Searches and Arrests in January 1972 (24.2)

No 24 : 5 March 1972

On 14 January 1972 a number of searches were carried out in Moscow. The order for the searches was signed by Major Fochenkov, Senior KGB Investigator for Especially Important Cases [see CCE 21].They sanctioned by Malyarov, USSR Deputy Procurator-General.

Searches were carried out at the home of P. Yakir in connection with Leningrad Case No. 38; and the homes of Alexander I. Ginzburg, A. N. Osipova (Naidenovich), Yury Shikhanovich, S. Genkin, Yuly Kim and R. Mukhamedyarov in connection with Moscow “Case No. 24”[1]. In addition, by decision of the Procuracy of the Russian Republic, a search was carried out at the home of E. Rudenko: according to the warrant it was in connection with “the case of S. Myuge”. [CCE 22 and 23]

The order for searches in connection with Case No. 24 stated that proceedings had been instituted in relation to a crime covered by Article 70, paragraph 1, of the Russian Criminal Code. Samizdat literature, typewriters, rolls of film and personal correspondence were confiscated during the searches.

On 15 January another search was carried out in connection with Case No. 24 – this time at the home of Kronid Lyubarsky, an astronomer[2], in the village of Chernogolovka in the Moscow Region. On 17 January Lyubarsky was summoned by the KGB for questioning, and was arrested on the same day. He has apparently been indicted under Article 70 of the Russian Criminal Code. The investigation is being conducted by KGB Major Kislykh.

During the following one-and-a-half months all those whose homes had been searched (except Yakir)[3] were summoned by the KGB for questioning, as were their relatives and friends. It has become clear from the interrogations that the matter of principal concern to the investigation is the preparation and circulation of the Chronicle of Current Events.[4]

Searches in connection with Case No. 24 were carried out on 14 January at the homes of G. Yablonsky (see CCE 2) and Rybakov in Novosibirsk. Again the order for the searches was signed by Major Fochenkov. After the searches several persons were summoned for questioning.

A number of searches in connection with Case No. 24 were also carried out in Vilnius on 14 January, one of them at the home of Vatslav Sevruk (CCE 15).[5] After the search he was arrested. During the following few days about one hundred people were summoned for questioning.

On 15 January searches in connection with Case No. 24 were carried out at the homes of E. Orlovsky, Yu. Melnik and P. M. Goryachyov in Leningrad.[6] Items confiscated from P. M. Goryachyov, a former political prisoner, included all his manuscripts about his camp experiences. In Yu. Melnik’s flat a radio telex receiver was discovered; he was arrested on 17 January. For the first three days, in the words of the investigator, he behaved like Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya [wartime heroine[7] of Margarita Aliger’s poem Zoya]: he took the entire responsibility upon himself. But then he began to name names and tell everything he knew.

Another search in connection with Case No. 24 was carried out on 14 January 1972 at the home of K. Olitskaya in the town of Uman (Ukraine). Her memoirs about the Civil War, the Central Rada and the early years of Soviet regime in the Ukraine[8] were confiscated from her.

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NOTES

[1] On Yakir, Shikhanovich and Kim see entries in Reddaway, Uncensored Russia (1972). On Osipova, Shikhanovich and Mukhamedyarov (see also CCE 15) see elsewhere in this issue. Genkin was a mathematician who signed five of the documents included in P. Litvinov, The Trial of the Four, London and New York (1972).

[2] Kronid A. Lyubarsky was the author of numerous articles in scientific journals on meteors, planets, space biology, etc., and of three books: Essays on Astrobiology (1962), Cosmic Biology and Medicine (1968), and The Planets of the Earth Group-Mars (1969). He also translated into Russian the books Galaxies by Fred Hoyle and The Search for Planet X by Tony Simon.

[3] Yakir was arrested on 21 June 1972. See a statement written in anticipation of arrest in The Times, 23 June.

[4] The Times and the New York Times reported on 4 February that dissenting circles believed a high-level political decision to have been taken on 30 December 1971, ordering the suppression of the Chronicle and of other samizdat journals like Veche and the Ukrainian Herald.

On 6 May at least 16 flats were searched in Moscow, mostly in connection with Case No. 24, those of Yakir, Shikhanovich, Anatoly Yakobson, Grigory Podyapolsky, Irina Kaplun, Irina Kristi, N. P. Lisovskaya, and Vladimir Gershovich. V. Batshev, V. Gusarov, L. Pinsky, Valentina Makotinskaya, Vladimir Albrekht, Andrei Dubrov, Olga Ioffe and Miss E. Armand. Despite this CCE 25, dated 20 May 1972, began to circulate in Moscow on about 21 June.

[5] See also CCE 22 and, on Sevruk’s arrest, The Times, 1 February 1972.

[6] On Goryachyov see Reddaway, p. 213, and on Orlovsky see CCE 16. A Reuter dispatch of 20 June 1972 reported that on 19 June Yury Melnik was sentenced in Leningrad to three years for “anti-Soviet agitation”, to which he pleaded guilty.

[7] Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya (1923-1941), an 18-year-old Red Army soldier, was sent to operate behind enemy lines during the war. She was captured and tortured by the Germans but did not give away any information.

[8] Possibly a companion volume to Olitskaya’s memoirs (Moi vospominaniya, Possev-Verlag, 1971), which recount her experiences as a Socialist Revolutionary in the 1920s and 1930s, mostly in camps.