18.9 Trials of Recent Years

No 18 : 5 March 1971

On 3 December 1968 the Criminal Affairs Board of the Leningrad City Court (chairman: E. V. Malinina, people’s assessors: G. V. Vostryakov and V. G. Yudin), sitting in closed session, heard the case of Anatoly Alekseyevich Kuzenkov (b. 1937), resident in Kronstadt, eight years of secondary education, a mechanic on the ice-breaker “Buran”). The indictment was under Article 190-1 of the Russian Criminal Code. The Procurator was S. V. Zenov, the defence counsel B. M. Furman.

On 12 February 1968 A.A. Kuzenkov, who had previously served a sentence of four years’ imprisonment (under Article 206, para. 2), wrote an autobiography entitled “I am a Slave of the Communist Party”, in which he stated bluntly that he did not regard himself as a Soviet citizen and desired to go and live in the West. According to the investigating bodies Kuzenkov gave this text to foreign tourists, who carelessly left it in a compartment of the Red Arrow train [the Leningrad-Moscow Express]. Kuzenkov denied having given the text to any foreigners.

On 14 August 1968, at the ‘Inrybprom-68’ [Foreign Fishing Industries] exhibition in Leningrad, Kuzenkov handed statements addressed to Radio Liberty and the Voice of America to a man whom he did not know. At the same time Kuzenkov sent the official Soviet authorities a statement demanding to be allowed to leave the country.

The stranger, who proved to be a Dutch representative at the exhibition (he was not present at the trial), gave Kuzenkov’s statements to witness Gladkov, who in his turn took them to the KGB.

On 19 August Kuzenkov was arrested.

The indictment included conversations between Kuzenkov and his workmates; the court struck this item from the indictment.

Kuzenkov pleaded guilty in part.

The court, taking into account the “gravity of the crime” and “information on his personality”, sentenced Kuzenkov to two and a half years of strict-regime corrective-labour camps.

Kuzenkov served his sentence in the camp at Knyazhy Pogost in the Komi Autonomous Republic [North Urals], working as a timber-rafting loader.