Underground News in the USSR (2017)

<<‘Journalism is not a Crime’ — Freedom of Speech in Iran>>

Since this website was launched late in 2015 it has been moving and, at times, remarkable to see how universal is the curiosity about the Chronicle, its history and its background.

Following up a lead from the Wikipedia page about the Chronicle or, perhaps, other mentions, there have been visitors from every continent (apart from Antarctica). Interest is by no means restricted to Western Europe and North America.  One of the most enthusiastic and appreciative responses came from a Mexican media monitor, a colleague from Article 19, who was deeply impressed by the dispassionate tone of the reporting and the punctilious correction of the slightest mistake.

Nevertheless, a request for an interview from a website primarily concerned with the plight of journalists in contemporary Iran is  something special. This suggests that the story of the Chronicle is not just a lesser known facet of Soviet history, but may also continue to resonate today, and in countries that were never part of the Soviet bloc.

What follows is a slightly expanded and annotated version of the June 2017 article by Roland Elliott Brown on the Journalism is not a Crime website. It was published there in English and, naturally, translated into Farsi.

John Crowfoot

====================================================

Underground News in the USSR:
A Chronicle of Current Events (1968-1982)

Two decades before Communist Party leader Mikhail Gorbachev brought the word glasnost, or ‘transparency’ into official Soviet politics, a small group of dissidents and their families risked intimidation, loss of employment, arrest, and imprisonment or exile, for editing and circulating in the USSR an underground, typewritten periodical that documented abuses of human rights and publicized uncensored writing.

cover of issue 6 (Russian)

A Chronicle of Current Events, Issue 6, 28 February 1969

Launched in 1968 to mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, A Chronicle of Current Events (at first titled “Human Rights Year in the Soviet Union”) reported on hundreds of political trials and human rights abuses during its 15-year existence. As one of the Chronicle’s contributors, Alexander Podrabinek, has noted: “There just came a moment when society was ready for something like it.”

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«Хроника» возникла самозарождением (2003)

“Почти как стихи…”

Интервью с Натальей Горбаневской (Париж, 2003 г.).

Наталья Евгеньевна ГОРБАНЕВСКАЯ (1936–2013)  — поэт, переводчик, журналист. Основатель и первый издатель самиздатского бюллетеня «Хроника текущих событий». Участница «демонстрации семерых» на Красной площади 25 августа 1968. Член Инициативной группы по защите прав человека в СССР.

***

Наталья Евгеньевна, расскажите, как вы оказались в кругу диссидентов?

Слово «диссиденты», видимо, появилось где-то в 1970-71-м годах, поскольку, когда в декабре 1969-го меня посадили, этого слова ещё не было, а когда я вышла в феврале 1972-го – оно уже было. Слово это я очень не люблю, но его активно применяют для описания определённого социального явления в советской истории, и с этим уже ничего не поделаешь.

…В конце 1950-х – начале 1960-х все мы были более или менее молоды, мобильны и не сидели по домам. Компьютеров у нас не было, к экранам телевизоров мы тоже не прилипали. Я вообще не помню, чтобы в домах, где я бывала, кто-то смотрел телевизор.

В молодости вообще так происходит – всегда появляются новые знакомые, знакомые знакомых, складываются какие-то новые компании. Знакомились мы в самых разных местах. На Пушкинскую площадь я, например, не ходила. Но люди ходили. И там встречались. Знакомились в домах. Например, с Ларисой Богораз [1], Толей Марченко [2] и Пашей Литвиновым [3] я познакомилась в один и тот же день, в феврале 1967-го года, когда пришла к матери арестованного Алика Гинзбурга [4], Людмиле Ильиничне. И там увидела массу людей, ведь её навещали многие, чтобы узнать новости об Алике. Надо сказать, что дом Гинзбургов вообще был одним из географических центров создания сообщества. В моём же случае Алик Гинзбург был старым другом. Мы познакомились через круг молодых поэтов.

То есть это была масса пересекающихся множеств. Кто-то кому-то больше нравился, кто-то кому-то меньше. Кто-то ходил в одни места, кто-то в другие. У многих людей, у меня особенно, всегда было несколько компаний, и я всегда людей знакомила, чем и была знаменита. В компании обычно ходили повидать людей, поговорить, послушать. В общем, это была просто жизнь. Это не была специальная общественная деятельность.

Но всё-таки к концу 1960-х годов сформировалось сообщество, которое своими действиями выделялось из общего круга либеральной московской интеллигенции. Сообщество диссидентов… Как оно появилось?

Думаю, где-то в 1967-м всё-таки начало формироваться что-то похожее на сообщество. Очень фрагментарное, но всё же… Конечно, очень многие занимались самиздатом. Но самиздат был естественным занятием интеллигенции в то время! Им занимались все. А вот первая точка, когда наше сообщество начало немножко «слепляться в тесто» и выделяться – это был декабрь 1967-го года, первое большое коллективное письмо.

До этого в 1966–1967 годах были, конечно, коллективные письма, но под ними в основном подписывались известные деятели. А тут в начале декабря объявили, что вот-вот состоится суд над Аликом Гинзбургом и Юрой Галансковым [5], и что он будет закрытым. Так вот это было письмо протеста против закрытого суда. Под ним, кажется, больше ста человек подписалось, чего до тех пор ни разу не было. И подписались люди типа меня, которые раньше не подписывали писем в связи с тем, что считали: свою подпись должны ставить знаменитости. Думали, кому нужна моя никому не известная фамилия? А тут я поняла (и, думаю, у многих подписавших был именно такой мотив), что я ставлю свою подпись, потому что считаю это нужным, потому что мне совесть не позволяет поступить иначе.

Активная фаза подписантства – времени, когда зафиксировано наибольшее количество писем протеста и подписей под ними, – длилась недолго, пожалуй, лишь до осени 1968 года. Например, когда осенью судили демонстрантов [6], то под письмом в их защиту стояло всего несколько десятков подписей (ранее были письма, под которыми собиралось и до двухсот подписей). Вот она, разница – чуть больше чем за полгода климат в обществе значительно изменился.

Да, позже ещё стали знакомиться друг с другом у судов. И это тоже связывало сообщество. Например, я первый раз была у суда в сентябре 1967-го года, когда судили Володю Буковского [7], Вадима Делоне [8] и Евгения Кушева [9]. Там я познакомилась с какими-то людьми. В частности, с Ниной Ивановной Буковской [10].

И в какой-то момент появились первые диссидентские организации…

Мы как огня боялись слова «организация»! Потому первая организация после жарких дебатов была создана лишь в мае 1969-го года. Это была Инициативная группа по защите прав человека в СССР. Получилось это достаточно случайно, т.к., в общем, никто не хотел организации. И не только потому, что боялись 72-й статьи УК [11].

Каждый хотел оставаться свободным от обязанностей и запретов, налагаемых организацией. Например, после августовской демонстрации 1968-го года были разговоры на тему, кому можно было в ней участвовать, кому нет. Что вот, может, если бы была организация, какой-то «комитет», можно было бы запретить кому-то из нас туда ходить или, во всяком случае, настоятельно рекомендовать этого не делать. Но это же немыслимо! И, во-вторых, у нас перед глазами был печальный пример молодежных организаций конца 50-х – начала 60-х годов. То есть организовываться никто не хотел.

Как же вы оказались в составе Инициативной группы?

Ситуация с созданием этой организации сложилась такая, что сказать «нет» было невозможно. Она появилась в информационном пространстве, по сути, раньше, чем мы дали добро. Было много споров, недоразумений. Кто-то выходил из Инициативной группы, снова входил, опять выходил. Однако когда членов группы начали одного за другим выдергивать и сажать, уже нельзя было уходить. Но это, по-моему, единственная организация, в которой я участвовала в Советском Союзе. И то почти не по своей воле. Действительно, я неорганизованный человек… (Улыбается)

В общем, сообщество было. Но в нём все делалось естественным порядком, никто никому ничего не поручал. Думаю, что и в Московской Хельсинкской группе, которая была первой и начала Хельсинкское движение, тоже не было никакой обязаловки. Всё естественно.

Наталья Евгеньевна, как появилась идея издания
«Хроники текущих событий»?

Идея «Хроники» к началу 1968 года буквально носилась в воздухе. Во всяком случае, с тех пор, как у нас появилось в распоряжении много сведений о лагерях. Сначала появилась самиздатская статья [12] Лары Богораз о поездке к Юлию [13] в лагерь и «Репортаж из заповедника имени Берия» Валентина Мороза. [14]. Кроме того, вышел из лагеря Толя Марченко и написал «Мои показания». Но все равно еще много разных сведений оставалось необработанными. И чувствовалось, что надо бы это как-то систематизировать, какой-нибудь бы бюллетень…

Параллельно этому в стране начались первые внесудебные репрессии. Они стали результатом подписантской кампании. Мы передавали, сколько могли, эту информацию, в итоге что-то возвращалось по западному радио. И при этом все говорили: вот бы бюллетень! Но руки ни у кого не доходили. И тут я вышла в декретный отпуск.

На самом деле, может, и я не взялась бы за это в другое время, хотя мне очень хотелось. Дело в том, что меня уже тогда в нашем кругу ценили как редактора, часто показывали какие-то материалы. Скажем, обращение Ларисы Богораз и Павла Литвинова «К мировой общественности». Лара мне показала его накануне отправки, и мы вместе его отредактировали. А на следующий день я же передала его корреспондентам. (Улыбается) …Мы пошли в закусочную гостиницы «Ленинградская», и я передала обращение корреспондентам «Нью-Йорк таймс» и «Вашингтон пост» в пачке из-под сигарет «Мальборо», как сейчас помню. Я тогда еще была не очень заметным человеком за Ларисой, за Павлом. Потому как-то так вот… прошло. Возвращаясь к редакторству, в общем, к тому времени уже многие ребята периодически просили меня посмотреть какие-то коллективные документы, что-то поправить. И я была одним из авторов письма после процесса А. Гинзбурга-Ю. Галанскова, под которым было собрано больше всего подписей [15].

Скажите, как определился формат –
периодический информационный бюллетень?

В это время свои информационные бюллетени уже были у крымских татар, у баптистов… Мы как раз к 1968-му познакомились и очень подружились с крымскими татарами. Потому идея информационного бюллетеня была, скорее всего, заимствована у них.

А название «Хроника текущих событий» откуда взялось?

На одной из встреч, в Долгопрудном, в доме какого-то друга Петра Григоренко [16], все в очередной раз говорили: надо что-то издавать, надо информировать. Кажется, именно там кто-то сказал: «Ну, и назвать это «Хроникой текущих событий». Дело в том, что это было название рубрики из информационной передачи ВВС.

И «Хроника» в самом её начале так не называлась! Она называлась «Год прав человека в Советском Союзе». «Хроника текущих событий» – подзаголовок. Во второй год издания я вставила название «Год прав человека в Советском Союзе продолжается», но потом это ушло в шапку, а «Хроника…» стало названием.

Значит, слоган «Год прав человека в Советском Союзе» пришёл в голову именно вам? Откуда?

Мне, конечно, мне. Все, что есть в первом выпуске «Хроники», все пришло в голову мне, я его делала единолично. Что же касается смысла фразы, то всё дело в том, что 1968-й год ООН объявила Годом прав человека во всем мире. Вот и появился такой заголовок.

Ну вот, идея бюллетеня в сообществе оформилась, какая-то информация для первых выпусков собрана, и дальше…?

…И я поняла, что готова за это взяться. Но все-таки не решалась начать совсем одна, хотела получить благословение. Было это на Автозаводе, то есть в квартире Юлика Кима [17] и Иры Якир [18]. Был Павел Литвинов, может быть, был Илья Габай [19] и ещё кто-то. Виктора Красина [20] не было точно, и Петра Якира [21] тоже не было. Я сказала: «Ребята, я вот действительно собираюсь попробовать какой-то информационный бюллетень. Как, даете добро?» Мне дали «добро». Слов точных не помню, но добро мне дали. И я потихоньку начала.

