5.3 Additions to the list of extra-judicial repression in 1968

No 5 : 31 December 1968

Concerning individuals named in the second issue of the Chronicle [see 2.1].

Boris Balter [8] – excluded from the Party by the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU.

Yury Tsekhmistrenko [77] – it was mistakenly reported that he was excluded from the Party. In fact he received a severe reprimand.

Valentin Nempomnyashchy [53] – excluded from the Union of Journalists. An appeal to be readmitted to Party was turned down.

Yury Gerchuk [20] – given a less important post.

Ivan Yakhimovich [88] – deprived of his residence permit.

Abram Fet [73] – dismissed from work.

A number of people who submitted appeals were readmitted to the Party, expulsion being replaced by a severe reprimand. Among them are Fedot Suchkov [69], Yury Karyakin [33], Ludmila Belova [10], Moisei Tulchinsky [71] and Sergei Fomin [75].

Quite recently permission has been given for the plays of Vladimir Voinovich [14] to be staged again.


The list in issue two of the Chronicle contained 91 names. To these should be added:

92. Konstantin Babitsky – defence of his dissertation postponed indefinitely because he signed several letters about the Galanskov-Ginzburg Trial.

93. Nikolai Danilov – expelled from the Literary Institute.

As we know, however, between Issues 2 and 5 both Babitsky and Danilov were prosecuted and convicted.

94. Victor Krasin, economist, Central Economics-mathematical institute, an inmate of Stalin’s camps, was dismissed “at his own request” for signing one of the letters about the trial and the appeal to the Budapest conference.

95. Alexander Zholkovsky, linguist at the laboratory for automated translation at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages. For writing a letter in defence of Alexander Ginzburg, the defence of his dissertation was indefinitely postponed and his continued work at the Institute is constantly under threat.

96. M.M. Gromyko, Doctor of Historical Sciences at the Institute of History, Philosophy and Philology of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and professor at Novosibirsk University. For signing the Novosibirsk letter he is no longer allowed to teach at the university.

97. Iosif Goldenberg, literary specialist and lecturer at Novosibirsk University. Not allowed to teach after signing the Novosibirsk letter.

98. N. Zorkaya, a Candidate of Art Studies at the History of the Arts Institute – excluded from the Party and reduced from a senior to junior research position for signing one of the letters about the trial.

99. Vladimir Miloshevich, the Hydrometeorology Centre – sacked due to “cutbacks in staff” for signing one of the letters about the trial.

100. Vladimir Lebedev, literary worker at the Tourist magazine – sacked due to “cutbacks in staff” for signing one of the letters about the trial.

101-125. Repression in Ukraine following letters from Ukrainian intellectuals and workers to the Soviet government about political trials in the Ukraine and in Moscow.

The Presidium of the Ukrainian Union of Soviet Artists described the letter [of the 139] as “anti-Soviet” and issued a resolution expelling the following from the Union: A. A. Horska, L. N. Semykina, I. S. Lytovchenko, V. N. Lutsak, V. S. Dovhan, V, I. Zaretsky, H. Sevruk and A. Zakharchuk.

Zaretsky also received a “strict reprimand” as a Party member.

The leading role in this persecution of artists who had signed the letter was played by the sculptor Borodai. The accusations levelled against the signatories were openly anti-Semitic in tone, full of abuse and loud allegations about “enemies of the Soviet regime”, “Bandera-ites”, etc.

For having signed the letter, the following people were dismissed from various institutes of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (in accordance with decisions taken by their academic councils):

M. Yu. Braichevsky, well-known Ukrainian historian, Master of Historical Sciences, senior research officer of the Institute of History, and author of such studies as When and How Kiev Arose, The Emergence of Ideas of the State among the Eastern Slavs and The Origins of Rus [and eight other people].

Among those in the Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine who distinguished themselves as ringleaders in this campaign of persecution were M. Shamota, the author of a negative review of O. Honchar’s novel The Cathedral, and Skaba, the director of the Institute of History, who was once in charge of ideological work in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Ukraine. Shamota categorically demanded the dismissal of Mikhailyna Kotsyubynska (see Issue 2 [2.1, No 39]), and Skaba, in denouncing Braichevsky, said “I will not stand for this vermin”.

In Kiev University the lecturer V. A. Vyshensky was reprimanded for signing the letter. Master of Physical-Mathematical Sciences V. H. Bodnarchuk was dismissed from the university by an illegal order, without the sanction of the Academic Council, on grounds that have no basis in law: “for actions incompatible with the high calling of a Soviet teacher”. The order was hurriedly signed by the Rector of Kiev University, I. T. Shvets, the subject of a celebrated newspaper feuilleton entitled “Jack of All Trades”. This was done in spite of the fact that a teachers’ meeting had voted only that Bodnarchuk be suspended from teaching work.

