Guided Search

250 names of places, people, publications and organisations are shown in the Guided Search section of the right-hand column. (Аnother eighty are being recorded.)

Soviet Republics and cities

(see also Maps)

The described events all took place in the USSR and its 15 constituent Union Republics. e.g. Uzbek SSR. (Certain Autonomous Republics (ASSR) within the various Union Republics are also mentioned many times.)

For ease of identification cities are written upper case, e.g. RIGA.


To avoid the uncertainty caused by the great variety of surname forms,
female first names are always given, e.g. Chukovskaya Lydia.

Male names are indicated by one initial or, if clearer identification is needed,
the first letter of the patronymic is also given, e.g. Kovalyov I.S.


For brevity’s sake the following short forms
of identification have been adopted:

Action Group = Action (or Initiative) Group for the Defense of Civil Rights in the USSR — «Инициативная группа по защите прав человека в СССР» (1969-1979).

Amnesty International = the International Secretariat, based in London; also the short-lived Soviet section «Международная амнистия» (1973-1976).

Catholic Committee = Catholic Committee for the Defence of Believers’ Rights, organisation in Lithuania for defending right to worship of majority Catholic population — Католический комитет защиты прав верующих.

Christian Committee = Christian Committee to Defend Believers’ Rights in the USSR, founded by Father Gleb Yakunin – Христианский комитет защиты прав верующих в СССР (1976-1980).

DMSU = Democratic Movement of the Soviet Union. General term, not a specific organisation. Anonynous claims by some to speak on behalf of several of the Union Republics (e.g. Ukraine) disputed.

Disabled Action Group = Action Group for the Rights of the Disabled —  «Инициативная группа защиты прав инвалидов в СССР» (1978-1983).

Information bulletin = Crimean Tatar newsheet.

Moscow Helsinki Group = Group for Monitoring Observation of the Final Accords — «Группа по наблюдению за выполнение Хелсингского соглашения» (1976-1983).

Poiski = Investigations. Samizdat journal to which many dissenters contributed and of which several were editors (V. Gershuni, G. Pavlovsky et al.) — «Поиски» (1978-1980).

Religious Seminar = Group created and led by Alexander Ogorodnikov — «религиозно-философский семинар православной молодежи» (1976-1980).

Relief Fund = Fund for the Relief of Political Prisoners and their Families aka the Solzhenitsyn Fund — «Фонда  помощи политзаключенным и их семьям» (1974-1994).

Roman Catholics = congregations in various Soviet Union Republics (Moldavia, Georgia). For the more organised Roman Catholic congregations of Lithuania see Catholic Committee.

Social Issues = Social Problems. Periodical issued by Valery Chalidze — «Общественные проблемы» (1969-1973).

Ukraine Herald = Ukrainsky vestnik. Periodical in Ukrainian, edited by Vyacheslav Chornovil and, after his arrest, by his wife Atena-Svyatomyra Pashko — «Украйнский вестник» (1970-1974//)

United Nations = all persons or bodies to which Soviet human rights groups appealed: most commonly the UN Secretary General or the UN Commission on Human Rights – «Комиссия по правам человека ООН».

Veche = Moot or Gathering. Journal founded and edited, until its last 10th issue by Vladimir Osipov — «Вече» (1971-1975).

Working Commission = Working Commission to Investigate the Use of Psychiatry for Political Purposes — «Рабочая коммиссия по расследованию использования психиатрии в политических целях» (1977-1981).