Почему я одна боялась? Может, зная свою самонадеянность? Трудно сказать… Моя мама всегда про меня говорила: «Поперек батьки в пекло лезешь». Ну, так я и хотела, чтоб все-таки меня чуть-чуть благословили.

В диссидентской среде «Хронику» сразу оценили?

…Вот пример, насколько не была оценена «Хроника» сразу. Дело в том, что первый выпуск «Хроники» я датировала 30-м апреля, сознательно уйдя от даты 1-е мая. Отпечатала первые семь экземпляров: шесть раздала, седьмой себе оставила. У себя дома печатать не могла, т.к. жила с мамой и сыном в одной комнате. А у Павлика Литвинова тогда стояла практически пустая квартира (он жил у своей будущей жены), и он дал мне от неё ключи. Я приходила туда и перепечатывала очередную закладку (т.е. очередные семь экземпляров). И вот прямо там, на двенадцать дней раньше, чем я ожидала, у меня начались схватки – 13-го мая вечером. Я поехала домой: думаю, может, отлежусь. Легла: нет, не проходит. Встала и пошла в роддом. Пришла в роддом, а в час тридцать родила сына Осю.

Ушла же из-за машинки я, наверно, в девятом часу вечера. При этом вторая закладка «Хроники», допечатанная до половины, осталась в машинке. Ну, думаю, кто-нибудь из своих увидит (Павлик в квартире назначал свидания разным людям) и догадается допечатать. Я же сижу дома с Осей. Недели через три, а то и больше, первый раз выскочила из дома на журфикс к Павлику. Журфиксы проходили у Павла именно в этой квартире. Вот я приехала – там полно народу. Смотрю: машинка стоит, а в ней заложенная «Хроника» ровно на той строчке, на которой я остановилась! Как можно увидеть недопечатанный текст и не сесть за машинку?! Я бы тут же села и допечатала! Так что – вначале не было реакции. Я, правда, надеялась, что с тех шести экземпляров, которые раздала, где-то кто-то уже печатал. Вот. Ну а дальше я как-то всех уже расшевелила, чтоб собирали информацию и прочее…

Наталья Евгеньевна, сколько номеров «Хроники» сделали Вы?

Я целиком писала первый, второй и с четвертого по десятый (за небольшими вставками в десятый, которые сделали после того, как я улетела в Сибирь) номера. Их писала целиком. Где-то, скажем, в 1969-м году я просто с черновика диктовала тексты Наде Емелькиной [22]. Причём это всё были не тексты, подготовленные кем-то, а обработка информации, резюме текстов. То есть для меня это был еще и личный литературный труд. Моя первая серьезная стажировка в журналистике, в публицистике.

Третий выпуск «Хроники» я не делала сама. Поскольку пошла на демонстрацию [23], то не знала, вернусь ли. И отдала накануне все материалы, которые у меня уже были подготовлены. После демонстрации и до выхода «Хроники» (31 августа) я тоже не могла ею заниматься, потому что меня все время вызывали на допросы, и было неизвестно, останусь на свободе или нет. Делали третий выпуск Пётр Якир с Юликом Кимом и Ильёй Габаем. Потому этот выпуск стилистически выбивается из общей череды. …У Пети и Илюши очень сильна была склонность к «поэтике эпитетов» и революционному пафосу. В свою очередь, именно революционный пафос всегда был противопоказан моему этосу.

То есть фактографический стиль подачи информации в «Хронике» заложили вы?

Да, это мой стиль, я его заложила. И это все сознавали: и читавшие, и те, кто в будущем его перенимали и старались его продолжить (даже несмотря на то, что в «Хронике» появлялись новые разделы). Все, в общем, считали, что я нашла как раз нужный стиль.

Вы это как-то устно характеризовали или письменно?

Нет, люди сами понимали. Но у меня были какие-то возможности сказать. Скажем, когда я писала заметку по поводу самиздатского документа «О русских фашистах» [24], я написала, что «Хроника» обычно избегает оценок, но здесь мы вынуждены дать оценку этому самиздатскому документу.

«Хроника» за довольно короткий промежуток времени стала бюллетенем, сполна насыщенным информацией. Кто и как её поставлял?

К 1969-му году людей, приносивших информацию, конечно, стало больше. Я уже плохо помню, тем более что старалась не запоминать. Зачем знать лишнее? Если мне кто-то в Москве что-то отдавал, я не спрашивала, у кого он это получил. В пятом выпуске «Хроники» я даже сделала заметку про то, как передавать информацию в «Хронику»: передайте её тому, у кого вы взяли «Хронику», а он передаст тому, у кого он взял «Хронику», и т.д., только не пытайтесь единолично пройти всю цепочку, чтобы вас не приняли за стукача [25]. Поэтому, думаю, ко мне попадала информация от немногих людей.

На самом деле, добиваться помощи от окружающих в плане сбора информации местами бывало очень трудно. Больше всего информации, как ни странно, доставлял Пётр Якир. Он виделся с разными людьми, приносил что-то на каких-то клочках бумаги, полуразборчиво, но я разбиралась. Ведь люди, кто хотел что-то передать, ездили к тем, о ком они слышали в радиопередачах «голосов». В частности, многие люди из провинции к Якиру приезжали. Через него шёл очень большой поток информации.

Андрей Амальрик [26] был одним из немногих, кто серьёзно трудился над самиздатскими документальными текстами. Ленинградцы [27] тоже в этом плане были активны, но их очень быстро посадили. А вообще, скажу вам, весь этот самиздат, всю кропотливую работу тянули на себе, в основном, женщины: Галка Габай [28], Ира Якир, Надя Емелькина… Главной тягловой силой так называемого диссидентского движения были женщины. При известных исключениях, конечно. Но все-таки… (Улыбается) При этом я не только не феминистка, я антифеминистка.

Как появилась идея рубрик? Вы с кем-то это обсуждали? Или вы просто логично разделили имеющийся у вас в руках материал?

Ну, как это могло обсуждаться! Я разделила. Появлялся материал, который не влезал в эти рубрики – ставилась новая рубрика. И потом, по мере разрастания, уже после меня, всё новые и новые рубрики появлялись.

И всё-таки после выхода в свет первого номера, который вы сделали в одиночку, вы с кем-то обсуждали, скажем, идеологию издания, жанровые характеристики и прочее?

Нет. Обсуждения «Хроники» начались только в 1969-м году, когда была уже Инициативная группа. Тогда делался где-то восьмой или даже девятый выпуск. Собрались у меня и начали обсуждать. Во-первых, была идея сделать «Хронику» от имени Инициативной группы. Я сказала: «Ни в коем случае. Она должна быть совершенно независима от всего». Была какая-то критика и по существу издания. Чем были недовольны, уже и не помню. Я соглашалась с какой-то критикой, с какой-то нет… И продолжала делать.

Расскажите о своих постоянных помощниках. О тех, кто систематически вам помогал делать «Хронику». Были ведь такие?

Мне не нужно было много помощников. Мне нужны были люди, у которых были свои «узелки», так сказать, центры сбора информации. Такие, например, как Арина Гинзбург [29]: через ее дом проезжали жены политзэков на свидания и со свиданий. Но помощники другого плана, конечно, были. Вот Надя Емелькина, Галя Габай. Надя много печатала с машинописи. Нулевую закладку делала я, а она уже печатала семь копий с одного из моих нулевых экземпляров.

Галя тоже очень много всего делала. Она и печатала много, и доставляла материал. Да и всем помогала просто по-человечески. Например, вот приехали ко мне забрать на допрос по поводу демонстрации. Я им говорю: «Я одна с двумя детьми. Вы что, с ума сошли? Никуда не поеду». Они: «Ну, звоните друзьям». Позвонила. А дело было 5-го сентября 1968-го года. Ребята пришли, а мой старший сын Ясик им говорит: «Вы ко мне на день рождения приехали?» У него в этот день – день рождения. Вот, а я с Оськой на допрос поехала. Так Галя приехала прямо туда и, пока меня допрашивали, она сидела с Оськой. Она же была со мной, когда я была на амбулаторной экспертизе в институте Сербского. Иной раз как подумаешь: кого попросить помочь? Конечно, Галю Габай. Ещё Ира Якир помогала. Она нередко ездила на Украину, многое узнавала, после чего, естественно, приезжала и рассказывала, и записывала.

Скажите, вам было в какие-то моменты страшно?

Был один жуткий момент, когда у меня под кроватью в комнате, где мы жили уже вчетвером с мамой и сыновьями, лежали семь экземпляров и оригинал перепечатанной первой половины книги «Полдень» [30]. То есть пока я не закончила книгу «Полдень», мне всё время снились обыски. А как отдала ее – всё, перестали. И когда ко мне действительно пришли с обыском, даже после этого обыски уже никогда не снились.

Одиннадцатый выпуск «Хроники» уже без вас заканчивали?

Да, без меня. Одиннадцатый выпуск начинался сообщением о моем аресте. Я довольно много материала уже набрала. Но точно знала, что считанные дни осталось ходить на свободе. Я не знала сколько, может, успею доделать, может, нет. Потому все время искала кого-то, кому можно передать. И, в общем-то, все вокруг уже говорили, что нельзя, чтобы Наташка делала, надо передать кому-то…

Я передала Гале Габай, потому что никто больше не соглашался. К Гале Габай тут же пришли с обыском. Её мама, как известно, утопила материалы к «Хронике» в кастрюле с супом. У них после ареста Ильи [31] прошло четыре или пять обысков. У меня же все-таки за всё время был только один обыск, в октябре 1969-го. И Галя мне говорит: «Невозможно мне передавать». Я снова ищу. И вот, буквально на вечер 24-го декабря мы договорились с Володей Тельниковым [32], что он ко мне придет, я ему все покажу, всему научу. Ну, а они пришли за мной утром 24-го.

…Конечно, я понимала, что когда меня после демонстрации, в конце концов, оставили на свободе – это только отсрочка. Что они подождут, пока обо мне подзабудут на Западе и пока младший сын чуть-чуть подрастёт, чтобы не было страшного скандала (на момент моего ареста Осе было год и семь с половиной месяцев). Я же два с лишним года сидела и не знала: спаслись материалы к 11-му выпуску «Хроники» или нет. Спаслись! Это была фантастика. Ведь там были уже десятки почерков. Это был такой материал для КГБ! [33]

…Конечно, мне было трудно найти преемника, потому что в 1969 году все время шли аресты. И очень много в 1969-м было «невменяемых». У них тогда пошла линия на невменяемость [34]: начиная с Ивана Яхимовича [35] и кончая мной.

Расскажите, как решался для «Хроники» вопрос анонимности издания и публичности информации?

Где-то к концу 1968-го года уже вся Москва знала, кто издает «Хронику текущих событий», не говоря о том, что КГБ об этом знал еще раньше [36]. Потому что первые показания о том, что я делаю «Хронику», были даны осенью 1968-го года в Ленинграде… С другой стороны, очень многие знали, что я издаю «Хронику», от меня самой, потому что я активно собирала материал, раздавала готовые выпуски. В общем, это был общеизвестный факт. И если на «Хронике» не стояла фамилия редактора, в противоположность «Белой книге» [37] и «Фениксу» [38], это потому, что я настояла: «Хроника» должна быть безымянной. И мне было очень трудно объяснить, почему. Но оказалось, что это была очень здравая идея. Благодаря этому, «Хроника» прожила пятнадцать лет, меняя редакторов и оставаясь безымянной.

