About the Journal “Veche”, April-July 1974 (32.13)

<<No 32 : 17 July 1974>>

On 19 April 1974, issue No. 10 of the journal Veche [Gathering or Moot] appeared.

The chief editor is not V.N. Osipov, under whose signature the previous nine issues appeared, but I.V. Ovchinnikov. As far as can be judged from the series of statements made by the journal’s editor (some of which are presented in issue No 10),[1] the reason for the change in the editorial board was insuperable disagreements between its members. The Chronicle is unable, and sees no need, to engage in an analysis of the mutual accusations with which these statements, not all of them published, abound: they include Osipov’s “Urgent Statement for the Press” (dated 7 March) in which he reports his decision to close the journal, and statements by the new editorial board, published in No. 10, about their intention to continue publication, preserving the periodical’s orientation.

On 1 April the Leningrad KGB conducted searches at the homes of G.N. Bochevarov and P.M. Goryachev, collaborators in Veche, and also of V.H. Konkin. The searches were carried out in connection with case No. 15 (for details of this case, see this issue 32.14, “In the Moscow Writers’ Organisation”). As the 10th number of Veche reports in its chronicle section, all issues of Veche, Goryachev’s typewriter and “A Memorial to the Victims of Stalin’s Personality Cult”, compiled by Bochevarov, were confiscated. The Memorial is a list of 1,500 top Soviet party workers, statesmen, and men of science, letters and the arts, who perished as a result of Stalin’s tyranny or put an end to their lives by suicide; the surname of each one who died is accompanied by brief biographical data and a photograph. Literary appendices to the “Memorial”, compiled by Goryachev, were also confiscated.

The following day all three were summoned to an interrogation at the Leningrad KGB. Interrogations were conducted principally about Veche. The investigator stated to one of the men being interrogated that they (meaning, apparently, the KGB) received hundreds of letters demanding the rehabilitation of Stalin.

G.N. Bochevarov was convicted in 1968 in the case of the All-Russian Social-Christian Union (CCE 1.6). P.M. Goryachev also served a sentence under a political article.[2]

In June 1974, it became known that the Vladimir KGB is investigating a case linked to the Veche journal. Major P.I. Pleshkov, who is in charge of the case, announced this at an interrogation of Yu.A. Gastev on 8 July. The case number is 38.

On or about 10 July, searches were carried out in the Veche case in the Vladimir Region, at the homes of I.V. Ovchinnikov (in the town of Alexandrov) and V.A. Repnikov (in Strunino).

Among those interrogated in the Veche case in July were M. P. Rogachev, V. A. Repnikov, A. M. Ivanov, G. N. Bochevarov, P. M. Goryachev and V. E. Konkin. On each occasion the investigation showed an interest in the person of V. Osipov; however, there is no information about any attempts to interrogate or charge him personally in the case.

The “new editorial board” of Veche responded to case No. 38 with an announcement on 14 July that the journal had closed down. S. Melnikova and I. Ovchinnikov also stated orally (the latter to P. Pleshkov, who carried out a search at his home) that the publication of Veche had ended.

NOTES

[1] These were published in the West in the spring and summer of 1974.

[2] See CCEs 11 and 24. Goryachev emigrated in 1975.