29.8 A Chronicle of Case Number 24 (part 2)

No 29 : 31 July 1973

THE BELGORODSKAYA CASE

Irina Belogorodskaya was arrested on 3 January 1973 in Moscow. According to her husband Vadim Delaunay, investigator Zhuchkov, who was handling the Belogorodskaya case, stated that her arrest was linked to the appearance of No 27 of A Chronicle of Current Events, even though the investigators knew that she had not taken part in producing that issue.

Thus the KGB fulfilled the promise it made in November 1972 through the agency of [the arrested] P. Yakir: “If number 27 of the Chronicle comes out, a person not necessarily having any connection with it will be arrested” [see part 1, “Case No 24”, 28.2]. This was the second arrest for Belogorodskaya, an engineer by profession. The first time she was arrested for distributing a letter in defence of A. Marchenko (Chronicle 3.1) and sentenced to one year in camps (Chronicle 6.1).

In late January Vadim Delaunay was allowed to write a letter to his wife in the Lefortovo Prison. In that letter Delaunay, who had had numerous talks with investigator Zhuchkov, conveyed to Belogorodskaya recommendations for her behaviour. Despite this Belogorodskaya, it has become known, refused to embark on the giving of testimony.

According to unverified information, in February Belogorodskaya either met or corresponded with Victor Krasin.

In the course of the spring, testimony given by Belogorodskaya began to figure in the interrogations of Irina Yakir, Lyudmila Alexeyeva and others. It became known that in this testimony the names of Irina Yakir, Gabriel Superfin, Yury Shikhanovich, Ivan Rudakov, Natalya Kravchenko and Ludmila Alexeyeva were mentioned in a rather “criminal” context. Confrontations were arranged between Belogorodskaya on the one hand and Kravchenko and Alexeyeva on the other.

INTERROGATIONS AND CONFRONTATIONS

[Notes on those mentioned in Commentary No 29 are provided by the AI editors of the translation]

JANUARY 1973

Victor Krasin’s wife Nadezhda Yemelkina, who was exiled to eastern Siberia [see CCE 23.2 {p. 34 pdf}], was brought to Moscow early in January to be interrogated about Case number 24.

She was allowed a meeting with her husband. On 20 January there was a confrontation between Yemelkina and Pyotr Yakir. At the interrogations Yemelkina at first gave details only about her own actions. Subsequently she testified about an association of Irina Yakir and Anatoly Yakobson with the Chronicle.

Yakir’s wife, Valentina Savenkova, was interrogated three times. On 18 January she had a meeting with her husband.

A confrontation was arranged between Krasin and Yury Gendler of Leningrad (see CCE 3.4 and Issue 4.5). Gendler, who was arrested in August 1968, testified during the investigation and at his trial (December 1968, see CCE 5.2) that in the summer of 1968 Krasin had given him samizdat materials for distribution in Leningrad.

At an interrogation in June 1972 Gendler denied this testimony, but after the January confrontation he again confirmed it.

At about the same time there was a confrontation between Krasin and Father Sergy Zheludkov, a priest [1]. According to Krasin’s testimony, the latter had received from him philosophical and religious books published in the West. Father Sergy Zheludkov refused to testify “for professional reasons”.

Yury Maltsev [2] was repeatedly interrogated, after which confrontations were held between him on the one hand and Krasin and Yakir on the other. Krasin and Yakir accused Maltsev of having had contacts with Italian correspondents (Maltsev of having had contacts with Italian correspondents (Maltsev is a specialist on Italy) and of transmitting information and manuscripts to the West. According to Yakir, Maltsev brought the “Programme of the DMSU [Democratic Movement of the Soviet Union]” [see 14.12, item 9] from the Baltic region. According to Krasin, Maltsev read samizdat literature at his (Krasin’s) home. Maltsev was a “signer” [of appeals etc] (this is the only item of evidence which Maltsev confirmed).

*

Andrei Dubrov was interrogated and had a confrontation with Yakir. As has become known, Dubrov gave testimony against, in particular, Yevgeny Kushev and the two Kozilo brothers (against the latter proceedings have been instituted) [3].