Но если какие-то вещи не являлись предметом конспирации, то, скажем, каналы получения информации и распространения готовых выпусков – это совсем другое дело! Скажем, у меня были друзья, мои очень старые друзья [39], которые давно занимались распространением самиздата. И только перед своим отъездом из страны, т.е. через семь лет после начала издания «Хроники», я свела их с Таней Великановой [40], «передала» их. Я никому их не открывала.

Или вот ещё история. В какой-то момент мы искали новых людей в «Хронику». Я говорю одним своим знакомым [41]: «Ребята, вы не могли бы помочь «Хронике»?» Они говорят: «Нет». Ну, нет, так нет. И только перед моим отъездом в 1975-м они мне сказали: «Наташа, ты знаешь, почему мы отказались тогда? Мы давно уже работаем на «Хронику»!». …И это было правильное поведение, чтобы случайно не подвести людей. Точнее техническое правило издания. Зачем знать то, что тебе знать не нужно?

Что Вам лично дал процесс издания «Хроники»?

Для меня «Хроника» возникла как бы самозарождением. Почти как стихи. Ну, на стихи я, правда, ни у кого не спрашивала благословения. На «Хронику» спросила – тут уж надо было.

… Я люблю писать. Особенно когда находится ниточка, за которую потянуть, а потом уже пишется. А там легко было находить ниточку, там столько было ниточек, за какую ни дерни – начинаешь писать! При этом эмоции у меня безусловно были, но я их старалась спрятать поглубже. Никому не нужны мои эмоции – эмоции пусть будут у читателя. Разумеется, этот сравнительно сухой безоценочный стиль тоже производил на читателя впечатление. Это вообще производит впечатление всегда гораздо большее, чем эмоциональный язык.

Скажите, после освобождения Вы принимали какое-то участие в издании «Хроники»?

В 1974–1975 годах я была негласным сотрудником «Хроники». Мне Таня Великанова приносила материалы. Но кроме Тани, об этом никто не знал, ни одна живая душа. Таня мне приносила, скажем, много материала по какому-то из судебных процессов, и я из этого материала делала статью для «Хроники». Так я делала статью о процессе Михаила Хейфеца [42] и о процессе пятидесятника Ивана Федотова [43]. Ещё что-то было… Это было довольно трудно – из такой груды обрывочного материала сделать один связный текст.

А у Вас не было желания (пусть и неосуществимого) снова весь процесс издания взять в свои руки?

Нет. Зачем? Если бы я видела, что иначе она не может существовать… Зачем, если она выходит и все нормально?

Даже в те полтора года, когда «Хроника» не выходила?

Да, полтора года между моим освобождением и моей эмиграцией «Хроника» не выходила. Это правда. Они намеренно арестовали Иру Белогородскую [44], про которую прекрасно знали, что она отошла от дел «Хроники». Решили «брать заложников». Вот человек отойдет, следующий номер «Хроники» выйдет, мы его возьмем. Это была очень хитрая идея – брать не людей, делающих «Хронику», а людей, переставших её делать. Они понимали, что это может подействовать.

У меня же в то время, после освобождения, уже не было и каналов. Нет, я, конечно, понимала, что они где-то есть, но что и как в ту пору делалось – уже не знала. Вообще нужно сказать, когда летом 1972 года пошли разговоры о закрытии «Хроники» в обмен на то, что таких-то освободят, я была против (заметьте, эти разговоры начались ещё до того, как она была действительно «завешена» на полтора года). Как человек, вышедший из тюрьмы, я была против. Ведь люди сидят и знают, что есть «Хроника», которая о них пишет! Как можно закрыть?! И многие были против. Кстати, в момент этих разговоров Алик Гинзбург говорил, что если кто-то прекратит «Хронику», он возьмётся ее издавать. И вот после 27-го выпуска издание «Хроники» было временно прекращено. Кто взял на себя ответственность за это «временное прекращение»? Как, когда и кем это всё будет возобновлено? Было непонятно… Ну, а потом, перед возобновлением, я уже знала, что где-то номера втайне готовились… Мне Таня Великанова сказала.

Наталья Евгеньевна, а была ли какая-то специальная этика диссидентских действий?

Что касается, условно говоря, диссидентской этики, или, как любят говорить поляки, – этоса, то я себе это представляю так (ведь у каждого из нас могут быть свои варианты). Первое, каждый волен действовать или бездействовать согласно своим убеждениям. Второе, никто никого ни к чему не должен принуждать. Никому ничего не запрещать, никого ни на что не толкать. Затем – никогда и ни по какому случаю никто не должен давить на совесть.

При этом самому нужно иметь совесть и ответственность. Если у человека есть совесть, – он плохого не захочет. Плюс ответственность за себя, за других, за то, что происходит в стране. Вот. Думаю, больше ничего особенного в этом этосе не было. Это основные вещи. Ну и, конечно, никогда не говорить тому, кому не надо, то, чего ему не следует знать. То есть мне представляется, что минимум конспиративный всё-таки должен быть. …Последнее, конечно, соблюдали далеко не все.

2003 г., Париж.

Примечания

  1. Богораз Лариса Иосифовна (1929–2004). Филолог, общественный деятель. Одна из авторов обращения «К мировой общественности». Участница «демонстрации семерых» на Красной площади 25 августа 1968.
  2. Марченко Анатолий Тихонович (1938–1986). Мемуарист, публицист. Автор первой документальной книги о политических лагерях послесталинского периода. Последний советский политзаключенный, погибший в неволе. Умер в Чистопольской тьюрме.
  3. Литвинов Павел Михайлович (р.1940). Преподаватель физики, общественный деятель. Один из авторов обращения «К мировой общественности». Участник «демонстрации семерых» на Красной площади 25 августа 1968. Живет в США.
  4. Гинзбург Александр Ильич (1936–2002). Журналист, общественный деятель, политзаключённый Основатель жанра диссидентской самиздатской периодики и документальных сборников, посвященных политическим преследованиям. Центральная фигура на «процессе четырех» – одном из самых громких политических процессов 1960-х. Первый распорядитель Фонда помощи политзаключенным и их семьям. Член Московской Хельсинкской группы. Скончался во Франции.
  5. Галансков Юрий Тимофеевич (1939–1972). Поэт, публицист, составитель самиздатских альманахов. Один из подсудимых на «процессе четырех». Первый диссидент, погибший в лагерях брежневской эпохи.
  6. Имеется в виду «Демонстрация семерых» – манифестация протеста против вторжения войск стран Варшавского договора в Чехословакию, произошедшая на Красной площади в Москве 25 августа 1968. Участники демонстрации развернули на парапете у Лобного места плакаты с лозунгами, протестующими против вторжения. Н. Горбаневскую задержали с остальными демонстрантами, но отпустили, вероятно, сочли, что арест матери двух малолетних детей даст повод, как тогда говорили, «к антисоветской шумихе» за рубежом. Спустя четыре месяца, в декабре 1969, Н. Горбаневскую арестовали и поместили в Казанскую спецпсихбольницу.
  7. Буковский Владимир Константинович (р.1942). Правозащитник, публицист, политический и общественный деятель. В начале 1960-х один из организаторов регулярных неформальных встреч молодежи у памятника Маяковскому в центре Москвы. Живет в г. Кэмбридж, Англия.
  8. Делоне Вадим Николаевич (1947–1983). Поэт. Участник двух публичных акций протеста: демонстрации на Пушкинской площади 22 января 1967 и «демонстрации семерых» на Красной площади 25 августа 1968. Скончался во Франции.
  9. Кушев Евгений Игоревич (1947–1995). Поэт, писатель, автор самиздата. Член неформальных литературных объединений середины 1960-х. Участник первых правозащитных демонстраций.
  10. Буковская Нина Ивановна (1913-2000). Мать Владимира Буковского, радиожурналист, член Союза журналистов Москвы. Член КПСС (1962–1971 гг). Скончалась в Лозане, Швейцария.
  11. Статья 72 УК РСФСР: «Создание или участие в антисоветской организации».
  12. «Об одной поездке» (1967). Любопытно, что и статья Л. Богораз, и репортаж В. Мороза появились почти синхронно, оба текста датированы апрелем 1967 года.
  13. Даниэль Юлий Маркович (1925–1988). Переводчик, прозаик, поэт. Политзаключённый. Дело писателей А. Синявского и Ю. Даниэля дало решающий импульс к возникновению советского правозащитного движения.
  14. Мороз Валентин Яковлевич (р.1936). Украинский историк, публицист, поэт. Политзаключённый. Отбывая срок в Мордовском лагере, написал памфлет «Репортаж из заповедника имени Берия» (1967). Живет в Канаде.
  15. Данное обращение известно как «Письмо 170-ти», позднее число подписей достигло 227.
  16. Григоренко Петр Григорьевич (1907–1987). Военный и политический деятель, правозащитник, публицист, мемуарист. Подвергался политическим преследованиям с использованием психиатрии. Член Московской Хельсинкской группы. Скончался в США.
  17. Ким Юлий Черсанович (р.1936). Поэт, драматург. Один из классиков жанра авторской песни. В 1970–1971 годах – активный участник издания «Хроники текущих событий». Живет в Израйле.
  18. Якир Ирина Петровна (1948–1999). Правозащитница, участник и один из редакторов «Хроники текущих событий» в 1970–1972 годах.
  19. Габай Илья Янкелевич (1935–1973). Педагог, поэт, сценарист. Участник «митинга гласности» 05.12.1965 и демонстрации 22.01.1967. Автор и соавтор публицистических текстов, распространившихся в Самиздате. Один из первых участников издания «Хроники текущих событий».
  20. Красин Виктор Александрович (р.1929). Экономист, узник сталинских лагерей, автор и распространитель самиздата. Инициатор создания Инициативной группы по защите прав человека в СССР. Живет в США.
  21. Якир Петр Ионович (1923–1982). Историк. В 1968–1972 – одна из центральных фигур диссидентского движения. Инициатор создания Инициативной группы по защите прав человека в СССР.
  22. Емелькина Надежда Павловна (1946–2010). Распространительница Самиздата. Жена В. Красина.
  23. Имеется в виду «Демонстрация семерых» (см. прим. № 6).
  24. «Своя своих не познаша» См. «Хроника текущих событий» № 7 (1969).
  25. См. «Хроника текущих событий» № 5 (1968).
  26. Амальрик Андрей Алексеевич (1938–1980). Историк, публицист, драматург. Первый диссидент, который открыто общался с иностранными журналистами и дипломатами в Москве, передавая им информацию о борьбе за права человека в СССР.
  27. Гендлер Юрий Львович (1936–2011), Квачевский Лев Борисович (р.1939). Осуждены в конце 1968 года по ст.70 УК РСФСР («Антисоветская агитация и пропаганда»).
  28. Габай Галина Викторовна (р.1937). Педагог, автор и распространитель Самиздата. Жена И. Габая.
  29. Жолковская (Гинзбург) Арина Сергеевна (р.1937). Филолог, журналист. С конца 1960-х – одна из ключевых фигур в организации общественной помощи политическим заключенным и их семьям. В 1977–1980 – распорядитель Фонда помощи политическим заключенным и их семьям.
  30. «Полдень» – книга-сборник Натальи Горбаневской о «демонстрации семерых» на Красной площади 25 августа 1968.
  31. Илья Габай был арестован в январе 1967 года за участие в демонстрации на Пушкинской площади 22 января 1967.
  32. Тельников Владимир Иванович (1937–1998). Член молодежной подпольной группы конца 1950-х, политзаключенный. Правозащитник, автор Самиздата. Переводчик, журналист.
  33. Все материалы к 11-му выпуску «Хроники» – черновики на листочках, на обрывках, написанные множеством почерков – были аккуратно сложены в обычном конверте, который чудом не был изъят из ящика стола во время обыска у Н. Горбаневской. Кроме того, в кармане зимнего пальто (оно висело на вешалке в коридоре коммунальной квартиры) лежала груда лагерной информации, записанная накануне со слов Леры Айдовой, жены политзаключенного, возвращавшейся со свидания.
    Когда Горбаневскую увели, Ира Якир, срочно приехавшая на обыск, вынула бумаги из кармана пальто и конверт из ящика стола (Горбаневская уходя, надела куртку, указала Ире глазами на карман пальто и шепнула про стол).
  34. Речь идёт о применении психиатрии как политической репрессивной меры.
  35. Яхимович Иван Антонович (р.1931). Учитель. Председатель колхоза. Снят с должности и объявлен психически невменяемым.
  36. О первом выпуске «Хроники» Ю. Андропов доложил в ЦК КПСС 11 июня 1968 .
  37. «Белая книга» – документальный сборник материалов, связанных с делом А. Синявского и Ю. Даниэля. Составитель Александр Гинзбург. Издан за рубежом.
  38. «Феникс» – самиздатский литературно-публицистический сборник, выпускавшийся в Москве Ю. Галансковым.
  39. Речь идёт о подруге Н. Горбаневской Ирине Родионовне Максимовой и ее муже Викторе Александровиче Сипачеве.
  40. Великанова Татьяна Михайловна (1932–2002). Программист, математик. Член Инициативной группы по защите прав человека в СССР. В течение многих лет – организатор выпуска «Хроники текущих событий».
  41. Речь идёт о Наталье Симонович и её муже Марке Гельштейне.
  42. Хейфец Михаил Рувимович (р.1934). Писатель и историк. Автор самиздата, журналист. Политзаключенный. См. «Хроника текущих событий» № 34 (1974).
  43. Федотов Иван Петрович (р.1929). Пресвитер Церкви Христиан Веры Евангельской – пятидесятников. Подробности процесса см. «Хроника текущих событий» № 36 (1975).
  44. Белогородская Ирина Михайловна (р.1938). Инженер. Политзаключённая. Участница подписантских кампаний.

