This is not Rio de Janeiro. This is much worse,” according to Kataev, belongs to Reilly.
Winston Churchill’s Russian adviser and British intelligence agent Sidney Reilly was fluent in six languages, and is considered the Ace of Spies of the 20th century.
After the attempt on Lenin’s life organized by him on August 30, 1918, the Bolsheviks sentenced Reilly to death in absentia and developed a special operation “Trust” to capture him, which was a success seven years later.
Having come to the USSR in 1925 to meet with the mythical monarchist organization, Reilly never returned to England. Executed by shooting by Stalin’s personal orders in the forest in Sokolniki, he was buried in the courtyard of the Lubyanka prison.