Ivan Yazov is an agent with the CIA.
Well, sort of.
Truth be told, Yazov is, in my opinion, very much a freelance agent working for himself alone and having no allegiance to any person, place, or country. Certainly not to his homeland of Bulgaria where he had lived and worked much of his life, rising in the ranks of the notoriously brutal MGB (Ministry of State Security) until he was a Colonel.
It has been well established by many sources that the Soviet KGB, when it needed extremely efficient and brutal wet work done, often called upon the MGB to do it. Yazov was one of those so asked and he never flinched no matter the task. Numerous of his executions would be over the years CIA agents, which makes his going to work for them as a double agent so interesting.
He did not make the switch over anything as ridiculous as political leanings. He was mercenary to his bones and the thought of making a considerable amount of money, certainly far more than he did for the MGB, was his primary motivation. And after life required he abandon his life in Bulgaria and transition to America, he did so in a way that would result in his having a very substantial nest egg as a result. "Nonetheless he would choose when and what to do about [any] idiotic situation, not the MGB, KGB, [or] CIA".
"Ivan Yazov was a merciless man, word of who had passed far beyond Brzina Street", we are told in one early passage. ""Yazov's a regular son-of-a-bitch" is another, this one coming from a CIA official who notes "He does their interrogations. Before we bought him, he killed a few guys, a couple of our own too."
Another example of his style of living is: "Ivan Yazov always slept within easy reach of a rifle, shotgun and pistol in an airy bedroom that opened onto a small brick patio. The patio was kept cool and green by a large syringa tree that grew there and sprouted yet more well placed razor wire. Nobody was, on a whim, going to assassinate Yazov from a perch in the tree while Yazov sipped away at his Turkish coffee."
Yazov was "superbly fit, superbly trained. And superbly nerveless too, even if he said so himself. After all, he had nobody but himself to look out and live for-and of life his great friend Macbeth had said it all in saying, "Life is a tale told by and idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Exactly. Regarding a particular mission being considered 'big', it is said "big to Yazov means killing people and blowing up the building".
When we first meet him living in a small but nice estate in Sofia, he has three gorgeous and devoted Alsatian dogs as his companions and he shows clearly how much he cares for them. Nevertheless, when it comes time to sever his life in Bulgaria and defect to America, he calmly and quickly puts a bullet into each of their heads.
Yazov is not a man with friends.
- Thought by Yazov about a technician administering a polygraph on him in response to the question of whether he had killer more than five people, "Yes, many people. And I could kill you, idiot, in five seconds".