 

The Trial of Reshat Dzhemilev, 12 April 1973 (31.2)

<< No 31: 17 May 1974 >>

Tashkent Region Court, 12 April 1973

Articles 190-1 and 190-3 of the RSFSR Criminal Code and corresponding articles of the criminal code of the Uzbek SSR. Sentence – 3 years in the camps.

On 12 July 1972 a search was made in the flat of RESHAT DZHEMILEV [1] in Tashkent, one of the 17 searches carried out that day in Uzbekistan (see this issue, CCE 31.19).

Reshat and his wife Zera were not summoned home from work, but the keys were demanded from their children (eldest, 15 years). When no keys could be found, windows were broken. In the search 47 objects were confiscated: copies of appeals to the government, books and photocopies of books of Soviet publication (excerpts from encyclopaedias, Essays on the Crimea by E. Markov and others), and money. The children were forced to sign the search record.

Dzhemilev, in a statement to the USSR Procurator-General demanded that criminal proceedings be instituted against those who had carried out the search, for breaking the law:

  • nothing amongst the things confiscated from him was prohibited (R. Dzhemilev argues this point in detail);
  • the law permits the involvement of children in investigations only if their parents or teachers are present;
  • lastly, having recorded the confiscation of 65 roubles, they had in fact confiscated 178 roubles.

dzhemilev-reshat-4-webOn 12 October 1972 R. Dzhemilev was arrested. The investigation was conducted by B. Berezovsky.

Not only Crimean Tatars living in Uzbekistan were questioned about the case, but also inhabitants of many other places: Reshat Osmanov (Krasnodar Region), Enver Ametov (Kherson Region [UkSSR]),[2] Veli Semidullayev (Zaporozhe Region [UkSSR]) and others. Berezovsky questioned several people in Moscow, in particular about the participation of Reshat Dzhemilev in the human rights movement (e.g. support for the Action Group’s appeal to the UN in 1969 [CCE 8.10]).

The investigation concluded by bringing charges under Articles 190-1 and 190-3 of the RSFSR Criminal Code (and the corresponding articles of the Uzbek code). These concern the compilation of documents which defame the Soviet system, and a breach of public order, viz. participation in a demonstration on 6 June 1969 in Mayakovsky Square (CCE 8.5), at which Dzhemilev carried a placard reading, “Freedom for General Grigorenko, the friend of the Crimean Tatars”.

The trial began on 12 April, a fact kept secret from the relatives and friends of the accused. Dzhemilev, having refused a barrister, objected to the make-up of the court, and referred to the biased hearings and unjust sentences of the Tashkent Region Court in cases involving Crimean Tatars, The objection was overruled and Dzhemilev refused to give evidence. Many Crimean Tatar witnesses also refused to answer the court’s questions.

In July 1973 the Action Group of Crimean Tatars in Tashkent issued an appeal which described the activities of Dzhemilev and protested against his conviction.

He had participated, it said, in many appeals and protests by the Crimean Tatars, and he had journeyed to Moscow several times as a representative of the people. In June 1967 he was among 20 representatives of the Crimean Tatars who were received by Andropov, Rudenko, Shchelokov and Georgadze [respectively, KGB chairman, Procurator-General, Minister of Internal Affairs, and secretary to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet].

The appeal reports that Reshat Dzhemilev openly accused Georgadze of lying on that occasion and demanded an immediate solution of the Crimean Tatar question. In the autumn of 1967 R. Dzhemilev was arrested and charged as one of the organizers of the demonstration by many thousands of people in Tashkent on 27 August 1967. In December that year he was sentenced to imprisonment for one year of corrective labour.

The appeal characterizes R. Dzhemilev as

“one of those activists of the national movement who have understood that the solution of the national question of the Crimean Tatars is inseparably linked with the problem of democracy in the country, and that the tragedy of the Crimean Tatar people is not only a result of the evil deeds of individual personalities like Stalin, Beria and Voroshilov, but a product of the totalitarian system as a whole”.

In this connection mention is made of R. Dzhemilev’s participation in protests against the imprisonment of the demonstrators of 25 August 1968 and of Yakhimovich and Grigorenko, and in appeals to the conference of communist parties, and also of his support for the Action Group appeal to the UN in May 1969.

The present appeal reports the current [Siberian] address of Dzhemilev (Krasnoyarsk Region, Yemelyanovsk district, post office Elita, postbox 288/7, brigade 3) and urges help for his wife Zera Dzhemileva and her three children aged from five to 15 (her address is Tashkent, Besh-Agach Street, 15 Shark Close).

The appeal contains a request that Dzhemilev’s statements and articles be duplicated and circulated, as well as photographs of the demonstration of 6 June 1969, and concludes with the words: “The people must know its loyal sons”.

===============================================================

NOTES

[1] Reshat Dzhemilev was a distant and older relative of Mustafa Dzhemilev. For more on his activities and statements: CCE 5.//, CCE 8.5, CCE 9.//, CCE 27.//, CCE 32.//.

[2] On Osmanov see CCE 8.5; on Ametov CCE 8.5 and CCE 32.//.

A New Public Association: the Moscow Helsinki Group, 12 May 1976 (40.13)

<< No 40 : 20 May 1976 >>

On 12 May 1976 a declaration was issued announcing the formation of a new public association [NGO] in Moscow: the “Group to Assist the Implementation of the Helsinki Agreements in the USSR”. The declaration states:

The Group’s aim is to promote the observance of the Final Act of the Conference on Co-operation and Security in Europe [see “International Agreements”]. We will focus on the following articles of the Final Act:

One, the Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations between Participating States, Principle VII, which is headed “Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief”;

Two, the section “Co-operation in humanitarian and other fields”, sub-sections
(1) Human Contacts (notably point (b) “Reunification of Families”),
(2) Information, (3) Co-operation and Exchanges in the Field of Culture, and
(4) Co-operation and Exchanges in the Field of Education.

The Group considers that its first goal is to inform all Heads of the States which signed the Final Act on 1 August 1975, and also to inform the public, about cases of direct violation of the articles named above. With this aim, the Group:

(1) will accept written complaints directly from Soviet citizens about personal experiences which relate to violations of these articles, and in a concise form will readdress them to all Heads of the States which have signed the Act and also to the public; the Group will retain the original, signed documents;

(2) will collect, with the help of the public, any other information about violations of the above articles; analyse this information; and give a detailed evaluation of its reliability; and will then send it to the Heads of State and the public.

In some cases, when the Group comes across concrete information about special manifestations of inhumanity, for example:

— the removal of children from religious parents who wish to educate their children according to their beliefs;

— forcible psychiatric treatment for the purposes of changing people’s thoughts, conscience, religion or beliefs;

— the most dramatic instances of divided families;

— cases which reveal special inhumanity in regard to prisoners of conscience.

The Group intends to appeal to the Heads of State and the public with requests to form international commissions to check the information on the spot, since the Group will not always be able to conduct its own direct investigation of such important and crucial information.

The Group hopes that its information will be taken into account at all official meetings which are envisaged in the Final Act under the point “Further Steps from Helsinki”.

In its activity the members of the Group proceed from the conviction that the issues of humanitarianism and free information have a direct relationship to the problem of international security, and they call for the public of other countries which took part in the Conference at Helsinki to form their own national assistance groups in order to facilitate a complete fulfilment of the Helsinki Agreements by the governments of all countries. We hope that in the future a corresponding International Committee will also be formed.

Yury Orlov has been declared the leader of the Group.

The members of the Group include: Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Mikhail Bernshtam, Elena Bonner, Alexander Ginzburg, Alexander Korchak, Pyotr Grigorenko and Vitaly Rubin.

The declaration also bears the signature of Anatoly Marchenko, who was exiled to eastern Siberia last year (CCE 35.2 and CCE 37.5). Later it became known that Anatoly Shcharansky was also a member of the Group.

Malva Landa joined the Group, but declared that she was not fully in agreement with the content of the declaration. The declaration, in her opinion, ignores the fundamental difference between the situation of the Soviet Group and the situation of the proposed similar groups in other countries.

The authorities reacted quickly to the formation of the Group.

First there were attempts to summon Yu. Orlov to KGB headquarters, then on Saturday, 15 May he was detained on the street and taken to the KGB offices in the Cheryomushky district [in Moscow]. There he was read a “Warning” in accordance with the Decree of 25 December 1972 [see CCE 30.13].

On the same day TASS published abroad the following announcement (the Chronicle presents a re-translation from the English):

“Warning to a Provocateur” (Moscow. 15 May, 17.40 hours)

As has become known to a TASS correspondent, State Security authorities today officially warned a certain Yury Orlov about the inadmissibility of his anti-constitutional activity.

Orlov, who was once engaged in scientific work and was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, has fully devoted himself to anti-Soviet activities in recent years. Seeking to gain popularity in the eyes of the opponents of relaxation of tension and the enemies of the Soviet Union, Orlov in particular set about knocking together a group of dissidents under the high-sounding and provocative name of Organization for Checking the Observance by the Soviet Union of the Provisions of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.

It is difficult to evaluate Orlov’s actions in any other way than as an attempt to cast doubt in the eyes of the international republic on the sincerity of the Soviet Union’s efforts to implement strictly the international obligations it has assumed, as yet another provocation aimed at hampering the process of relaxation of international tension.

On 15 May Orlov was summoned to the State Security bodies where, in accordance with the law effective in the country, he was given an official warning about the inadmissibility of his unlawful actions. Such a warning has a dual purpose: to cut short Orlov’s provocative activities, and also to prevent the perpetration by Orlov and persons connected with him of actions punishable by law.

In response to the TASS Statement Andrei Sakharov, Laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, and Valentin Turchin, chairman of the Soviet Amnesty International group, issued a statement.

They thoroughly approved of the formation of the Group and considered the Group’s aims to be extremely important. They supported the call made by the Group for the formation of similar groups in other countries that were signatories to the Helsinki Agreement.

