Miscellaneous Reports (49.18)

<<No 49 : 14 May 1978>>

Moscow. On the evening of 9 May Raisa Rudenko (CCE 46) stood by the Lenin library for seven minutes in the rain with a placard saying: “Release my husband!”

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On 22 March the Ukrainian Supreme Court, after examining the appeal of Vadim Smogitel (CCE 48), left the sentence unchanged.

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In December 1977 Vladimir Grigoryev was tried in Tomsk under Article 190-1 of the Russian Criminal Code. Until his arrest at the end of 1976, he worked as head of the correspondence department of the newspaper Dawn of the North. It is also known that he graduated from the Higher Party School.

*

Chernovtsy. On 3 May a local policeman came to the house of Josif Zissels (CCE 44) and announced that a theft had been committed in the town and that a female acquaintance of his, who had come from Moscow to see him, was suspected of it. At the police station it very soon “became clear” that neither Zissels nor his guest had anything to do with the theft. Then they tried to find out from Zissel’s friend what he had been doing in Moscow when he was there two months earlier (CCE 48).

Zissels sent a complaint to the Deputy Regional Procurator Pashkovsky but received no reply of any substance.

*

Moscow. On 12 March A. D. Sakharov and his wife E. G. Bonner participated in a demonstration (CCE 48). From 13 to 15 March the telephone in their flat was cut off on an imaginary pretext (for “non-payment”).

On 22 March Sakharov was summoned to appear at the Moscow Procuracy at 4 pm on 23 March. At the appointed time he was received by the Deputy Procurator of Moscow, V. V. Nesterov, and an unknown man. Nesterov said (as A. D. Sakharov recorded from memory):

“The Procuracy is informed that on 12 March 1978 at approximately 6 pm, with a group numbering about 19-20 persons, you committed acts severely disrupting public order. Your actions, of a nature bordering on hooliganism, provoked other citizens seriously to disrupt public order.

“The Procuracy of Moscow is aware of the fact that you have allowed such actions to happen before. We will not open the archives, but we know that you have been warned about answering for such actions. I have summoned you here in order to tell you that we are humanely warning you that if such actions are repeated you will be made to answer for them with all the severity of Soviet law. Do you understand my warning?”

A. D. Sakharov answered: “I understand your words, but I would like to state that there was no disruption of public order.” Nesterov interrupted him: “I am asking you whether you understand the warning you have received. Our conversation is over,” The entire “conversation” lasted four minutes.

*

Kiev. On 24 April, the biophysicist Grigory Minyailo, head of a laboratory in the Academician Strazhesko Scientific Research Institute, was dismissed. This happened the day after Minyailo had arranged for two doctors to travel to visit political exile Vyacheslav Chornovil’s mother, who was seriously ill (see “In Exile”). In Minyailo’s absence his laboratory was inspected, and an expensive lens of an imported instrument was found missing.

*

Orekhovo-Zuyevo (Moscow Region). On 20 December 1977 at a meeting of one of the Party groups of the ‘Respirator’ factory, the “personal case” of senior engineer Vladimir Stepanovich Tyulkov (CCEs 46, 47) was examined.

The occasion for this was Tyulkov’s statement of 16 December that he was leaving the Soviet Communist Party “in connection with his disagreement with the Party on issues of internal policy” and also a ‘memorandum’ from the head of the Orekhovo-Zuyevo department of the KGB, V. D. Bukhov.

The ‘memorandum’ stated that Tyulkov:

  • on a number of issues “adheres to views incompatible with the name of communist”;
  • “listens regularly to Western radio programmes and is acquainted with some dissident literature”;
  • in June 1977 refused to testify in the case of V. K. Gridasov (CCEs 46, 47);
  • sustains friendly relations with G. A. Bogolyubov (CCEs 46, 48), who “is already under investigation for anti-social behaviour and may undergo corresponding punishment” (in January 1978 Bogolyubov was sentenced to 1 year of ordinary-regime camp; the details are not known to the Chronicle);
  • met the “former priest” Dudko (CCEs 38, 39);
  • spoke approvingly of the anti-social activities of Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn;
  • “during conversations behaved insincerely and “demagogically” “ (from January to March 1977 Tyulkov was summoned five times to the Orekhovo-Zuyevo department of the K.GB for ‘conversations’);

The ‘memorandum’ also reported that:

  • the Orekhovo-Zuyevo KGB disposes of the testimonies of Tyulkov’s close acquaintances which confirm the ‘depravity’ of his convictions and views;
  • in July 1976, a letter “was addressed to Tyulkov but not received for reasons beyond his control”; it was a letter from Gridasov to the newspaper Baltimore Sun which gave a slanderous picture of Soviet reality and the life of workers in the Soviet Union, and for which the latter [Gridasov] was sentenced under Article 190-1 of the Russian Criminal Code to 2 years’ imprisonment’ (CCEs 46, 47);
  • the Orekhovo-Zuyevo department of the KGB issued a warning to Tyulkov through the Orekhovo-Zuyevo Procuracy according to the decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet of 25 December 1972 (CCE 47).

