- Igor Atamanenko says secret department was in charge of excrement
- Special toilets were connected to boxes where Mao's was collected
- Soviet spies studied excrement to build psychological portraits
An ex-Soviet agent says he has found evidence that Joseph Stalin (left) snooped on Mao Zedong (right) when he visited Russia in the winter of 1949 by analysing his excrement
During Mao's 10-day visit, special toilets were set up for the Chinese leader's waste products to be collected and studied. Instead of being connected to sewers, those lavatories led to special boxes where Mao's stolls were whisked off for analysis.
'In those days the Soviets didn't have the kind of listening devices which secret services do today,' he told the paper, according to the BBC.
'That's why our specialists came up with the most extravagant ways of extracting information about a person.'
During Mao's 10-day visit, special toilets were set up for the Chinese leader's waste products to be collected and studied
Which leads to the question: what kind of exclusive information were the Soviet spies hoping to extract from Mao and other foreign leaders' poo?
'For example, if they detected high levels of amino acid Tryptophan,' Atamanenko explained, 'they concluded that person was calm and approachable.
'But a lack of potassium in poo was seen as a sign of a nervous disposition and someone with insomnia.'
Atamanenko based his claims on evidences uncovered while doing research in the archives of the Russian secret services. He says it was Stalin's henchman Lavrenti Beria who was put in charge of the smelly laboratory.