The authors consider the TASS Statement to be an attempt to discredit the Group indirectly, as it would be embarrassing to attack such a group directly. It is noted that the name of the Group is distorted in the Statement. As for the attempts to cast doubt on Orlov’s academic qualifications, the authors write:

The TASS Statement tries to create the impression that Professor Orlov has recently abandoned his academic activity. In reality he is continuing to work actively and in the course of the year 1974-5 he published three original works of research and sent another to the publishers. It is true that, since the beginning of 1974, Orlov has not been on the staff of any teaching institution, but only because, in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he is refused employment out of political considerations.

The first action of the Group was to study the case of Mustafa Dzhemilev (see this issue, 40.3). The Group issued a document pointing out the infringements of the Helsinki Agreements in this case.[12] [Here is a summary]:

The sentence passed on Dzhemilev contradicts Principle VII of Part A in section 1 of the Final Act: “Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief”, and Principle VIII of the same part, which speaks of “the right of peoples, in full freedom, to determine their own fate.” [13]

The circumstances in which the trial was prepared and conducted lead the members of the Group to the conclusion that it was not a legal proceeding but “a deliberately predetermined reprisal”. This fact “does not permit the application to Dzhemilev’s case of the article in the Final Act on non-interference in internal affairs, for this article is interpreted in the Final Act in terms of respect for the laws and customs of sovereign states, not of respect for lawlessness disguised by falsification”.

The document was signed by the following members of the Group: Yu. Orlov, M. Bernshtam, E. Bonner and A. Ginzburg.

[See “The Helsinki Monitoring Group”, 41.8, 3 August 1976]

===================================================================

NOTES

[12 & 5] Document published in English in “Reports of Helsinki-Accord Monitors in the Soviet Union”, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, US Congress, Washington, DC, 24 February 1977 (in Russian in Sbornik dokumentov Obshchestvennoi gruppy sodeistviya vypolneniyu Khelsinkskikh soglashenii, Khronika Press, New York, vol. 1, 1977).

[13] This is a paraphrase of the various points in principle VIII.

Order No. 020, 14 January 1972 (33.3)

<< No 33 : 10 December 1974 >>

This Order, dated 14 January 1972, combines a number of earlier directives.

The Chronicle does not have at its disposal the precise text of the Order, but its main provisions are well known:

1. Prisoners are allowed to move about their camp-zone only in columns;

2.Visits to barracks other than their own are forbidden;

3. Prisoners must have, sewn onto their clothing, patches giving their surname and the number of their unit;

4. Prisoners are forbidden to wear beards;

5. During the warm months of the year, prisoners must remove their headgear in the presence of administration personnel;

6. The duties of an orderly include the reporting of any infringement of the regulations to the head of the unit;

7. Tobacco is looked upon as equivalent to food products (so that when a prisoner is deprived of access to the prison shop, he is also deprived of tobacco);

8. This is the list of personal effects which a prisoner is permitted to keep with him:

(a)       Not more than five books;

(b)       Two changes of underwear;

(c)       Toilet articles;

(d)       Clothing and footwear of the approved pattern ‘according to the prescribed norms’.

Other effects must be kept in the camp storage room;

9. This is the list of food products allowed to be sent in packages and parcels:

In small packages – dry confectionery, apart from chocolate and any products containing it. (This, in practice, was the same before the Order was promulgated.)

In parcels – bread and buns of various kinds; salted herring; tinned food — meat with vegetables, lard, pulses, fish, vegetables; onions and garlic; cheese, lard, butter and margarine. (Previously, tea, coffee and pure meat products were also allowed.)

10. Letters may be confiscated on the following grounds:

(a)       Obscene expressions;

(b)       Libellous statements about the administration or conditions in the camps;

(c)       Distortion of the USSR’s foreign or internal policies;

(d)       Suspicion of “phrases in prearranged code”;

(e)       Illicit enclosures;

(f)        Divulging of information which may not be made public.

11. Confiscated letters and statements are to be destroyed. (Previously, confiscated letters were kept with the prisoner’s personal records.)

12. Only statements addressed to the Procurator’s Office are exempt from camp censorship. (Previously statements addressed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party and to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet were also exempt.)

13. As before, a prisoner can be kept in a camp punishment prison for up to 15 days. But now the administration has the right to extend this punishment for an unlimited period, through a series of successive rulings (also for up to 15 days each, but not including any compulsion on the prisoner to work). The total length of time a prisoner may be kept in a prison is limited only by the state of his health.

It is also known that paint and paintbrushes are categorically forbidden. Order No 020 was brought into operation by stages. Thus in the Perm camps it was first put into practice in 1973. It was then, for example, that the identification patches sewn onto clothing were introduced.

In the Mordovian Camps, December 1974 (33.4)

<< No 33 : 10 December 1974 >>

On the railway line running southeast from Moscow to Ryazan and eastwards to Ruzayevka (in Mordovia) lies the station of Zubova Polyana, 441 kilometres from Moscow. The next station, Potma, is 455 kilometres from Moscow.

From Potma, a narrow-gauge line runs north, used by wagons bearing the inscription “Property of ZhKh-385”, to the corrective colony called Institution ZhKh-385 or “Dubrovlag”. Political prisoners, with the exception of those sentenced under Articles 190-1, 190-2 and 190-3 of the RSFSR Criminal Code, or the corresponding articles of the other Soviet republics, are held in this colony (and in Institution VS-389, see CCE 33.5 “In the Perm camps”), together with people accused of “especially dangerous crimes against the State”. The prisoners in these two penal colonies come from all over the Soviet Union, not just from the Russian Republic. The Chronicle does not know whether such types of prisoner are also held in other camps.

The political prisoners at Institution ZhKh-385 are held in camps 1, 3, 17 and 19 (see Map 3), and their addresses are, correspondingly, “Institution ZhKh-385/1”, etc. Camps 1, 17 and 19 are situated in the Zubovo-Polyana district of the Mordovian ASSR; camp 3 is in Mordovia’s Tengushevsky district.

Camp 1 is in the settlement of Sosnovka, which is the first rail station north after Potma. The headquarters of Institution ZhKh-385 are in the settlement of Yavas, roughly halfway north along the narrow-gauge branch-line.

Camp 17 is in the settlement of Ozerny, which is 18 kilometres west of Yavas. The road from Yavas to Ozerny is in such a state that the prisoners call it “the road of death”: there have been instances when prisoners travelling over this road in Black Marias (they are divided into tiny single compartments with nothing for the person inside to hold on to) have suffered broken bones, concussion, etc.

Camp 19 is in the settlement of Lesnoi, six kilometres from the Shala rail-station. Transport from Shala to Lesnoi is by rail trolley.

Camp 3 is situated in the settlement of Barashevo, the final station on the narrow-gauge line. Women political prisoners are kept in camp 3 (zone 4). The hospital of Institution ZhKh-385 is also in camp 3 (zone 2).

CAMP 1 (Special Regime)

The prisoners in camp 1[1] are kept under special-regime conditions. (Up to 1971 or thereabouts, the special-regime camp was camp 10, near the station of Leplei.) The camp building consists of 12 cells for prisoners, four punishment cells, a workshop, and rooms for the guards and administration offices. Three small exercise courtyards, with latrines, adjoin the building. Each prison cell (15 square metres [i.e. three by five] is for eight persons; it has two-tier bunks, a table, a bench, a hanging cupboard and a latrine bucket. The prisoners’ cells are dark and damp; about two mattresses per year per prisoner rot because of this. The workshop (14m x 12m x 3.2m) is also damp – the ceiling steams up, and moisture trickles down the walls.

The work is hard and extremely unhealthy – grinding glass with abrasive cast-iron wheels. Abrasive silicose dust hangs in the air, and there is no ventilation. Nor is any special clothing provided. A medical commission ruled that the work was unhealthy, but, nonetheless, refused to grant extra milk rations for the prisoners. The working day lasts eight hours. The prisoners include many criminal offenders who have been sentenced under political articles while in the camps.

Ivan Andreyevich Gel (Ukr. Hel, see CCE 24, 27, and 28) is in camp 1. On 16 October he started a hunger strike, declaring it was “to the death” (i.e. with no time limit), demanding

— the granting of special status to political prisoners;

— permission for the International Red Cross to have access to political prisoners;

— the removal of  MVD authority over medical services in labour camps (he himself has suffered from severe headaches for a long time but has not been given the necessary medical treatment);

— and the registration of his marriage with the woman who is his natural-law wife (they have a child, which is usually considered sufficient grounds for the registration of a marriage, but they have been trying to get registration for nearly three years, without success).

CAMP 17

At the beginning of 1974 a group of political prisoners in camp 17 protested to the highest authorities against being held with war criminals.

In 1974, in camp 17, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Chornovil (see CCE 7, 24, 29) went on hunger strike. In this way Chornovil hoped to obtain permission for a visit by his natural-law wife, A. Pashko. After the hunger strike, the visit was allowed. Chornovil stated that if further visits were forbidden he would go on an indefinite hunger strike. Chornovil and his wife cannot obtain permission for their marriage to be registered.

Later Chornovil was transferred from camp 17 to camp 19.

Ilya Glezer (see CCE 24, 25, 27) is also in camp 17.

CAMP 19

CCE 32 has already reported the unsuccessful attempt by a group of political prisoners in camp 19 to send a letter addressed to the Committee for Human Rights in Moscow. A subsequent attempt succeeded. The letter is dated March-April 1974, and has six signatories: K. A. Lyubarsky, B. P. Azernikov, B. S. Penson, A. M. Goldfeld, Z, V. Popadyuk and S. A. Babich.

The writers of the letter describe in detail the prison regime under which political prisoners in the camps are kept: the administration’s tyranny, the continuous illegalities it practices with the aid of all kinds of supplementary orders and directives (for example, “Order Number 020”, CCE 33.2). They ask the Committee “to consider the conditions in which political prisoners are held in Soviet labour camps”, and “to study not only the existing laws controlling the life of political prisoners, but also how these laws are in actual fact being implemented”. The writers of the letter also regret that the term “political prisoner” is not used in Soviet laws, and that the existence of political prisoners in the Soviet Union is denied.

What happened subsequently to those who wrote this letter?

On 20 September K. A. Lyubarsky (see CCE 24-28, 32) was transferred from camp 19 to camp 17. On 7 October Lyubarsky went on hunger strike “to the death” over the question of his books. According to camp regulations a prisoner has the right:

— one, to keep in his zone (in his barrack or in the store – the “kaptyorka”) up to 50 kilograms of personal effects (any surplus has to be kept in an outer store, i.e. outside his zone);

— two, the prisoner has the right to keep with him up to five books.

Until now, prisoners, including Lyubarsky himself when in camp 19, have always been allowed to decide for themselves what the 50 kilograms to be kept in the zone should consist of. Lyubarsky had selected books as the greater part of his 50 kilograms; but the administration of camp 17 suddenly announced that he would be allowed to keep only five books inside the zone, whether with him or in the store.

It was then that Lyubarsky went on hunger strike “to the death”, demanding that the administration observe its own rules, On 15 October the administration admitted they had been wrong and promised to return the books. On 16 October, however, Lyubarsky was taken to Yavas, for trial. And it was only when he entered the courtroom that he realized he was going to be tried. This was an administrative trial, held at the request of the authorities of camp 17, in spite of the fact that in that camp Lyubarsky had only been penalized once – he was given a reprimand for talking to other prisoners during work. (It is known to the Chronicle that he had the permission of the foreman to do so, as he was still a “learner” and had to familiarize himself with a new type of job.)

At the trial in Yavas Lyubarsky was accused of breaking the regulations on 15 occasions (he had earlier appealed against these charges, but the Procurator had replied only once). The administration declared that Lyubarsky had not embarked on the path of reform and that he was exerting a harmful influence on younger people. The Procurator, too, declared that Lyubarsky had not embarked on the path of reform; in addition, he said, Lyubarsky had not changed his beliefs. The court ordered Lyubarsky to be transferred to a prison for the remainder of his sentence.

