Here are some more memories of Henry Shapiro exploits as captured by the late Dick Harnett of San Francisco, founder of the Downhold listserv).
From Unipresser Emil Sveilis:
As strange as it may seem, Henry Shapiro told me in Moscow that he had never had any personal contact with the top leaders of the Soviet Union, except the exchange of formalities and smiles.
His contacts, he insisted, were the one step or two below bureaucrats who formed policy for the leaders to announce or read.
Many believe that Shapiro had the ear of a Stalin, Khruschev or Brezhnev, which he claimed was totally untrue.
The second stringers, once their policy at the Poliburo had been adopted, often informed Henry and others, not because they were traitors, but because, just like the White House, they wanted to send up a trial balloon to see how the West reacted. And most of the time they went with it.