Shvets also distinguished himself as one of the organizers of the whole campaign at Kiev University. He denounced the Department of Applied Mathematics as a “nest of opposition” that should be “disbanded”, demanded that “Party members who have spoken weakly must be investigated by the Party bureau”, and so on. He would not allow Bodnarchuk to finish his lecture course and conduct the examinations on it.

Symptomatic were the speeches by Corresponding Member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, H. N. Polozhy. Polozhy is notorious among the mathematicians as the organizer of campaigns against Jews, and also of the campaign against two well-known mathematicians, B. V. Hnidenko and G. E. Shylov, in 1962. In his speeches, he kept saying that mathematicians should not go in for politics: “Certain Moscow mathematicians were not doing very well in their work, so they decided to seek glory in another field.” Demanding drastic measures, he asked: “Why do you waste so much time on them?” and said at one point: “The University of Saint Vladimir” (the pre-revolutionary name of Kiev University) “sounds just as good as “Shevchenko University”.” Polozhy attacked a colleague in his own department, Didenko, simply because he abstained from voting at the meeting on Bodnarchuk, and rescinded a decision to recommend him for promotion to a senior lectureship.

The poet Ivan Drach was expelled from the Party.

A.B. Zaboi, a student in her fifth [final] year at the Kiev Arts Institute was expelled from the institute.

The teacher L. Orel was dismissed from two different schools at which she taught.

The mathematician Leonid Plyushch was dismissed from the Institute of Cybernetics “due to cutbacks in staff” after he not only signed a joint letter but wrote his own individual letter about the winter trial in Moscow.

126. G. Minyailo who had organised a discussion club, with the permission of the Ukrainian Komsomol’s Central Committee, was dismissed from work at the Kiev Institute for Microinstruments.

127. R. Motruk was sacked from the Kiev Radio Committee “due to cutbacks in staff” because he disregarded his superiors’ instructions and went to the statue of Shevchenko on 22 May. On that day, which is marked each year as the day of [the national poet] Shevchenko’s funeral, the authorities in Kiev did everything to prevent a rally or demonstration taking place. An official festival was organised next to the statue, with performances by professional and amateur performers, with an audience drawn from the Komsomol, volunteer police and even the military. Those people who regarded it as a natural tradition to meet at the statue that day were warned at work not to do so.

128-136. Repression in Gorky [Volga District]

Five students in their third year at the historico-philological faculty of Gorky University have written a joint study on “The State and Socialism”. They are V. Pomazov, V. Kupchinov, V. Buidin and two others whose names are not yet known. The study is wholly based on an analysis of Marxist-Leninist documents. All five have been excluded from the Komsomol and the University and immediately conscripted into the army.

At the university Komsomol meeting when they were expelled a student from the section for mathematical linguistics, I. Goldfarb [Clara Geldman], announced that she was leaving the Komsomol [see 6.5]. As a consequence of the circulation of the said manuscript and other samizdat works searches were conducted and the following were dismissed from the university: Tavger, doctor of historical sciences; V.V. Pugachyov, professor at the Physics faculty ; S. Pavlenkova, a lecturer at the department of foreign languages; and V. Pavlenkov, a lecturer [see 10.6].

137. Yevgeny Goronkov, a candidate of physico-mathematical sciences at the Urals Polytechnic Institute, one of those running the “Song” club. In May the club invited Yuly Kim to perform in Sverdlovsk. When Kim arrived at the railway station he was met by volunteer police who told him to go back where he came from. The performance was cancelled but Kim sang at the apartment of one of those who had invited him. Two weeks later the person who lived there was arrested by the KGB, presented with a false accusation of murder and intimidated to the point where he handed over all the recordings of the songs, the texts of the songs, and gave the testimony that the KGB wanted. New people were appointed to run the “Song” club and Yevgeny Goronkov was first stopped from going on a work trip to Poland and then dismissed from his work.

138. Boris Feldman, a student at the Urals Polytechnic Institute, was excluded for samizdat activities.

139-142. Repression in Obninsk [Central Russia]

VALERY PAVLINCHUK – in place of an obituary

Valery Alexeyevich Pavlinchuk was born in 1938, graduated in physics at the Sverdlovsk Polytechnic Institute and then worked in the High-Energy Physics Institute at Obninsk, first as a senior laboratory assistant and then as a junior research officer. At the same time, he was taking an external degree at the Institute. He had been elected a member of the Council of the Scientists’ Club, and helped, as an editor and translator, in bringing out the book Jokes among Physicists.

The local press had written favourably about Pavlinchuk’s work as a Party member. The sudden death of Pavlinchuk was reported [see 3.1] in the third issue of the Chronicle. Some details about the aftermath of his funeral in Obninsk have become available. Despite the fact that none of the people who spoke at his funeral went out of their way to mention the political side of his activity, those who came to honour his memory were nevertheless subjected to Party and administrative sanctions. This was done on the initiative of the newly appointed Obninsk Party secretary, Novikov, and the First Secretary of the Kaluga Regional Committee, Kondratenkov.