Lyubarsky was taken at once from Yavas to Potma. On 17 October he was dispatched under convoy. On 20 October he was already in Vladimir Prison. For the first two months there he was kept on the strict regime (as allowed by law), but for the first month he was on punishment rations: this is not provided for by law, but is applied to nearly every prisoner. Towards the end of October, Malva Landa and the Action Group for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR lodged protests against the transfer of Lyubarsky to Vladimir Prison.

In the spring of 1974, B. P. Azernikov and B. S. Penson were transferred from camp 19 to camp 3.

Before transfer, Penson, one of those sentenced in the trial of the “aeroplane people” (CCE 17.6), was put in the camp prison for 15 days for “infringement of the regulations on clothing”.

Boris Azernikov is a dental surgeon. In accordance with Article 70 of the RSFSR Criminal Code he was sentenced to 3.5 years for “participation in a Zionist organization” [see CCE 23]. His sentence was due to end in February 1975.

A.M. Goldfeld, whose release was reported in CCE 32, has already left for Israel.

CCE 32 reported the transfer of Shakirov to Vladimir Prison. As far as is known, B. A. Shakirov was sentenced to eight (?) years’ imprisonment under articles corresponding to Articles 64 and 70 of the RSFSR Criminal Code; he was charged with Uzbek nationalism and attempting to cross the border.

Antanas Sakalauskas, one of those sentenced in the Lithuanian “trial of the five” (CCE 32), has been delivered to camp 19.

Roman Semenyuk (CCE 27) has been transferred from Vladimir Prison to camp 19.

CCE 32 reported the arrival in camp 19 of Lyubomir Staroselsky, arrested “at his school bench”. Additional details have now become known, which show that issue 32 was inaccurate in one respect, Staroselsky was born on 8 May 1955, and his co-defendant, Roman Kolopach, on 12 November 1954. Staroselsky finished school after the ninth year and started working. On the night of 8-9 May 1972 Staroselsky and Kolopach put out two yellow-and-blue Ukrainian nationalist flags in the village of Stebnik (Lvov Region). On that date neither of them had reached the age of 18.

On 19 February 1973 the Lvov Region Court found Staroselsky and Kolopach guilty of actions under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (equivalent to Article 70 of the RSFSR Code) and Article 187-2 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (Article 190-2 of the RSFSR Code). They were charged under Article 62 for putting out Ukrainian nationalist flags, and under Article 187-2 (“defiling the State emblem or flag”) because the flags incorporated some blue cloth torn by Kolopach from the red-and-blue flag of the Soviet Ukraine. The court sentenced Kolopach to three years, and L.Z. Staroselsky to two years’ imprisonment. Both youths were taken into custody only after sentence had been passed, so their term of imprisonment began on 19 February 1973.[2]

Two of the four leaders of the All-Russian Social-Christian Union for the Liberation of the People or ASCULP (see CCE 1.6, and CCE 19.4 “The fate of the leaders of ASCULP”), are in camp 19: Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Vagin, head of the organisation’s “ideological section”, by profession a literary scholar; and Boris Anatolevich Averichkin, a lawyer, “in charge of the organization’s documents”. Their sentences began in March 1967.

Anatoly Ivanovich Ivanov[3] is a prisoner in the Mordovian camps (seemingly in camp 19). A. I. Ivanov was born in 1939, in the town of Vyazma. Up to the time of his arrest he was working in Moscow as a taxi driver. He lived in Odintsovo (a suburb of Moscow). He is married and has one son. In February 1971 the Moscow Region Court sentenced him to five years in labour camps under Article 70 of the RSFSR Criminal Code.

The charge against him was that, from 1969 onwards, he had been writing poems and other material in which he had “crudely distorted the life and history of the Soviet people, the activity of the party and the government, had poured scorn on Soviet democracy and had exaggerated isolated shortcomings”. In addition, he was charged with:

  • the text of an appeal to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, in which he requested permission to emigrate to the USA;
  • describing the sending of troops into Czechoslovakia as an occupation;
  • expressing dissatisfaction that citizens’ constitutional rights cannot be exercised in practice;
  • and conversations with workmates in which “he declared that the policy of the party creates disorder and is against the people, and that it was essential for an opposition party to be formed”.

During the pre-trial investigation A. I. Ivanov expressed his regret for “having acted wrongly when making such statements”. At his trial, he pleaded not guilty.

In December 1973 Alexander Aleksandrovich Petrov-Agatov (Agatov is a literary pseudonym) arrived in camp 19 from Vladimir Prison. Petrov-Agatov was in the past a Communist, a leading member of the Stavropol Region Party Committee. He is the author of the words of the well-known song “Dark Night” (from the film “Two Warriors”).

In 1947 Petrov-Agatov was accused of anti-Soviet propaganda because of some critical remarks about Stalin, and in June 1948, he was sentenced to imprisonment by the [extra-judicial] Special Board. He escaped from the camps on five occasions. Each escape was declared to have been counter-revolutionary sabotage and for each he was sentenced to an additional term of imprisonment. In 1956 Petrov-Agatov was released and legally exculpated.

Following his release Petrov-Agatov worked as an assistant to the Minister of Culture of the Checheno-Ingush Autonomous Republic. His works were widely published and is song “My Checheno-Ingushetia” became almost a national anthem in the Republic.

In 1960 Petrov-Agatov was again arrested. He was released in 1967. The circumstances of this case are not known.

After his second release Petrov-Agatov continued writing and translating. He did many translations of poems by Yandiev, Raisa Akhmatova, Akhmet Vedzizhev and Mutalibov. He has translated works by almost all the Chechen and Ingush poets. In 1967 a cycle of his own verse lyrics was published in the journal Prostor (Kazakhstan), and another selection of his poems was published in 1968, in the journal Neva (Leningrad), number three. His short novel The Secret of the Old Church was also published in Neva in issue eight, 1968.

On 26 July 1968 Petrov-Agatov was arrested once more.[4] The indictment in his case reads:

On 26 July 1968, by order of the Directorate for Moscow and Moscow Region of the KGB at the USSR Council of Ministers, A. A. Petrov was arrested for conducting anti-Soviet agitation. The investigation carried out in connection with this case has established that, starting in 1943, Petrov wrote, kept and distributed various poems of an anti-Soviet nature… . Later, A. A. Petrov copied into notebooks the anti-Soviet verses he had written between 1943 and 1953 and kept them with the intention of distributing them at some future date.

In 1968 Petrov produced a handwritten book of poems which he called Songs of Hope and Faith. In this handwritten collection Petrov included anti-Soviet poems which he had written in 1943-1953, … and which contain libellous fabrications defaming the Soviet political and social system, while, in addition, the poems ‘To God’, ‘The United States of America’ and ‘To President Johnson’ contain calls for the overthrow of the Soviet regime. … In July 1968, moreover, he wrote an anti-Soviet text called ‘Epilogue’.”

The sentence was seven years under Article 70 of the RSFSR Criminal Code.

In camp Petrov-Agatov wrote a documentary work of an autobiographical nature – Encounters with Convicts. This work, and a number of poems from the collection Songs of Hope and Faith (“Kolyma Track”, To God”, “Twenty- Six”, “The Sword of Gumilyov”) have been published in the West. In November 1970 Petrov-Agatov was sent to Vladimir Prison for three years. He arrived in camp 19 in December 1973.

During 1973 Z. V. Popadyuk, S, G, Dreizner, K, A. Lyubarsky, P. A. Airikyan, B. A. Shakirov, N. Budulak-Sharygin, A. Pasilis, A. I. Ivanov, V. O. Mogilever, I. Zalmanson and R. Z. Semenyuk each spent six months in the cell-type premises (a form of camp prison) in camp 19.

  1. P. Azernikov spent three months in the cell-type premises during 1973.

In 1973 Solomon Girshevich Dreizner (CCE 20.1) and Paruir Airikyan (CCE 16.4 [and 34]) were released at the end of their terms from camp 19.

In 1974 Vladimir Mogilyover (CCE 20.1) and Alexis Pasilis were released at the end of their terms of imprisonment.

Pasilis was sentenced in 1970, in the town of Klaipeda, to four years’ imprisonment for distributing pamphlets and for hanging out Lithuanian national flags. He was charged under Article 68 of the Lithuanian Criminal Code (which corresponds to Article 70 of the RSFSR Code). His co-defendants were Silinskas and Balkaitis. In the winter of 1973-1974 Pasilis was taken to Vilnius, “to be educated”. On 16 February he was taken back to Mordovia but to a different camp. At the end of August Alexis Pasilis was returned to Vilnius and there set free. The local police have placed him under administrative surveillance for six months.[5]

Near the office-block in camp 19 a notice is posted headed, “THEY HAVE EARNED THE HIGHEST TRUST OF THE LAW”. At the request of the administration, and by order of the supervisory commission, it says, the following persons have been granted a remission of the remainder of their terms by being given pardons or by commutation of their sentences. This is because of their conscientious work, exemplary behaviour and active participation in the public affairs [of the camp]: M. V. Elin, M. R. Potseluiko, A, N. Vashchenko, A, V, Stapchinsky, V, A. Pupelis, J. J. Rubenis, F. F, Klimenko and P. A. Kalva.

Who, in fact, are these people?

Elin – a former soldier who defected to West Germany, returned voluntarily, and received a ten-year sentence in accordance with Article 64 of the RSFSR Criminal Code; in camp he worked as senior electrician.

Potseluiko – took part in mass murders during the German occupation; he personally hanged a number of people, his sentence was 25 years, and in camp he worked as senior foreman.

Vashchenko – worked as a chief of police under the Germans during the occupation and took part in mass murders; his sentence was 25 years, and in camp he was in charge of the stores.

Stapchinsky – worked as a Gestapo interrogator; he was first sentenced to 25 years and later received another 25-year sentence for participating in the Vorkuta camp uprising; in camp he was a senior foreman.

Pupelis and Rubenis – served in the German army, both of them got 25 years; in camp Pupelis was in charge of the seed-beds, and Rubenis was his assistant.

Klimenko – arrested in March 1969 on account of a manuscript (evidently of an autobiographical nature) and during his pre-trial investigation gave false evidence against P. Litvinov and L. Bogoraz [CCE 8]; his sentence was five years; the handwritten texts of Klimenko’s denunciations have been found.

Kalva – a ten-year sentence for participating in the Latvian partisan movement; in the camp he worked as a construction engineer; he was pardoned three months before his sentence expired.

CAMP 3

There are, at present, 22 women in the fourth (female) zone of camp 3 [cf CCE 15.8]:

(1)       Darya Yuryevna Gusyak, Ukrainian (b. 1924), member of OUN [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists], sentence — 25 years. Imprisoned since 1950, from 1950 to 1969 in Vladimir Prison. At present almost blind, suffers from dermatitis.

(2)       Maria Ivanovna Palchak, Ukrainian (b. 1922 or 1927), member of OUN, Arrested in 1960 or 1961, sentenced to be shot but sentence commuted to 15 years.

(3)       Nina Antonovna Strokata, Ukrainian (b. 1925), microbiologist. Arrested December 1971 under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (Corresponding to Article 70 of the RSFSR Code), sentenced to four years. Strokata is suffering from an oncological illness. Once every six months she is taken to a cancer clinic in Rostov-on-Don for examination. In 1974 Strokata was elected an honorary member by the American Association of Microbiologists. Her husband Svyatoslav Karavansky (CCE 13.7, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, and 32) is now serving his 25th year of imprisonment. He is presently in camp 1. His term ends in 1979.

(4)       Irina Mikhailovna Senik, Ukrainian (b. 1925). Was imprisoned from 1944 to 1954. In October 1972 she was arrested again (see CCE 28, 29, 32). Her sentence was six years of camps and three years in exile. Irina Senik is an invalid of the second degree (she has either tuberculosis or a fractured spine).

