A Survey of Events in Ukraine, 1970 (18.5)

<<No 18 : 5 March 1971>>

Based on material from the Ukrainian Herald [Ukrainsky visniyk]

Nos. 1-3, January-October 1970; issued in Ukrainian) [note 1]


The first issue of Ukrainian Herald was briefly annotated in CCE 13.9 (item 17). The Herald‘s aim is to inform the public about cases of violation of human rights in the Ukraine, about cases of chauvinism and ukrainophobia. Some of the Herald‘s material will be familiar to readers of the Chronicle, and this is generally speaking not given in the present survey.



On 4 July 1969 Vasily Stepanovich Ryvak, a member of the board of the Society for Cultural Relations with Ukrainians Abroad, was arrested in Lvov. (A native of Galicia, he once served a term of imprisonment in a Polish prison. In 1943 he emigrated to the West. In 1957 he returned home.)

According to certain information he was released in early January 1970.


In September 1969 Lyubov Nastusenko, a nurse, was arrested (for “nationalist agitation”) in Kolomyya (Ivano-Frankovsk Region [West Ukraine]).

According to unconfirmed reports she has been sent for compulsory treatment to a special psychiatric hospital. In the opinion of the Herald the judging of Nastusenko to be of unsound mind is the first case of its kind in the Ukraine.


In September 1969 Andrei Koroban (b. 1930) was arrested in Kiev. At his trial on 27-31 May 1970 he was sentenced by the Kiev Region Court to six years of strict-regime corrective-labour camps under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (equivalent to Article 70 of the Russian Code). He was accused of writing a number of works, which have not been circulating in samizdat. It is known that the works are written from a Marxist position.

A. Koroban has already served a term of imprisonment, from 1950 to 1956. On his return he worked as a teacher and was an external student at the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute.


At the beginning of June 1970 Ivan Stepanovich Suk, Master of Medical Sciences and a lecturer at the Donetsk Medical Institute, was arrested in Donetsk [SE Ukraine] on a charge under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (equivalent to Article 70 of the Russian Code). The Herald has published letters in his defence.


In Ternopol [W. Ukraine] in 1969 Leonid Gorokhovsky and Mikhail Simonchuk were each sentenced to four years of corrective-labour camps. The Herald states that they were both convicted of “malicious hooliganism”, but that the actual grounds for prosecution were political (circulating samizdat material).

According to materials in the possession of the Chronicle, Leonid Gorokhovsky is in the Mordovian political camps, which casts doubt on the reliability of the information about the article under which he was charged.


Members of the so-called “pokutniki” (i.e. “penitents”), a religious sect of the “Graeco-Catholic Church” close to the Uniates, are being held in criminal prisons of the Ukraine. As a rule, they are charged with parasitism. The ideas of the “pokutniki” are not only religious, but are also of a national-oppositional nature.


The Ukrainian Herald throws considerable light on the case of Svyatoslav Karavansky. Issue No. 1 of the Herald includes a letter from former political prisoners (I. Hel, M. Osadchy, V. Chornovil and others) demanding a ban on so-called ‘cell’ or ‘camp’ trials, the release of prisoners serving 25-year terms on the expiry of the sentences prescribed for their offences by current legislation, etc.

Issue No. 2 describes Karavansky‘s trial (CCE 13.7). The accused used only his native language, the interpreter being “the wife of an investigator or prison guard”, “a native of Poltava”, “who spoke and understood very little Ukrainian”. Information about the trial is accompanied by Karavansky’s petition of 19 March 1967 to the chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet (written in the Yavas camp zone) with his draft of a law on “The conferment on citizens of the USSR of their usurped human rights”.

Nina Strokata, 1926-1998

The next issue of the Herald reports on the persecution of Nina Strokataya, Karavansky’s wife, a micro-biologist who works at the Odessa Medical Institute. After sentencing Karavansky the Vladimir Region Court delivered a separate decision on Strokataya’s conduct during investigations and at the trial (at which she was a witness). The decision was sent to her place of work. N. Strokataya [note 2] was allowed to remain at the Institute on condition that her conduct improved.


Issues No. 2 and 3 of the Ukrainian Herald dwell in detail on the persecution of Valentyn Moroz. (The last of the issues under review appeared before Moroz’s trial [CCE 17.2]). The published material includes a letter from residents of the village of Kosmach, a statement by persons at whose homes searches were carried out in connection with the Moroz case, letters from I. Dzyuba and others to Oles Honchar [a prominent Ukrainian writer], a protest by nine persons and a letter by Moroz’s wife Raisa.

Each issue of the Herald prints a list of Ukrainians imprisoned on political grounds.


The Herald devotes much space to samizdat material, both publicistic and literary, reports in detail on the literary life of the Ukraine, and so on.

It is also important to note that No. 3 of the Herald included the following announcement:

“A document entitled ‘Programme of the Democrats of Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic’ [2] has been circulating in Russia in samizdat and abroad. The Ukrainian Herald authoritatively states that Ukrainian democratic circles were not a party to the compilation or adoption of this document, which claims to contain their programme. Either the words ‘the Ukraine’ were inserted in the title for reasons of expediency, or else it shows that Russian or russified circles in the Ukraine were associated with the document.”



[1] As the editors of the English edition of the Chronicle later explained (CCE 27.15):

“Starting with CCE 18 changes were made by the translators in their system of transliterating Ukrainian and Baltic names. Previously these were transliterated direct from the Russian forms. From the March 1971 issue of the Chronicle onwards, the names of nationally-minded Ukrainians have been transliterated from their Ukrainian forms, and Baltic names have been rendered in what were known (or judged) to be their original Latin-alphabet forms.”

[2] Correctly, the surname is rendered “Strokatova” in Russian and Strokata in the original Ukrainian.