After her father’s death, Svetlana and other Russians gradually found out the truth about the dictator’s crimes against the Russian people. And this motivated her to take a drastic course of action. While she was in India, she made her way to the American Embassy in New Delhi.
At the embassy, she declared her desire to defect from the Soviet Union. Chester Bowles, the U.S. ambassador, granted her political asylum. This started a momentous episode in Svetlana’s life. Her subsequent appearance in New York was a massive media event. At the height of the Cold War, Stalin’s daughter had turned her back on the Soviet Union, embracing its most bitter enemy, the United States.