(5)       Stefania Mikhailovna Shabatura, Ukrainian (b. 1938), is a commercial artist. Arrested January 1972 under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, sentenced to five years in camps and three years’ exile (CCE 28, 32).

(6)       Irina Onufrievna Stasiv-Kalynets, Ukrainian (b. 1940), a poetess. Arrested January 1972 under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, sentenced to six years in camps and three years’ exile (CCE 28, 29, 32). In the spring of 1974 Irina Stasiv began feeling the first acute symptoms of a renal disease (the preliminary diagnosis was nephritis); after a period in hospital her condition became more stable. Her husband Igor Kalynets (CCE 28, 32) was arrested shortly after his wife’s trial. He received the same sentence and is now in camp 35 in the Perm complex. Their 12-year-old daughter lives with her grandmother in Lvov.

(7)       Nadezhda Alekseyevna Svetlichnaya, Ukrainian (b. 1936). Arrested in April 1972 under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code; sentenced to four years in labour camps, to be followed by exile (CCE 29, 32), Svetlichnaya is a sick woman (she has arachnitis, hepatitis and latent tuberculosis). Her brother Ivan Alekseyevich Svetlichny (CCE 29) is in camp No. 35 in the Perm complex. Her four-year-old son lives with relatives in Kiev.

(8)       Galina Vladimirovna Selivonchik (b. 1937). In 1969 she, her husband and brother tried to hi-jack a plane (her husband being killed in the attempt); she was sentenced to 13 years in camps and five years’ exile (see CCE 15.8, 16.5).

(9)       Anna Moiseyevna Kogan (b. 1920), worked for the KGB, was a Party member. Arrested in 1969, sentenced to seven years. She was tried together with her son. Her son Boris Sokolov (b. 1941), a worker, was sentenced to four years and is now in camp 35 in the Perm complex [see below]. Details of their case are not known.

(10)     Alexandra Khvotkova, convicted for the second time for her membership of the TOC (“Truly Orthodox Church”).[6]

(11)     Irina Andreyevna Kireyeva, second conviction for being a member of the TOC.

(12)     Anastasia Andreyevna Volkova, sister of I. A. Kireyeva; second conviction for being a member of the TOC.

(13)     Klavdia Volkova, second conviction for membership of TOC.

(14)     Maria Pavlovna Semyonova (b. 1925); third conviction for membership of the TOC, She finished her second term of imprisonment in, it appears, 1971 (CCE 15.8).

(15)     Nadezhda Usoyeva (b. 1942). Convicted for TOC membership.

(16)     Tatyana Sokolova (b. 1934). Convicted for TOC membership.

(17)     Glafira Kuldysheva (b. 1929). Convicted for TOC membership.

(18)     Raisa Ivanova (b. 1929). Convicted for TOC membership. Ivanova refused to work in the camp and was sent away for psychiatric examination, from which she never returned. It is assumed that she was sent to a Special Psychiatric Hospital. The prisoners consider Ivanova mentally healthy.[7]

(19)     Natalya Frantsevna Gryunvald (b. 1912). Sentenced to 25 years (CCE 15.8). Her son, sentenced with her at the same trial, is now in camp 35 in the Perm camp complex.

(20)     Vera Iosifovna Kiudene, Lithuanian (b. 1919), a peasant. Arrested in 1967 for her participation in the post-war Lithuanian resistance movement. CCE 15.8 stated that Kiudene was mentally ill. No information is available on her present state of health.

(21)     Yekaterina Aleshina (?), apparently Mordovian. Sentenced for membership of the TOC.

(22)     Tatyana Pavlovna Krasayeva (b. 1904). Sentenced to seven years. There is no information about her case.

In September 1974, responding to an appeal in the New Times magazine (no 13, 1974), Svetlichnaya, Stasiv-Kalynets, Strokata and Shabatura handed a statement to the administration. They requested permission to contribute to the fund for victims of the Chilean junta with money they had earned in the camp. Their request was refused.

They also asked for permission to send delegates from among the women political prisoners to a congress of the Women’s International Democratic Federation. This request was also refused.

Lyubarsky, Azernikov, Penson, Popadyuk, Babich, I. Zalmanson and Petrov-Agatov addressed an open letter to the Women’s International Democratic Federation:

There are not many of these women, altogether only 20 to 30. We do not wish to discuss here the question of whether or not their conviction was just or lawful. Political disagreements are long-drawn-out affairs, while these women are suffering now. We only want to ask whether the power of a mighty State would really be undermined, whether the power which disposes of a gigantic apparatus would be weakened, by the release of two dozen women? Waging war on women cannot be a sign of strength.

“They must be freed! What better opportunity could there be for a State which proclaims itself the most humane in the world to prove the sincerity of its declarations? We appeal to you, women democrats: demand that the Soviet government release its women political prisoners … They are your sisters. Help them. That would be not an act of politics, but an act of humanity.”

At the end of August 1974, six years before her sentence was due to end, Silva Zalmanson (see CCE 17.6, 32) was unexpectedly pardoned. She left for Israel at the beginning of September. Silva’s husband Edward Kuznetsov, and her brother Izrail, are in the Mordovian camps (Kuznetsov is in camp 1; I. Zalmanson is in camp 3); her other brother, Vulf Zalmanson, is in camp 36 in the Perm complex.

================================

NOTES

[1] For detailed ground plans of camp 1, and a typical cell there, see Amnesty International Report, 1975.

[2] CCE 35 reports that Staroselsky was released, probably, in early 1974, and also points to the illegality of his having been put in a camp for adults, after the verdict had specified he was to be kept in a juvenile camp for his whole term.

[3] A.I. Ivanov: Probably the A. Ivanov whose samizdat essay on the desirability of a multi-party system is summarized in CCE 17.13, item 14.

[4] This document reached the West in 1975, with related documents, but was not published that year. For Petrov-Agatov and his works see CCE 10, 17 and 27

[5] On the involvement of Pasilis’ mother, B. Pasiliene, in the case of Sergei Kovalyov see CCE 34 and 35.

[6] On the “Truly Orthodox Church” see W. C. Fletcher, The Russian Orthodox Church Underground: 1917-1970, London, 1971.

[7] CCE 35 reports that in October 1974 Raisa Ivanova was ruled to be mentally ill and sent to the hospital in camp 3.

Political Prisoner’s Day, 30 October 1974 (33.1)

<< No 33 : 10 December 1974 >>

According to advance information received from the labour camps of Mordovia and Perm, a decision was taken there to designate 30 October 1974[1] as the “Day of the Political Prisoner in the USSR”.

On that day the prisoners intended to declare hunger strikes, which were to last for one or two days. Certain demands which the hunger-strikers intended to put forward on 30 October are known to us. These demands included:

  • recognition of political prisoner status;
  • separation of political prisoners from criminal convicts and war criminals;
  • abolition of forced labour and compulsory norm-fulfilment,
  • abolition of restrictions on correspondence, including correspondence with other countries;
  • abolition of restrictions on parcels and gifts;
  • removal of MVD authority over the medical staff in places of imprisonment;
  • provision of full medical services for the prisoners, with allowance for visits by specialist doctors, including doctors from abroad;
  • an increase in the number of permitted visits by relatives and permission for visits by friends;
  • provision of opportunities for creative work for writers, scholars and artists;
  • permission to register marriages, and permission for prisoners to talk in their mother-tongue in the camp and during meetings with relatives.

The Chronicle does not yet know what actually took place on 30 October [see CCE 34 and 35.7].

sakharov, andrei

Andrei Sakharov

On the evening of 30 October a press conference was organized by Andrei D. SAKHAROV and the Action Group for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR, at which information about “Political Prisoner’s Day” was given to Western correspondents. The Chairman of the Moscow group of Amnesty International [CCE 34.18, item 1], Valentin F. Turchin, was present at the press conference as an observer.

“The organizers of this press conference look upon it as an expression of their solidarity with Soviet political prisoners. We are also counting on widespread support from world public opinion,” said a statement given to the journalists. The statement outlined the main difficulties of the life led by political prisoners; excessively long terms of imprisonment; bad and severely insufficient food, which cannot be supplemented from parcels, as these are strictly limited as to both their weight and numbers; widespread and unsupervised punitive measures; oppressive work conditions; bad medical services, and so on. The statement emphasizes that the political prisoners “have been convicted for actions, opinions and intentions which would not be regarded as grounds for prosecution in a democratic country”.

“We do not yet know,” the statement says, “what happened there today, behind the barbed wire. But we are certain that today, as always, the political prisoners will reassert their dignity as human beings and their feeling of inner justification.”

The journalists were handed copies of open letters by prisoners[2] and other material received from labour camps.

These documents are presented in brief extracts below. The majority were dated October and written especially for Political Prisoner’s Day.

[1]

An open letter to the Women’s International Democratic Federation[3] signed by Kronid Lyubarsky, Sergei Babich, Israil Zalmanson, Zoryan Popadyuk, Alexander A. Petrov-Agatov[4], Boris Azernikov and Boris Penson appeals to the Federation to demand the following from the Soviet Government: the release of women political prisoners, the open publication of the materials of their cases, and the opportunity for members of the Federation to see for themselves the conditions under which women prisoners are held (CCE 33.4, “In the Mordovian Camps”).

[2]

In an open letter to the World Postal Union, AZERNIKOV, LYUBARSKY and PENSON speak of systematic “breaches of the obligations which the USSR Ministry of Communications assumed when the Soviet Union joined the WPU. They emphasize that they are not referring to the important matter of Soviet legislation concerning restrictions on prisoners’ correspondence and the censorship of their letters, as this is outside the competence of the WPU.

“Scores, even hundreds of letters … disappear without trace … with no explanation given, and with complaints remaining unanswered,” the letter states. Some political prisoners fail to receive 20 to 50 per cent of all their mail; and there have been individual cases of prisoners being completely deprived of letters over long periods. Letters are frequently delayed for months, telegrams for many days, sometimes for weeks.

Correspondence which, unlike that which “disappears”, is officially withheld by the censors, is usually not returned to the senders, and the latter receive no compensation. Incidentally, the confiscation of letters in such cases is against the law.

The letter goes on: “We ask you to take into account the extreme limitations on our own means of protest. We need the help of organizations with authority, which are directly concerned with the problems we have raised.”

[3]

Boris P. AZERNIKOV, a dental surgeon, describes in an open letter the dangerously unhealthy conditions under which prisoners are held in the “strict-regime” labour camps of Mordovia, and the extremely low standard of the medical services in these camps.

The prisoners live in a state of “disguised starvation”.

“Even the maximum calorie count of the food is about 2,000 calories less than the amount necessary [CCE 33.2] for the hard labour in which the prisoners are engaged. The food contains practically no animal protein or vitamins. Cases of food poisoning are not infrequent.

“The air in the workshops is thick with sawdust powder and abrasive dust, acetone and acid fumes. … This is conducive to the development of silicosis and other lung diseases.”

Medical treatment is begun only when an illness has reached a critical stage, and even then it is continued only until the symptoms disappear. Chronic illnesses such as gastro-enteric, cardiovascular and eye diseases, rheumatism, mycosis and periodontosis are not treated at all, although they exist on a massive scale in the camps. A sick man is permitted exemption from work only if his temperature is above 37.4 degrees Centigrade. Exemption due to illness, without a high temperature, is extremely rare. The doctor cannot exceed the limit of the so-called ‘exemption norm’, 1.7 per cent of all prisoners, even during influenza epidemics.”

There are no doctors in some camps; their place is taken by doctors’ assistants or nurses. Specialist doctors visit the camps once or twice a year or even less. Prisoners who are doctors may not help their sick comrades. They are expressly forbidden to do so, by order.

Camp doctors have only the simplest medicines at their disposal, and some of these have far exceeded their period of validity. The camp chemists lack effective modern drugs, for example many antibiotics. But “the sending of drugs into the camp from outside is forbidden”.

