Arrests, Searches, Interrogations: Nov. 1977 to Feb. 1978 (48.8)


At the beginning of November 1977 Gennady Bogolyubov CCE 40, 43, 46) was arrested.


On 22 November 1977 Vasily Nikitenkov (CCEs 19, 24, 35) was detained in the street by KGB employees and taken to the Moscow KGB headquarters. There they questioned him about his acquaintance with Pyotr Starchik (Nikitenkov and Starchik were at one time together in the Kazan Special Psychiatric Hospital) and Alexander Podrabinek, why he visits them, and when and where he made the acquaintance of Podrabinek. After one-and-a-half hours of unrecorded interrogation they drove Nikitenkov by car to Kiln, where he lives, and there let him go.


On 20 February 1978 Vyacheslav Parkhunov, a church cantor, and Sergei Yermolayev, an 18-year-old metal worker and member of Ogorodnikov’s seminar (CCEs 41, 43), were detained at the Belorusskaya metro station. In a police room, without any search warrant, they were ordered to show the contents of their briefcases. After they refused, the briefcases were searched by force. The police seized five issues of the Herald of the Russian Christian Movement and Solzhenitsyn’s The Oak and the Calf. Parkhunov and Yermolayev refused to sign the confiscation record. Two hours later they were freed.


At the end of 1977 Ivan Diky was arrested on a theft charge. In December and January searches were carried out in connection with this case: at the home of Vasily Lisovoi’s wife Vera Lisovaya in Kiev; at the homes of Vyacheslav Chornovil’s former wife Yelena Antoniv, artist Bogdan Soroka, (son of Mykhaylo Soroka, the well-known OUN member who died in a camp [CCE 20.13]) and of Lyubomira Oksana Popadyuk, the mother of Zoryan Popadyuk, in Lvov; and at the home of Zoryan Popadyuk’s grandmother Sofia Mikhailovna Kopystinskaya in Sambor (Lvov Region). It is known that Vera Lisovaya is not acquainted with Diky and neither, perhaps, are the others.

Information Bulletin No 1 of the Ukrainian Helsinki group suggests that the real purpose of these searches was to look for money intended to assist political prisoners and their families.

In 1965, Ivan Diky and his wife Miroslava Tershivskaya were convicted under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (CCE 7). After his exile, Diky came to the settlement where his wife was living, but the police refused to register him for residence there. For several years Diky has had neither a permanent residence permit nor a permanent job.


In the first days of November 1977 leaflets of an economic content were circulated in the Institute of Finance and Economics and in the Pedagogical Institute. They had been duplicated on thin photographic paper known as paper for document-copying. The text of the original was written by hand in block capitals.

Certain Leningraders were later visited at their homes by people who asked them on behalf of their friends, for example on behalf of Vladimir Borisov, if they could obtain paper for copying documents.

In mid-November Alexander Rytin, Alexander Tishkov and Alexander Sigatoka, students in the Philosophy Faculty at Leningrad State University, and Yefim Rozentsveig, who studies at a Professional Technical College, were arrested for these leaflets. All are 23 or 24 years old. They were soon released. No repressive measures followed.


On 9 March 1978 at Domodedovo Airport Larisa Bogoraz and her five-year-old child who had accompanied her on a flight were searched under the guise of a customs examination. Sketches for a work by Bogoraz about Alexander Ginzburg and other notes were confiscated, as well as a notification to Bogoraz that a session of the Academic Council would be held at the Institute of the Russian Language with a view to stripping her of her master’s degree (in this issue, CCE 48.21 “Miscellaneous Reports”).


On 11 March, as he was registering a ticket to Moscow at Kiev’s Borispol airport, Josif Zissels (CCE 44; his surname is misspelled there) had his baggage examined. A police lieutenant took him aside to a separate room. There they searched his luggage twice and took down his passport details.

Then, threatened with a body search, Zissels handed over to a person in uniform his notebook, from which the latter copied out the Moscow and Kiev telephone numbers (at Zissels’ demand this person produced an identity card in the name of MVD Colonel Mikhail Stepanovich Shevchenko). They put Zissels on the plane five minutes before departure time.


On 28 November 1977, the Armenian Helsinki group reported that Akop Stepanyan, Zaven Bagdasaryan and Stepan Zatikyan were arrested at the beginning of that month on suspicion of attempting to cause an explosion at the Kursk Station in Moscow (Zatikyan participated in the national movement a few years ago; see also CCE 15, 27). The arrested men are being held by the Yerevan KGB. Officials from the KGB in Moscow have arrived in Yerevan. Searches and interrogations are taking place. At interrogations in December in connection with the case of Robert Nazaryan (in this issue, CCE 48.5) questions were asked, in particular, about Zatikyan.