After escaping China, Vasili Yasevich wound up in Smidovich in the summer of 1951. He was able to convince the local MGB officer, Gleb Sukhanov that he'd hailed from Khabarovsk, a city destroyed by an Americanatomic bomb a few weeks prior. Yasevich claimed that he'd been outside Khabarovsk proper, visiting a married woman when the Americans attacked. He also claimed that he'd lost his identification card as a result. While Sukhanov seemed to have his doubts, he was prepared to let Yasevich alone so long as he stayed out of trouble.