Extra-judicial Persecution, March 1972 (24.10)

<<No 24 : 5 March 1972>>



Alexander Galich, previously expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers (CCE 23) has also been expelled from the Literary Fund [Litfond] and the Union of Soviet Cinematographers. [38]


At the end of January 1972 the writer Vladimir Maximov was summoned by the secretary of the Moscow section of the Writers’ Union V. Ilin, a former secret policeman who performs administrative functions in the Union. Ilyn tried to persuade Maximov to write a letter of repudiation and penitence to Literaturnaya gazeta, (like those written on various occasions by G. Serebryakova, A. Tvardovsky, V. Voinovich and V. Shalamov on similar matters) in connection with the publication abroad of his novel The Seven Days of Creation.

Maximov said that all his thoughts were contained in the novel itself, a manuscript of which was in the possession of the Writers’ Union. A few days later Maximov was called before a medical commission, where psychiatric experts reclassified him as a class 3 invalid (previously he was in class 2). (The report broadcast by Radio Liberty, [37] according to which Maximov was threatened with being put on trial, does not correspond to the facts.) Maximov’s latest work is the novel Quarantine. [38]



A meeting of the Presidium of the Ukrainian Writers’ Union was held on 2 March 1972. It considered the personal case of Ivan Dzyuba. Those taking part in the discussion were M. Bazhan, S. Bandura, P. Voronko, U. Dmytrenko, P. Zahrebalny, Yu. Zbanatsky, D. Pavlychko, N. Rybak, V. Kozachenko, I. Le, L. Novychenko and V. Sobko.

On 3 March 1972 Literaturnaya Ukraina reported that I. Dzyuba had been expelled from membership of the Ukrainian Union of Writers

“for gross violation of the principles and requirements of the Constitution of the Union of Writers, and for the preparation and circulation of material of an anti-Soviet, anti-communist nature, which expressed nationalistic views and cast libellous aspersions on the Soviet system and on the nationalities policy of the Party and the Soviet government.”

This resolution was passed unanimously by the Presidium.

It is known that the subject under discussion at the meeting of the Presidium was Dzyuba’s book Internationalism or Russification? which he wrote in 1965. Two years ago there was a move to expel him from the Writers’ Union for this book (see CCE 11), but he was not actually expelled; [39] it can therefore be deduced that his expulsion on 2 March was connected with recent events: the arrests in the Ukraine and the search of Dzyuba’s home (see the present issue, CCE 24.//).

At the end of January, during a second search of I. M. Dzyuba’s home, the complete works of V. I. Lenin, with notes in the margins and phrases underlined, were confiscated.



On 4 February 1972 A. T. Tsvetkov, editor- in-chief of the physics and mathematics department of the Nauka publishing-house, and his deputy V. B. Orlov (who is also deputy secretary of the Party bureau of the department), sent for Yu. A. Shikhanovich and asked him a number of questions: “Is it true that your home has been searched?”, “What did they find?”, “What are your beliefs?”

When Shikhanovich refused to answer this last question, he was told that his name would be removed from the title page of the book The Mathematics of Metamathematics by Rasyovaya and Sikorsky, which is due to be published this year and which had been edited by Shikhanovich; and that in future the department would prefer not to work with him at all.


On 14 February 1972, on the recommendation of the editorial board of the research journal Physics, the physics and mathematics section of the Academic Board of the All-Union Institute for Scientific and Technical Information [VINITI]  did not re-elect A. Tverdokhlebov for a further term as a junior research officer: there were four votes in favour, seven against, and three spoiled papers. The only reason for this action was Tverdokhlebov’s public activities (he is a member of the Committee for Human Rights); no adverse comments were made about his work.


Over a period of several months officers from Moscow’s police station No 24 have repeatedly burst into the flat of Adel Osipova (nee Naidenovich), wife of Vladimir Osipov, who is the editor of the [samizdat] journal Veche, and summoned her to the police station, threatening to arrest her for “parasitism”. On one occasion her identity card [passport] was actually taken away for three weeks.

On 1 November two policemen and a man in plainclothes, while standing beside the bed of A. Osipova’s semi-paralysed mother, began threatening to arrest A. Osipova and her husband for producing the journal Veche, as a result of which the mother suffered a number of strokes and eventually died.

On 10 January A. Osipova sent a letter of protest to Andropov, Chairman of the KGB. Part of the letter reads: “… Fewer social evils are eliminated by your successes in the struggle against them than are caused by the immorality of driving a woman out of her home to work …” [40]


On 10 February T. S. Khodorovich (CCE 19 [and this issue, CCE24.//]), a junior research officer at the All-Union Research Institute for Electro-mechanics, applied to be released from her post on personal grounds. A few days later she asked for this application to be returned to her. In reply she was told by A. A. Shuldov, head of the personnel department:

“… we know you’re a good worker. But we don’t want anybody working in our collective who supports anti-Sovietists. So we would have got rid of you before long in any case. That’s why we’re not giving you your application back. We are, incidentally, within our rights in doing this. …

Of course, if you were to do your work and not engage in any other activity, it might be hoped that the Scientific and Technical Council [here given acronym NTS, ed] would consider the possibility of your continued membership of our organisation … “

Later, when T. S. Khodorovich was no longer present, A. A. Shuldov said: “…  She submitted her application so as to pursue more strongly her shady affairs, and now the Scientific and Technical Council will subsidise her …” [41]


[36] See also The Times, 6 March, the New York Times, 12 February, where the letter from four friends of Galich (CCE 23, p. 93) is translated in full, and Grani, Frankfurt, No. 83, 1972, where his photograph and latest poems appear.

[37] For the threat to Maximov, see report in the Daily Telegraph – see CCE 23.//, note 73.)

[38] On 31 May the Italian press, e.g. Il Messagero, reported on a press-conference given in Rome by Yury Glazov, who called on world public opinion to protest at the persecution of Maximov. He also reported that 33 European writers and cultural figures (including Gunter Grass, Federico Fellini, Iris Murdoch and Ignazio Silone) had sent a telegram to Brezhnev in Maximov’s defence. See also the Daily Telegraph, 13 June, and Russkaya mysl, 15 June.

[39] The second English edition of Ivan Dzyuba’s Internationalism or Russification? (London, 1970) has a long postscript on Dzyuba’s dealings with the Union.

[40] See the full text of Osipova‘s letter to Andropov in Russkaya mysl, Paris, 11 May 1972.

[41] A provocative play on the Russian name of the People’s Labour Alliance, NTS. The NTS is one of the most vigorous anti-Soviet groups in the West, and effectively controls the publications Possev and Grani.