12.5 News from the political camps of Mordovia

No 12 : 28 February 1970

Aits Khanso, Estonian, born 1913. Died 28 September 1969 in his twenty-third year of imprisonment. Heart attack. Earlier, during a search, some ‘validolum’ [methyl valerate, sedative used in USSR for treatment of cardiac disease] was taken away. (Camp 17).

Juozas Lankauskas, Lithuanian, born 1913. Hanged himself, 18 December 1969, in his nineteenth year of imprisonment. (Camp 17).

Jonas Stenokevicius, Lithuanian, born 1902. Died in December 1969. (Camp 3).

Janis Kapicins (Kapitsyn), Latvian, born 1917. Died 16 January 1970.

On 19 December 1969 Yu.I. Fyodorov, from Leningrad, born 1933, arrived in Camp 17. Formerly an official of district committees of the Leningrad Komsomol, then an MVD investigator and captain of police [see 18.13, “before his arrest he was no longer an MVD investigator but worked as a supplier to some institution”].

Tried 24-26 July 1969 by the Leningrad City Court on charges connected with an illegal organisation “The Union of Communists”. (Judge – N.V. Isakova, Procurator – I.V. Katukova. The preliminary investigation was conducted by a group of KGB investigators under Major Valzaitsev.) There were five defendants in the case. Among them were a senior investigator of the Leningrad City Procuracy, and Party and Komsomol officials. Article 70 of the Russian Criminal Code. Sentences from three to six years. None of the accused pleaded guilty, all refused defending counsel.

Yu. I. Fyodorov (sentenced to six years) has been transferred to Camp 17 after two weeks in Dubrovlag’s investigation prison, where he had been put for participating in a protest campaign against the keeping of political prisoners together with war criminals.

Leonid Borodin, one of the participants in the hunger strike that took place in the Mordovian camps in November and December 1969, and one of the authors of the “letter of the seven” addressed to the deputies of the USSR Supreme Soviet, is still being held in a punishment cell. All the other participants in the hunger strike have been released from the punishment block. Borodin is seriously ill.

Yury Galanskov has been transferred to hospital (Potma, institution ZhKh 385/3) because of extreme aggravation of his ulcers. Galanskov’s condition is critical.

Victor Kalnins, on 10 December 1969, was read a deed of confiscation concerning a letter he had written to Deputy [and writer] R[asul] Gamzatov, because of its “openly anti-Soviet nature”.

Birute Geidane, nineteen, sentenced under Article 65 of the Latvian Criminal Code to one and a half years, arrived in October 1969 in the women’s zone of Camp 3.