*

Yuly Kim was interrogated several times in the case of Yakir and Krasin. Kim also had confrontations with them. Kim did not confirm the testimony of Yakir and Krasin.

*

FEBRUARY

A search was conducted at the flat of Gyuzel Makudinova, the wife of Andrei Amalrik, who was convicted in 1970 [see CCE 17.1]. Personal correspondence and money were confiscated during the search. It is assumed that this search was associated with the testimony about her husband given by Yakir and Krasin.

On 12 February Makudinova was interrogated by the KGB about Krasin’s testimony.

On 16 February there were confrontations between Yuly Kim on the one hand and Yakir and Krasin on the other.

In February the following were also interrogated in connection with Case 24: L. Alexeyeva, T. Velikanova, L. Ziman, I. Kaplun, L. Kardasevich, S. Kovalyov, L. Kusheva, P. Litvinov, G. Podyapolsky, G. Superfin, T. Khodorovich, I. Yakir, and A. Yakobson. Some of them were presented with an order “on the taking of specimens of handwriting for graphological analysis”, because of the great amount of “hand written materials figuring in the case”.

Anatoly Yakobson was interrogated about the Chronicle and documents of the Action Group. He confirmed his participation in the letters of the Action Group but did not answer other questions. Specimens of handwriting were taken from him for graphological analysis.

During an interrogation of Pavel Litvinov investigator Alexandrovsky reproached him, saying that in advising his acquaintances not to give testimony Litvinov was exerting a bad influence on them and subjecting them to risk; Litvinov was being cruel and “was left with the truth but not with Christ”.

Litvinov did not give a deposition.

Tatyana Velikanova, Tatyana Khodorovich and Sergei Kovalyov refused to cooperate in the investigation, for example in the graphological analysis. They cited the following grounds for their refusal: systematic violations of procedure in the conduct of trials under Articles 190-1and 70 of the Criminal Code; the injustice of the verdicts under these Articles, since in no known case had the information disseminated via samizdat been proved false, let alone knowingly false; the absence of proof of any intent to undermine state authority in trials under Article 70.

During the interrogation of S. Kovalyov, investigator Alexandrovsky made indirect threats against the members of the Action Group.

Grigory Podyapolsky was twice interrogated about the Chronicle and the letters of the Action Group. Since he effectively gave no testimony, on the occasion of the second interrogation, at the suggestion of the investigator, an entry was made in the record to the effect that he had refused to cooperate in the investigation.

In February and March Gabriel Superfin [5] was repeatedly interrogated. He was suspected of having proof-read Peter Reddaway’s book, Uncensored Russia published in London [1972]. Threatening arrest, the investigators also demanded that he turn over the “archives” of the Chronicle. Statements about Reddaway’s book and the archives of the Chronicle also figured in Krasin’s testimony at a confrontation with Superfin in May.

Superfin did not confirm this testimony.

For purposes of graphological analysis Superfin wrote out texts in the English and Russian languages.

In February Ilya Gabai was interrogated on the basis of testimony given by Yakir and Krasin. The greater part of this testimony was not confirmed by Gabai.

A confrontation was held between Yu. Kim and Jakas (se CCE 28.7, [item 3]). Jakas had previously been convicted under an article corresponding to Article 190-1 of the RSFSR Criminal Code and sentenced to two years of camps. He had been arrested in the same case as Vaclav Sevruk (the Vilnius offshoot of Case 24). He was brought from camp for the confrontation. Jakas testified that he had received the Chronicle from Kim, and given Kim items for the Chronicle. Kim did not confirm this testimony.

V. Semendyayev, a participant in the Crimean Tatars’ movement was brought from Melitopol for interrogations. Previously he had been interrogated in Melitopol, where the investigators had played for him a tape recording of his telephone conversations with Yakir. In Moscow Semendyayev had a confrontation with Yakir.

Vladimir Bukovsky was brought from Vladimir Prison to Moscow.

MARCH

Yelena Smorodinova [6], a former colleague of Belogorodskaya, was summoned by the KGB for interrogation in the latter’s case. It is known that Smorodinova gave extensive testimony.

Vladimir Rokityansky [7] was interrogated on the basis of testimony given by Krasin.

