14.5 The Soviet Press on the Persecution of Dissenters in the USSR

No 14 : 30 June 1970

RIGA

On 7 November 1969 [anniversary of 1917 October Revolution, ed.] E. Liepin and Misulovich were arrested on a charge of infringing Article 183-2 of the Latvian SSR Criminal Code (corresponding to Article 190-2 of the Russian Code): “gross disrespect towards the State flag” (in fact of burning the flag).

Misulovich [corrected to Misudovin] was sentenced to eighteen months, and Liepin to one year’s, imprisonment in a corrective-labour colony.

This information is given in the Soviet Latvia newspaper of 8 April 1970 in an item headed “The lessons of a certain case”. It reports that the deed was carried out in a state of intoxication in the presence of M. Vinunas, A. Burshtein and E. Vilkov – “all of whom were at the time students of Riga colleges – and also of G. Karpus, B. Veinart and G. Grauberg.” Those present have been expelled from Latvia State University and the Riga Medical Institute or have been “discussed at their place of work”.

Misulovich was to all intents and purposes no longer a citizen of the USSR, since on the following day, 8 November, he was due to leave for Israel.

LENINGRAD

On 18 January 1970 Leningradskaya Pravda published “Renegades”, an article by A. Yenina.

She reported that Eruand Lalayants, a translator and orientalist (a specialist on the Indonesian language), had written “anonymous letters to various organisations, some of them international”, and signed them “Headquarters of the Russian [Rossiiskoi] Socialist Party”. Lalayants was sentenced “to several [three, ed.] years’ deprivation of freedom to be served in a strict-regime corrective-labour colony.”

The same article deals with Alexander Mozhaikin, shift foreman at the Avtovo construction combine, who “sent threatening letters to various Soviet public organisations” in the name of the Kirov factory.

Mozhaikin “was handed over to the comrades’ court [obshchestvennyi sud] of his collective”. The meeting condemned Mozhaikin and removed him from the post of foreman, after refusing him permission to resign.

KEMEROVO REGION [central Siberia]

The newspaper Kuzbass (Kemerovo) reports in its 6 June 1970 issue about the guilty verdict against Vladimir Vekshin and Polina Saburova.

Vekshin is senior technician at the radio station in Pogranichny, a settlement near the town of Berezovsky. According to senior legal counsellor P. Pogorevnoi, the writer of the Kuzbass newspaper article “The Slanderers”, Vekshin “progressed from verbal … to written anti-Soviet propaganda. In August of last year he deliberately left a hurriedly concocted leaflet in the smoking-room of the Yuzhnaya mine’s service centre, appealing to the reader to circulate it “so that at least two people get to know about it’.”

A search of Vekshin’s home resulted in the confiscation of an Encyclopaedic dictionary and a set of the journal Technology for Youth [Tekhnika-Molodyozhi] with numerous notes in the margins.

At his trial Vekshin expressed remorse.

Polina Saburova (of Kiselyovsk) “wrote dozens of letters slandering our system, diluting the text with religious phrases; she zealously circulated her scribblings wherever she could … Doubts that she might be mentally defective proved to be unfounded.”