11.13 Extra-judicial Political Persecution

No 11 : 31 December 1969

GORKY

Artsimovich, a journalist from Gorky, was dismissed from the editorial staff of the newspaper where she worked, for reading Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward.

MOSCOW

Boris Leibovich Shlayen, mechanic at a Moscow factory which repairs calculating machines. After Shlayen had applied to the Department of Visas and Registration, on 30 December 1968, for permission to emigrate to Israel, he was given hardly any more orders for work, with the result that his earnings fell roughly by half. The atmosphere of persecution later forced Shlayen to leave his job, on 3 March 1969 “at his own request”.

On November 13 at an enlarged session of the Komsomol Committee of the Moscow Institute of Electrical Engineering, Natalia Slepyan was expelled from the Komsomol “in view of the incompatibility of her views with membership of the Komsomol”. The reason for this was Slepyan’s request for a reference to submit to the Department of Visas in connection with her intention to emigrate to Israel.

NOVOSIBIRSK

As has already been mentioned in the first issue of the Chronicle for 1968 (///), on the night of 15-16 January 1968 slogans protesting against the trial of Ginzburg, Galanskov and others were painted in indelible red paint on the walls of numerous buildings on the university campus. They read:  “Their crime was honesty”, “Stop closed trials. We want to know the truth”, “Only fascist countries have Articles like 70 and 190”. An inquiry, undertaken by KGB investigator Captain Lelyukov, Lieutenant Borisenko and an investigator from the District Police Department, Hakuta, yielded no results. Oleg Petrik, a student at Novosibirsk University, who had been arrested on 16 January 1968, had to be released. The case was closed.

In the summer of 1969 the inquiry was re-opened (the investigator in the District Police Department was Goncharenko, and in the Novosibirsk Procuracy, Vyun). During the course of the investigation three students from Novosibirsk University, Alexander Gorban, Leonid Popov and Yury Meshanin, confessed to having been directly involved in painting the slogans; Galina Zhernovaya and Boris Kalnensky, also students at Novosibirsk University, confessed to being indirectly implicated.

The university authorities were informed that if Gorban, Popov and Meshanin were not expelled from the University, they would be put on trial.

In October a meeting of the Komsomol Committee of Novosibirsk University was held, with Boris Lukyanov in the chair. Present at the meeting were representatives of the Regional Komsomol Committee, a representative from the District Party Committee, almost the whole of Novosibirsk University’s Party Committee, the secretary of the District Komsomol Committee and a representative of the Novosibirsk KGB. The meeting resolved to expel Gorban, Popov, Meshanin, Zhernovaya and Kalnensky from the Komsomol and to ask the University authorities to have them expelled from the University. In contravention of the statutes of the Komsomol, the meeting was held before the matter had been discussed at the local level.  It is interesting that, at the meeting, the KGB representative expressed his surprise at the severity of the committee’s decision.

The following resolutions were adopted at Komsomol meetings at the faculty level:  that Meshanin be expelled from the Komsomol and from the University; that Popov be allowed to remain at the University (passed unanimously), and that he should not be expelled from the Komsomol (the necessary majority was not forthcoming); that Zhernovaya and Kalnensky be expelled from the Komsomol but allowed to remain at the University. No Komsomol meeting at all was held in the physics faculty where Gorban studied.

As a result all five were expelled from the Komsomol. Gorban, Popov and Meshanin were expelled from the University and refused the right to enter an institute of higher education for a period of two years. The Procuracy has now evidently closed the case.

OMSK [corrected to ODESSA, see 12.11]

Yelena Georgiyevna Krupko, aged forty. As a result of polio contracted in childhood, her arms and legs are paralysed and she moves around on crutches only with the greatest difficulty.  She graduated from the Arts Faculty of Omsk [Odessa?] University and worked there for eighteen years as an assistant in the Russian literature department. She was dismissed from her post in the spring of 1969 for letting friends read copies of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s letter to the [4th] Congress [of the Writers’ Union in 1967] and the final pleas of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuly Daniel at their trial.

RIGA

Professor Plotkin, doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, head of the Algebra Department at the University of Latvia and academic supervisor to Ilya Rips, has been dismissed from his post.

TALLIN

Andres Ekhin, assistant chief editor of the paper Sirp i Vazar has been dismissed from his post after manuscripts of his were confiscated from someone at the border.