At the meeting five persons spoke (out of 83). All of them, including the factory director, spoke positively about the work of Tyulkov, who had worked in the factory for 25 years; however, each of them proposed that Tyulkov should be expelled from the Soviet Communist Party.

Tyulkov, after confirming his wish to leave the Party, spoke unfavourably about the Party’s economic policy (particularly in agriculture) and pointed out “the harmfulness to society of the bureaucratic ossification of state and public institutions” and “the violation by the government of the rights and freedoms proclaimed to the citizens of the USSR”. He announced that he was “liberating himself with satisfaction from the fetters of Party loyalty and coercive Party discipline, which manifested themselves in the form of an ideological whip and turned human beings into mere small change”.

The meeting ‘unanimously’ (with three abstentions) expelled Tyulkov from the Party “for anti-Party behaviour and crude violation of the Party rules”.

After the meeting, the management of the factory deprived Tyulkov of his security pass and told him to move over to the non-classified subsection of the factory. Tyulkov refused. On 27 February 1978, the factory trade union committee sanctioned Tyulkov’s dismissal. By a director’s order of 28 February Tyulkov was dismissed as of 1 March “under Article 254 of the Russian Labour Law Code”. The Orekhovo-Zuyevo People’s Court rejected Tyulkov’s suit to be reinstated in his previous position at work. In particular, the court stated:

“It is not within the competence of the court to discuss the legality of the removal of the plaintiff’s work security pass. The court has obtained no proof that the plaintiff was dismissed from work for his criticism.”

(This is what Tyulkov had written in his statement of claim.) The Moscow Regional court rejected Tyulkov’s appeal.

*

From 11 to 5 April Dr Gery Low-Beer, a member of the British Royal College of Psychiatrists, was in Moscow. At the request of the Working Commission to Investigate the Use of Psychiatry for Political Purposes, Low-Beer examined some former political prisoners who had been held in psychiatric hospitals and made reports on the state of their mental health. On 14 April Low-Beer visited the Kashchenko psychiatric hospital (see In the Psychiatric Hospitals’). Low-Beer gave Alexander Podrabinek a letter from Professor Rees, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in which he states in particular that the college is at present studying the material of the Working Commission on the case of Rozhdestvov (CCE 47), In its letter of reply the Working Commission thanked the college for its activity in defence of victims of psychiatric repression in the USSR and expressed hope for further collaboration.

Sverdlovsk.

In October 1977, on the eve of the 60th Anniversary of Soviet rule, the ‘Ipatyev House’ in Sverdlovsk, where Nicholas II was shot, was demolished. This action apparently stemmed from the fact that in recent years a pilgrimage to this house has begun. A plaque saying “Here, by decision of the Yekaterinburg revolutionary tribunal, the last emperor was executed” was removed about six years ago.

In the two-story ‘Ipatyev House’, made of brick, which belonged to the merchant Ipatyev before the evolution, there was a cultural educational school. Two weeks before the demolition the school was transferred to another place.

The demolition took place at night. Cranes, bulldozers and large tip-up lorries were driven to the house, and the place was surrounded by soldiers and police. Notwithstanding the time of night, a large crowd gathered (more than 300 people).

Moscow.

Vsevolod Dmitrievich Kuvakin (CCE 48) has been issued a warning at a police station to “cease his parasitic way of life”.

On 17 April he handed in a statement requesting a job placement to the Commission for Job Placement of the Kuibyshev District Soviet Executive Committee in Moscow.

The next day Kuvakin was summoned to the Executive Committee where the head of the commission, A. P. Aleksandrovskaya, told him that members of the commission wished to have a talk with him. Two men, who did not introduce themselves, then spoke with Kuvakin. He was asked about the causes and reasons for his dismissal, about the causes which had prompted him to criticize the internal policy of the USSR, about the reasons why he had “deliberately publicized the fact that he had been dismissed at the demand of Party organs”.

Later Kuvakin learned that one of his interlocutors was Volkov, a doctor from the Kuibyshev District Psychiatric Clinic No. 8.