R. Toshinsky, physicist, Master of Physical-Mathematical Sciences, received a Party reprimand.

R. Levit, economist, has been expelled from the Party and sacked “at his own request”. It was also held against Levit that he had once taken part in the publication of the well-known collection Pages from Tarusa.

M. Yu. Lokhvitsky, editor of the local newspaper, has been expelled from the Party and dismissed from his post.

All these three were members of the Obninsk Town Party Committee. They were held responsible, in particular, for the presence at Pavlinchuk’s funeral of the “anti-Sovietists”, Litvinov and Larissa Bogoraz.

Unjustified reprisals were also taken against Pavlinchuk’s friend, A. G. Vasilyev, head of a laboratory in the local branch of the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry. A. Vasilyev is the author of fifty published works on physics. At the moment he has found work as a sanitary technician in the housing department of Obninsk. This happened after a session of the standing rules committee, headed by the branch director of the Institute, Nazarov, had passed a decision to deprive Vasilyev of his permit for secret work. He was also, incidentally, accused of once having invited to the Scientists’ Club (as a member of its council) the writers V. Kaverin and A. Sharov, who, allegedly, gave anti-Soviet talks there.

143. Genrikh Altunyan, major in the Soviet Army, radio specialist and lecturer at the Military Academy in Kharkov, was one of ten of the city’s inhabitants to be searched on 9 August. The searches and subsequent interrogation were conducted under Article 190-1 [187-1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code] but unlawfully since a specific case was not mentioned. Soon afterwards Altunyan was retired to the reserves and sacked from his job.

144. V. Kaidan – a student in his fourth year at the section for mathematical linguistics at the Philology Faculty of Moscow State University. There was reference to him in Issue 4 of the Chronicle in the “News in Brief” section. Additional information enables a fuller picture of his case to be given. He was one of several third-year students who in the spring of 1968 refused to join in condemning the teaching record of Shikhanovich [see 2.1, No 80] when the latter was being expelled from the University. The students were themselves threatened with expulsion. It was at this time that the letter, mentioned in Issue 4 [see  4.7 (4) ], from Kaidan to his wife was intercepted. At the beginning of the academic year, in October, Kaidan was investigated three times — once at a general meeting of Komsomol activists, in the presence of representatives of the Faculty’s Party committee. A group of his fellow students condemned his “activities”, but spoke against his expulsion, asking that they be allowed to stand as surety for his good behaviour. Kaidan himself made a statement of regret in writing, but this statement was rejected as “false” because he refused to name the person who had let him read the appeal by Bogoraz and Litvinov. At all the meetings on his case it was decided to expel Kaidan from the Komsomol and to recommend to the Rector that he be expelled from the University. It is said that Kaidan now suffers most of all on account of having written a statement of regret. He did in fact go into the Kashchenko Mental Hospital, but rumours that this happened after a suicide attempt cannot be confirmed.

Four students who, like Kaidan, refused to denounce Shikhanovich have been expelled from the University for “lack of progress in military training”.

145-148. Four students, who like Kaidan refused to speak out against Shikhanovich, were excluded from the university for “failings” in their military training.

149. Bololov, a student at the Institute of Foreign Languages, wrote a letter to the editors of Voice of America, condemning the invasion of Czechoslovakia. He did not send the letter but mislaid it. Later it turned up at the institute. A gathering of his year’s students decided to expel him from the Komsomol and asked the rector to exclude him from the Institute. Three hours after the meeting Bololov threw himself into the Moskva river but was saved, after which he was moved to a psychiatric hospital.

150. Marina Melikyan, a lecturer at the department of Russian language for foreigners at Moscow State University, voted against the resolution approving the sending of troops to Czechoslovakia and was dismissed “at her own request”.

151. Tatyana Bayeva, a student at the Historical Archives Institute, was detained on Red Square on 25 August and excluded from the institute three days later.

152. Vladimir Gershovich, mathematician and lecturer in the training department of the Likhachov Automobile Works, was outside the courtroom in which the demonstrators were being tried, and argued with some of his students who were members of the works’ volunteer police squad; after they had denounced him to his superiors, he was dismissed from his work.

153. Irina Yakir, a student of the Institute of Historical Archives, went and stood outside the courtroom on 9 October. On 10 October, after classes, she was summoned to the Komsomol Committee and told not to go there any more, whereupon she said: “My friends are on trial there and if I had been in Moscow on 25 August I should have been with them.” She was expelled from the Komsomol.

154. Oleg Melnikov, a student of the Biology Faculty at Moscow University, was outside the courtroom and signed a petition demanding that those who had gathered there should be admitted to the proceedings. The dean’s office of the faculty (it is headed by Professor N. P. Naumov) ordered his expulsion from the university – just two months before he was due to take his final examinations.


The Chronicle would like to draw attention to the necessity of establishing the unknown names of other students who suffered repression in Gorky and Moscow.

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