COMMENTARY No 10

No 10 : 31 August 1969

10.9 The fate of Yury Levin

The Special Board – basically secret police institution of five people, set up in 1934 and abolished after Stalin’s death.

10.10 Kazan Special Psychiatric Hospital

In the aftermath of the first Russian Revolution in 1905 Prime Minister Stolypin (1906-11) introduced a new type of transport for those sentenced to hard labour or exile. An adapted freight carriage for transporting live animals, the waggon had no seating and the most rudimentary facilities.

[The waggon might be added to the end of an ordinary passenger train, in which case it moved relatively quickly. If the entire train was made up of such waggons, however, it would give priority to everything else on the line and could take much longer to reach the intermediary transit prisons, and its passengers might travel for weeks before arriving at their final destination, JC.]

10.15 News in brief

Item 9 – Action Group petition and UN’s Moscow Information Centre

Yevdokimov’s objection raised a small storm in the West. But although other UN centres around the world had been regularly forwarding analogous petitions to New York, he turned out to be right. On 3 October the UN’s fifty centres were instructed by the Secretary General U Thant to refuse all petitions in future. They thus became as illiberal as the Moscow centre and a notable blow had been struck at human rights [Commentary 11]