In issue 8 of the Chronicle [see 8.12, item 14] we mentioned the name of B.N. Veprintsev, director of a laboratory at the Institute of Biophysics at Pushchino-on-the-Oka. He was mentioned in connection with discussions about the conduct of two members of the Institute. Veprintsev called for caution in taking decisions on such matters, and asked his colleagues to remember the repressions of the Stalin period. The Chronicle has received some information on the role Veprintsev himself played at that time.
Boris Nikolayevich Veprintsev was born in 1928. He is a biologist, and recorded the famous set of gramophone records “The Voices of Birds in their Natural Setting”.
From January 1948 onwards Veprintsev was a “secret collaborator” of the MGB, [the secret police]. He immediately became active as a provocateur. This is confirmed by documentary evidence from the materials of the rehabilitation case of a group of Moscow students who were arrested in 1950-1951 as a result of Veprintsev’s provocations. Veprintsev’s success as a provocateur was helped by his own anti-Stalinist views and liberal statements, and also by the reputation he built up for himself as a man who had suffered – his father had been imprisoned in the 1930s.
In 1951 Veprintsev was arrested, thanks to the testimony of people who had suffered repressions as a result of his denunciations. In prison and in the camps Veprintsev continued to inform on his cellmates and fellow-prisoners.