Anything Goes : Operation golden fleece by Antonia Patsidou

Antonia Patsidou

Operation golden fleece

The journalists on military themes were calling Basil Ntertilis, as the “Greek 007“. Not only for his nice appearance, but also for the many secretly missions occasionally had undertaken. He was one of the best officers. In Yugoslavia and Georgia, Africa and Albania, Ntertilis could make possible that the others couldn’t. His secret missions in “flaming” Balkans have writen, history. There are many stories and theories that is heard about those “lonely” missions by the Greek “007″. But, no one can argue that he was aware of the content of these secret missions. Basil Ntertilis was very good as a secret officer and that means that always said a few words, to the people he should speak. With certainty he had created an important network of contacts, that it was envied by many “big” countries that would like to exploit. During the Yugoslav Civil War (1991 to 1999), Basil Ntertilis had managed to have contacts with almost all the protagonists. And most importantly, he managed to gain their trust. Basil Ntertilis, the head of Special Operations in the early 90′s, has “gone”. After a tough battle, the “last battle”, defeated and “gone for his last mission”. He left his last breath two years ago in Austria, where he lived the last years. OPERATION GOLDEN FLEECE He was the head of the operation for the evacuating of expatriates from Sukhumi, (capital of Abkhazia). About the notorious Operation Golden Fleece, every time the journalists met Basil Ntertilis, asked by him to narrate it, again and again. And everytime they agreed, that this story should be a book, but never transferred these stories in the paper so to become a book. By those narrative stories, the journalists had given him the nickname 007. Even his collaboration with the then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Virginia Tsouderou (1991 – 1993), in the Operation Golden Fleece, was another element that reminiscent of the James Bond movies.

Antonia Patsidou

It is dawn on August 15th, 1993. At the port of Sukhumi are raging the battles between Georgians and Abkhazians. At the port has arrived a Greek passenger ship. On the outskirts of the harbor, about 2,000 expatriates accompanied by a small group of Greek Naval SEALs led by the Navy Commodore Basil Ntertilis. They try to arrive safely at the port to board at the ship. Since the War in Abkhazia (1992–93), the Greeks already count 200 dead people. The “legend” says that the Greek military comes in agreement with Abkhazians, who take control of the port and give assurances about the safety of the Greeks. The passenger ship enters the port and the Greeks picked up lightning-fast.

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