Krasin had stated that Rokityansky had contacts with foreign correspondents, and gave them copies of the Chronicle. Rokityansky did not confirm this.

In late March Andrei Amalrik, who was serving the last months of his camp sentence in the Magadan Region [Soviet Far East], was brought to a special KGB prison in Magadan. It appears likely that Amalrik is being questioned about the case of Yakir and Krasin.

Natalya Kravchenko was interrogated on the basis of testimony given by Irina Belogorodskaya.

Vladimir Bukovsky was returned to Vladimir Prison.

Alexander Alshutov was interrogated on the basis of testimony given by Pyotr Yakir.

On 30 March Alexander Lavut was questioned by investigator Rastorguyev, who described Case Number 24 as a case involving the preparation, possession and distribution of the Chronicle. Lavut refused to testify. His grounds: investigations of this sort obstruct the free dissemination of information.

APRIL

Academician A. D. Sakharov received a letter from Yakir from the Lefortovo Prison [8]. The letter was delivered by a KGB officer. After assuring Sakharov of his deep respect Yakir called on Sakharov to desist from all types of public statement, since (as Yakir had come to realize) they are harmful to people and are used by anti-Soviet propaganda.

The interrogations of Irina Yakir continue. They are conducted by investigator Kislykh. “Out of humanitarian considerations” they are conducted in a district police station, so that Irina Yakir can nurse her infant during the breaks. (She has a two-month-old daughter.)

Confrontations were held between Irina Yakir and Yuly Kim on the one hand and Krasin on the other. At one of them Krasin handed over a letter addressed to Yuly Kim and also intended for his “friends who are free”.

Krasin states that recently the “Democratic Movement” has taken a direction dangerous to State authority, and the state has been compelled—and is entitled—to defend itself. The defeat of the “Democratic Movement” should be acknowledged. The cessation of all opposition activity is not sufficient to save people from repressions. The authorities require guarantees, and these guarantees can be assured only by all-round cooperation with the investigation. Krasin calls upon people to overcome the psychological barrier and testify freely, not only about their own activities but also about those of others. Andrei Amalrik was returned to his camp.

A. E. Levitin (Krasnov) was brought from his camp for interrogations on Case 24.

MAY

On 7 May there was a confrontation between Irina Yakir and Pyotr Yakir.

A confrontation was arranged between Pyotr Yakir and Ludmila Kardasevich.

Valentina Savenkova was interrogated, on the basis of testimony from Yakir, Krasin and Yemelkina, about 4,000 roubles which were transmitted from abroad.

Victor Timachev, Yuly Kim, Galina Gabai and Lyudmila Kusheva were interrogated on this same subject. They all refused to confirm the testimony of Yakir, Krasin and Yemelkina.

Nadezhda Yemelkina was again brought from the Krasnoyarsk Region. She confirmed her testimony about the money.

On 28 May there was another confrontation between I. Yakir and V. Krasin. Krasin stated that he had turned over 600 roubles to her for helping political prisoners and their families. I. Yakir refused to answer any questions.

The case of Irina Belogorodskaya was separated from Case 24 and made into a separate proceedings.

JUNE

Vladimir Dremlyuga [9] was brought from the Yakutsk camps for interrogation about Case 24.

The interrogation of Irina Yakir was completed. Frequent interrogations were conducted over a period of two and a half months, sometimes every day.

The interrogations were at first conducted by G. V. Kislykh, then by Istomin from the city of Perm. During this time I. Yakir had several confrontations with P. Yakir and V. Krasin.

At first I. Yakir refused to answer questions. Subsequently she began to confirm testimony which “concerned her personally”.

At confrontations with I. Belogorodskaya, L. Alexeyeva and N. Kravchenko denied Belogorodskaya’s testimony about their part in the preparation of the Chronicle.

Ludmila Alexeyeva was interrogated on the basis of testimony given by Pyotr Yakir.

Yakir, Krasin and their lawyers Yudovich and Shveisky began studying the case files (in accordance with Article 201 of the RSFSR Code of Criminal Procedure) early in June.

On 18 June Yakir and Krasin signed in accordance with Article 201 that they had completed the process.

[For the Trial of Victor Krasin and Pyotr Yakir, see Chronicle 30.1]