Political prisoners, February 1968 (1.5)

<< No 1 : 30 April 1968 >>


In February a hunger-strike was staged in Camp 17 of the Mordovian camps (Mordovian ASSR, Potma, Ozerny post office, postbox 385/17a). The following six persons took part: Yuly Daniel, Boris Zdorovets, Victor Kalnins, Sergei Moshkov, Valery Ronkin and Yury Shukhevych. Between the eighth and the tenth days artificial feeding was imposed on the strikers. After ten days the strike was called off.

Valery Ronkin, 1936-2010

As a result several demands of the political prisoners were met: the administration now has no right to forbid meetings with relatives without the Procurator’s approval; moreover, the Procurator’s approval will also be required in future for the confiscation of personal papers and such actions must always be recorded in a legal document.

It should be borne in mind that, in the past, not only were whatever demands made by strikers not met. Frequently the mere fact of going on a hunger-strike was regarded as a “breach of the regulations” and could serve as grounds for a spell in solitary confinement, the camp prison [BUR] or in Vladimir Prison.


It was recently suggested to Andrei Sinyavsky (Mordovian ASSR, Potma, Yavas post office, postbox 385-11) that he should petition for a pardon [see CCE 2.8]. Sinyavsky refused.


In February 1968 the former political prisoner Leonid Rendel (Article 58-10; case of Krasnopevtsev and others, essence of the case — ‘illegal Marxist circle’, term ten years, served whole sentence in the Mordovian camps, released 30 August 1967), at present residing in the village of Novo-Melkovo, Kalinin Region [Tver, Central Russia], was placed under administrative surveillance.

The reason for this action was a recommendation by the camp administration that he be put under surveillance “for repeated breaches of camp regulations and for maintaining his anti-Soviet convictions” (the breaches took the form of protests against the arbitrary actions of the camp authorities). The surveillance was imposed for six months [CCE 4.7, item 8] and may be extended for up to three years. Under the surveillance order he is forbidden to leave the village without police permission — when he applied for permission it was refused — and he is obliged to report twice a month to the local police station.

1.6 The Leningrad Trial  …