News in brief, December 1968 (5.4)

<<No 5 : 31 December 1968>>


In the Crimea there are periodic police raids on Tatars who have returned home. On 15 July 1968, eleven Crimean Tatar families were brutally manhandled at the ‘Bolshevik’ state farm in the Krasnogvardeisky (Red Guard) district. Since the publication of the decree of 5 September 1967, only eighteen families and thirteen single persons have been given permits to reside in the Crimea. During the same period twelve thousand people have been expelled from the Crimea. Seventeen Crimean Tatars have been condemned to various prison sentences there, and two more are still being held under investigation.

The deputy head of the Crimean Region police, Lieutenant-Colonel Kosyakov, is reported to have said to the Crimean Tatars: ‘The decree was published not for you, the Crimean Tatars, but for the newspapers, and the foreign ones at that … Turkey  – that’s where you belong and that’s where you should go!’ In this he was backed up by Lieutenant-Colonel of the Police Pazin, who added: ‘If tomorrow we get the order to shoot you, we will shoot you.’

These facts, together with others already known to readers of the Chronicle, are quoted in an appeal from the Crimean Tatars to all people of goodwill, to democrats and communists. The Crimean Tatars ask that their rights be safeguarded, that they be protected from arbitrary and illegal treatment, and that they be helped to return home to the Crimea. Tens of thousands of people have already signed this appeal and signatures are still being collected. At the same time, signatures are being collected on an appeal from representatives of Soviet public opinion in support of the Crimean Tatars’ demands.


Vyacheslav Chornovil, sentenced in 1967 for compiling a collection of materials on political trials in the Ukraine, went on hunger-strike in his camp from 30 May to 17 July 1968 [29 May to 16 July] as a protest against the confiscation of documents concerning his trial. He ceased the hunger-strike when some of the documents were returned to him.


In October [1968] Vladimir Bukovsky was concussed when a pile of timber collapsed on him. He was unable to work as a result, but was accused of malingering and put in a punishment coll. He started a hunger strike in protest. Against the usual rule he was put in a communal cell and his cell-mates declared a ten-day hunger strike in support of him. Only after this was Bukovsky transferred to hospital for a while.


In March 1968, in Kiev University and at the Agricultural Academy, leaflets were distributed calling for resistance to the Russification of Ukrainian culture. In connection with this a worker of the Kiev Hydro-electric Station O. Nazarenko [a signatory of the Letter of 139], has been arrested. Nothing more is known of his fate at the moment.


In July 1968 the Lvov KGB kept the [Kiev] literary critic Ivan Svetlichny under constant surveillance during his visit to the West Ukraine. In the end he was detained and searched.

Ivan Svetlichny, 1929-1992

At about the same time, KGB General Poluden, speaking at a meeting of Party activists among the Lvov intelligentsia, denounced Svitlychny, Ivan Dzyuba and others. One of his accusations was that they maintained contact with Yuly Daniel through the latter’s wife. “What do they want with that Yid?” Poluden asked for all to hear.


On 24 December the Moscow City Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Monakhov, ordered compulsory medical treatment for Victor Fainberg and his confinement in a mental hospital ‘of special type’. Fainberg is still held in the Lefortovo Prison while awaiting the results of his appeal, and he is in a poor state of health because of a recurrence of Basedow’s disease.

According to reports received so far, he is going to be put in the Kazan hospital, not in Leningrad where his aged parents live and where there is a similar hospital. The reason for this is that the Leningrad hospital is supposedly for ‘politicals’.


The investigation has ended in Moscow of Irina Belogorodskaya’s case (CCE 3.1 (1) ).


In Tashkent the investigation into the case of a group of Crimean Tatars (Rollan Kadyev and others) has ended (CCE 4.7 (6) ).


On 19 November the RSFSR Supreme Court heard the appeals in the case of Larisa Bogoraz, Konstantin Babitsky, Vadim Delaunay, Vladimir Dremlyuga and Pavel Litvinov. The sentence of the Moscow City Court on all the defendants was confirmed. At the beginning of December they were all sent to their places of punishment. Their addresses are:

Vadim Delaunay: Tyumen 14 [West Siberia], post-box 34/2-I.

Vladimir Dremlyuga: Murmansk 9 [Northwest Russia], post-box 241/17.

Konstantin Babitsky: Komi ASSR [Northwest Russia], Krasnozatonsky, poste restante.

Larissa Bogoraz: Irkutsk Region [East Siberia], Chuna, poste restante.

Pavel Litvinov is still in transit. It is known only that he is being sent to the Chita Region [East Siberia].


In December, after a long period in transit, Anatoly Marchenko arrived at the camp. His address is: Perm Region [Urals], Cherdyn district, post office Nyrob, postbox ShZ 20/16T.


On 19 November 1968 there was a new series of house searches [in Moscow]. This time they were carried out “at the request of the Tashkent KGB” and nominally in connection with one of the cases involving Crimean Tatars.

There was a search at the home of Ilya Gabai — the second in recent months, and the second time it has been done in his absence.

P. G. Grigorenko‘s home was searched and practically the whole of his files were seized — that is, everything in typescript or manuscript, although the search warrant gave permission to seize only materials ‘defaming the Soviet social and political system’. According to Grigorenko, the materials confiscated include:

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights [1948];
  • all the works of A. Ye. Kostyorin;
  • Academician Sakharov’s essay
    [Reflections on Peaceful Co-existence and Intellectual Freedom];
  • The Russian Road to Socialism by Academician Varga
    [an anonymous essay wrongly attributed to Varga];
  • ‘Notes of an Intelligence Officer’ by Colonel V. A. Novobranets;
  • My Testimony by Anatoly Marchenko;
  • Anna Akhmatova’s Requiem;
  • verse by Marina Tsvetayeva;
  • a poem by Naum Korzhavin;
  • Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls;
  • various personal letters;
  • materials on the Crimean Tatar and Volga German movements;
  • translations of articles from Czechoslovak newspapers;
  • notes for a work on military history by Grigorenko himself, and many other items.

A large part of these materials were not itemized in the record – they were simply dumped into a sack, sealed and taken away.

On the same day, in the town of Zhukovsky in the Moscow Region, there was a search at the home of Simode Asanova, the sister of Zampira Asanova. In Simferopol there was a search at the house of the doctor Esma Ulanova – all her files, including a large number of documents relating to the Crimean Tatar movement, were seized.

All this happened a few days after the funeral of A. Ye. Kostyorin, and one may assume that the true (and illegal) purpose of these searches was to confiscate the texts of the speeches made at his funeral.