The dirt road between the camp and the hospital is so bad,

and the camp vehicles so unsuitable for transporting the sick, that the journey may cost a sick man his life. There have been cases of broken limbs and of spinal injury resulting from these journeys. For heart patients a journey over this road is simply unbearable.

“Often […] people who are completely healthy in mind when they arrive in the camp […] become mentally ill towards the end of a long term. Such sick people receive no treatment whatsoever; frequently prison cells and punishment cells are used to isolate them. There have been no instances when even the very seriously ill have been released.”

Azernikov asks for help for those suffering inhuman treatment. And he concludes: “This should not, and cannot, be delayed by transient political considerations.”

[4]

cropped-lyubarsky-kronid-framed-4-web

Kronid Lyubarsky

The astrophysicist K.A. LYUBARSKY, appealing in a letter to the Executive Council of the World Federation of Scientific Workers and to the Executive Committee of the Congress for Cultural Freedom,[5] describes the effect of the camp routine and conditions on the professional future of prisoners who are scholars and scientists.

“We are not merely temporarily deprived of freedom. We are forever deprived of our profession, of the work we love,” writes Lyubarsky.

In a labour camp, it is strictly forbidden to receive any scientific or scholarly literature, even highly specialised texts, if they were published abroad. Literature published in the USSR can be obtained from mail-order shops, but only recently published books in little demand are actually available there. Private individuals are categorically forbidden to send any literature. Private letters from colleagues – especially from those abroad – containing information about science and scholarship, are delayed by the censors for many months, and often withheld altogether.

Academics, mostly no longer young, are subjected to hard physical labour in the camps, which they are not used to, and which leaves them neither the strength nor the time for intellectual work, Lyubarsky considers that the impossibility of following developments in their field and the exhaustion and the systematic malnutrition eventually render scientists and scholars who serve long terms of imprisonment wholly incapable of continuing to work in their professions.

Lyubarsky calls on the Federation and the Congress, and on scientists and scholars all over the world, to obtain for Soviet political prisoners the right of free access to academic literature, the right to academic contacts; he calls on scholars to send scientific material to their political prisoner colleagues.

In an open letter, Boris P. AZERNIKOV speaks of the reasons which first made him decide to leave the USSR, and thus brought him to a labour camp.

Why am I here? Why could I not be elsewhere?

“I realized that I had been robbed. I had been robbed of my history, my forbears, my language … so that I would not even think of resisting the attempts to herd me into the faceless ‘new historic community’, the ‘Soviet nation’. And this realization has determined the whole subsequent course of my life.

“I did not try to shake the might of the Soviet Union … I wanted only to leave it, for a country which, whatever it may be like, good or bad, has for me the unquestionable advantage of being the land of my people. However, in the eyes of the Soviet Government – which once [under Lenin] published ‘A Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia’ – this wish of mine alone almost automatically made me a criminal; and so here I am, in a labour camp …

Today, on ‘Political Prisoners’ Day in the USSR’, remember those who, before they can step on the soil of their Homeland, are still fated to spend long years in Soviet labour camps. Today, they cry out: ‘Deliver me, o my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.’ (Psalm 71, verse 4)[6].

“We shall not forget them! We shall say today with hope and also with them: ‘Next year in Jerusalem!’”

The Western journalists were also handed copies of an interview given by some of the prisoners in Perm Camp VS-389/35: Ivan Svetlichny, Igor Kalynets, Ivan Kandyba, Lev Yagman, Semyon (Slava) Gluzman, Zinovy Antonyuk, Arie Khnokh, Iosif Meshener, Evgeny Prishlyak, Vladimir Balakhonov and Bagrat Shakhverdyan. The interview deals with such matters as the legal position of political prisoners, the harshness of the labour camp regime, the prisoners’ relations with the administration, the many instances in which political prisoners have acted in defence of their rights, etc.

The prisoners say that the authorities, by imposing on them the strictest isolation, are trying to hide the truth about the kind of life led in the camps by people who have been convicted contrary to the declaration of civil freedoms in the [1936] Constitution. The rules of censorship are such that they effectively allow for any letter to be withheld, and thus encourage the tyranny of the censors. The destruction of such letters rules out any possibility of checking on the reasons for which they were withheld.

Although the declared aim of the authorities is to win the prisoners over by force of argument, they are powerless and in fact make no attempt to do so; their real aim is to break a prisoner, to force him to renounce his views. The administration tries to achieve this aim by constant fault-finding and punishment, by illegally subjecting the prisoners to mental and physical suffering — humiliation, hunger, cold, etc. Heavy, sometimes pointless labour has become an instrument of punishment. “Reformed” prisoners do not even disguise the fact that the incentive in their “re-education” was a desire for the relative well-being and the small privileges provided to those on good terms with the authorities.

Supervisory bodies[7] cover up the cruelties of the regime and the tyranny in the camps, always supporting the administration. So complaints by the prisoners are ineffective, unless the illegalities can be given wider publicity. In fact, the publicity which directs world attention to the evidence of tyranny is the corner-stone of the defence of human rights in the USSR. The efforts of the Soviet authorities and certain circles in the West to regard this kind of repression as the internal affair of the Soviet Union are dictated by unworthy considerations of political manoeuvring.

At the end of the interview I. A. Svetlichny says: “Please pass our warm greetings to Solzhenitsyn, whose courage we all deeply respect.”

The full text of the interview is published in the first issue of the Archive of the Chronicle.[8]

The journalists were also given the following:

  1. A statement by prisoners addressed to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet in connection with the resolution of 5 September 1918 on the establishment of concentration camps (CCE 33.5, “In the Perm Camps”);
  2. A letter to the Moscow Committee for Human Rights in the USSR, from Kronid A. Lyubarsky, Anatoly M. Goldfeld, Boris P. Azernikov, Zoryan V. Popadyuk, Boris Penson and Sergei A. Babich (CCE 33.4, “In the Mordovian Camps”) — the full text of the letter is reproduced in a samizdat collection, On the Conditions in Which Prisoners are Held, published by Andrei N. Tverdokhlebov;[9]
  3. A statement by Lyubarsky to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet in connection with the release of Silva Zalmanson and Simas Kudirka (CCE 33.8, “Letters and Statements”);
  4. The document “A Chronicle of the GULag Archipelago” (CCE 33.5, “In the Perm Camps”).

A letter from Andrei SAKHAROV to L. I. Brezhnev, dated 24 October 1974, was read out at the conference and handed to the journalists.

“The continuation of senseless and cruel repression of human rights and dignity cannot be tolerated on this earth, even in that part of it which is divided from you by barbed wire and prison walls. Brave and honest people cannot be allowed to die,” Sakharov writes.

The letter contains detailed information on hunger strikes by Valentin Moroz, G. Abel, Kronid Lyubarsky and Ivan Gel [Ukr. Hel]; it tells of lengthy collective hunger strikes by political prisoners, and mentions hunger strikes by the Baptists Georgy Vins [CCE 5.1, item 19; CCE 34, 35] and Boris Zdorovets [CCE 7.4, item 5; CCE 29, 30]. Sakharov maintains that these facts “bear irrefutable witness to the acute position regarding political prisoners and their conditions.” He asks for immediate action, so as to avoid a tragic outcome in the hunger strikes at present taking place.

“Political prisoners in the USSR are the victims of ideological intolerance, partly anti-religious in character, of political prejudices, and of the cruel traditions of the system. … A special position amongst political prisoners is held by people who have consciously devoted themselves to the defence of others.” Among these, Sakharov recalls the names of Vladimir Bukovsky, Leonid Plyushch, Semyon Gluzman, Reshat and Mustafa Dzhemilev, Igor Ogurtsov, and the late Yury Galanskov all of whom have become “symbols of the battle for human rights and against oppression and lawlessness”.

Sakharov‘s letter ends with these words:

I ask you to consider again the granting of a full amnesty for political prisoners, including those in psychiatric hospitals, the easing of their conditions of imprisonment, and the shortening of the sentences of prisoners in all categories.

“Such decisions would have great humanitarian value, would greatly enhance international confidence and the spirit of detente, and would cleanse our country of the shameful stains of cruelty, intolerance and lawlessness.”

Action Group (11 members) for web

The Action Group for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR

A statement entitled “30 October” by the Action Group for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR, and signed by Tatyana Velikanova, Sergei Kovalyov, Grigory Podyapolsky and Tatyana Khodorovich, speaks of the meaning of the term “political prisoner”. It details the different categories of political prisoners in the USSR, the punishment in Soviet camps through hunger and cold in contravention of corrective labour legislation (but provided for by various regulations and directives), and it lists the demands put forward on “Political Prisoner’s Day in the USSR”.

The statement adds:

In giving journalists information about the camps, and, most important, the documents sent out of the camps by the prisoners at enormous risk and with great difficulty, we ask you to remember that the writers are risking the revenge and punitive measures of the authorities. Our friends are consciously accepting those risks. It is their wish that these statements and letters be published; it is the duty of those of us who are free to try to protect them from cruel punishment — that is our responsibility, and yours.”

The Action Group also gave the journalists a statement about the transfer of Kronid Lyubarsky from a labour camp to Vladimir Prison [CCE 33.8].

The organizers of the press conference answered a number of questions put to them by the journalists.

The texts of the documents mentioned above, except for those printed in full in this issue or in other publications, are published in Archive of the Chronicle, No 1.

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NOTES

[1] The death through medical neglect of political prisoner Yury Galanskov two years earlier (CCE 28.1) was one of the many reasons for this protest, in preparation since April 1974. Galanskov died on 2 November 1972. The date 30 October marked the end of Kronid Lyubarsky‘s trial.

[2] English translations of the letters mentioned in this report were published in A Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR (Khronika Press: New York), 1973-1982.

[3] The Women’s International Democratic Federation (est. 1945) was a Soviet-sponsored organisation with consultative status at the UN. At its suggestion 1975 was declared International Women’s Year and a conference was planned for October that year in East Berlin. In early 1975 Ukrainian political prisoners in Mordovia announced they would hold a one-day hunger strike on 8 March to secure better conditions for women political prisoners and the immediate release of certain of them (CCE 35.9).

[4] Less than three years after putting his name to this letter Petrov-Agatov signed an article in Literaturnaya gazeta (2 February 1977) that gave the signal for the arrests of Alexander Ginzburg, Yury Orlov (CCE 44.2.2) and other members of the Helsinki Groups across the USSR.

[5] The full text of Lyubarsky‘s appeal was published in A Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR and also in Nature, London (4 September 1975).

“The World Federation of Scientific Workers” was a Soviet-sponsored organisation (est. 1946) with headquarters in London and Paris. “The Congress of Cultural Freedom” (est. 1950) was set up to oppose Communist influence in the arts, humanities and natural sciences. Its receipt of funding from the CIA was exposed in 1966. By the mid-1970s it was called the International Association for Cultural Freedom, with headquarters in Paris.

[6] Corrected from the faulty reference given in the Russian original (Psalm 90, verse 14). It should be noted that Psalm 70 in the Western Psalter is Psalm 71 in the Russian Orthodox Psalter.

[7] Corrective-labour camps and prisons were overseen by a deputy procurator for the Supervision of Places for the Deprivation of Liberty, i.e. an official from the same body that investigated and prosecuted serious crimes. Political prisoners in camps for criminal offenders and in separate camps for those convicted of political offences also came informally under the oversight of the KGB.

[8] The full text of the 20-page interview was due to be published in 1975 by Khronika Press, New York (in Russian), and in an English translation in Survey, No 97, London, 1975.

[9] This collection is included in the book Andrei Tverdokhlebov – v zashchitu prav cheloveka (Andrei Tverdokhlebov: In Defence of Human Rights), edited by V. Chalidze, Khronika Press, New York, 1974.