28.2 A Chronicle of Case No 24 [part 1]

No 28 : 31 December 1972

The USSR Committee for State Security (KGB) continues to occupy itself with what is called “Case No 24”. This first attracted attention in mid-January 1972 when a series of searches and arrests were made (see Chronicle 24.2 {p. 6, pdf}) in Moscow, Kiev, Vilnius, and other cities . Today it is clear that Case 24 is essentially an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the publication and distribution of the Chronicle of Current Events.

The Chronicle now reports on those incidents in November and December 1972 which are known to it, and which are associated with Case 24.

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On 4 November Irina Yakir, daughter of Pyotr Yakir, was allowed to visit her father in Lefortovo Prison. Investigators Kislykh and Volodin were present during the meeting.

According to P. Yakir, he has changed his attitude toward the democratic movement and his own activities. His active cooperation with the investigators has become clear. According to what Yakir said, the material presented to him by the investigators has convinced him of the tendentious character and objectively harmful position of the Chronicle of Current Events and of the presence therein of factual inaccuracies and even direct distortions. He also declared that each future issue of the Chronicle would make his and Krasin’s eventual prison terms longer, and that as each Chronicle appeared new arrests would result. The investigators confirmed the latter statement, pointing out that those arrested would not necessarily be those directly participating in the publication of the new issue.

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On 13 November the KGB conducted a search at Yakir’s apartment. Among the items seized was Issue 27 of the Chronicle. The search was followed by the interrogation of Yakir’s wife, Valentina Savenkova, and his son-in-law Yuly Kim.

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In mid-December P.I. Alexandrovsky, the investigator handling the case of Victor Krasin, went to Yeniseisk (Krasnoyarsk Region), to which town Krasin’s wife Nadezhda Yemelkina was exiled (CCE 20 {p. 43 pdf} and 23.2 {p. 34 pdf} of the Chronicle). Alexandrovsky interrogated Yemelkina several times, but so far as is known she gave no depositions.

A telephone conversation took place between Yemelkina and Krasin, who is being held in Lefortovo Prison. At the request of her husband, Yemelkina revealed hiding places in the taiga which contained materials of interest to the investigators.

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On 29 December Adele Naidenovich [see Chronicle 24 {p. 16 pdf}] was summoned for interrogation by the KGB in connection with Case 24. She was asked general questions about Yakir and Krasin.

It was stated that the trial in the Yakir case would also involve the Chronicle of Current Events. KGB Major Istomin, who handled the interrogation, accused the Chronicle of distorting facts and pointed to inaccuracies in some of its news items.

On the following day, after a brief interrogation as to the relations between Yakir and Naidenovich’s husband Vladimir Osipov, editor of the journal Veche (Popular Assembly), she was brought face to face with Pyotr Yakir. In addition to Istomin, Yakir’s investigator Major Kislykh was present at the confrontation. Yakir confirmed his testimony that Naidenovich had brought him several texts to be sent abroad.

Naidenovich denied this.

Naidenovich has compiled a record of her impressions of the interrogation and confrontation under the title “Latest News about Pyotr Yakir”.

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In mid December D. Markov from Obninsk also had a confrontation with Yakir. Yakir testified that Markov had retyped and circulated issues of the Chronicle. In earlier interrogations Markov had denied this, but during the confrontation he confirmed the testimony of Yakir.

[For part two of this report, see Chronicle 29.8]