On 3 May, a local inspector of the 101st police station, A. N. Leontyev, demanded a written explanation from Kuvakin on the subject of his failure to find a job. Then Leontev inquired whether there were any mentally ill persons in his family, whether he was on the register of a psychiatric clinic (Kuvakin answered all the questions negatively). Leontev gave Kuvakin a written order to go to the polyclinic for an examination “to determine his capacity for work”.

Kharkov.

On 24 February in the Kharkov KGB offices Colonel Palyarus issued a warning to former political prisoner Genrikh Altunyan (CCEs 9, 11, 21, 22) according to the decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet of 25 December 1972. It was announced to Altunyan that after he had come out of prison, he “had not started on the road to correction and had continued to pursue anti-social activities in oral and written form, thereby damaging state security”. He was also told that “if the said acts are continued, they may entail criminal proceedings’” and that the warning would be brought to the notice of the Procuracy and the administration of the ‘Kinotekhprom’ enterprise (where Altunyan works). Altunyan refused to sign the record of the warning and instead of his signature wrote:

“I emphatically protest against the illegal actions of K G B officials Colonel Palyarus and Captain Shafranyuk, which show in their description of my whole life since I was released in 1972 as being damaging to state security. My summons was also illegal, while the reference to the decree of 25 December 1972 is groundless, as this decree was not openly published.

On 28 February Captain Shafranyuk came to Altunyan at work and in the presence of several representatives of the administration read the K G B’s ‘warning’ to Altunyan.

Odessa.

On 20 and 21 April Anna Mikhailenko (CCEs 42, 44) was summoned to the KGB for a ‘talk*. There the KGB official Zavgorodny had a conversation with her on the subject of “the circulation of literature” (The Gulag Archipelago in particular). At the end of the second ‘talk’ he gave Mikhailenko a “warning according to the decree”.

*

L. Sery (CCEs 42, 47) has written an open letter to Klebanov (CCE 48 and this issue).

At the beginning of April, he was summoned to the Odessa KGB for a talk on the subject of the Free Trade Union. There he was told that there would be no such trade union and that it was just as well that he hadn’t left his ‘official’ trade union.

On 18 April Sery handed in a statement that he was leaving the trade union. Among the reasons he gave were:

  • the inability of this trade union to fight for the workers’ rights.
  • the vassal-like submission of the trade union to the authorities, the government and the administration.

On 25 May a trade union meeting was held for the workshops where Sery works. At the meeting Sery’s statement of 18 April was read

out. 14 people spoke. Most of those who spoke condemned Sery, although they admitted that he worked well. At the end, Sery was called upon to speak. He finished with the words:

In the name of all who are oppressed, persecuted and illegally convicted, I, Sery Leonid Mikhailovich, declare my protest, and with head held high I leave your trade union. I have nothing more to say.

Interrogations in Police Stations

The Chronicle has already written twice about the extortion of testimony from people under investigation by means of torture and beatings (CCEs 36, 48). Below are two more testimonies:

“In I976 on the night of 25-26 December I was arrested by officials of the town OVD from police station no. 1 on suspicion of having committed a crime. At that time, I was at my nephew’s, where police officers arrested me and dragged me on the floor by the hair and started kicking me.

“The first ones to beat me were local policeman Arslanov M, M. and a part-time officer whose name I do not know, who lives at Lenin Prospect 81. Then more police officials came and started beating me up. This was seen by my niece Nadia and nephew Grisha Kapayev and a friend who was spending the night at their place. When l was ordered to put on a coat I could not straighten up, since they had beaten me in the stomach and in the chest, but I took my coat and we went outside. Again, they started beating me, and urged their dog on, but it ran around me and did not attack me. Then they threw me into a car and took me to the police station no. 1. There I got out of the car, but before I could step on to the ground, I was struck, and fell down. They picked me up again and began to beat me but would not let me fall.

There were some more police officers there, whose names I do not know. There were these ranks: a first lieutenant and some sergeant-majors, and some sergeants also beat me, after which I was thrown into a cell, followed by the dog-handler and another policeman; they also struck me, and then l collapsed; Igolkin saw this — he had been arrested too. As he recounted afterwards, they came in and kicked me in the small of the back and in the stomach. Then they took me out of the cell and started beating me again. I don’t remember what they did to me then. I was revived with water. Then I was taken back to a room where police officers were standing, and one of them said ‘Give him to me, I’ll fire the whole clip at him’, and he came up to me and struck me. Again, I can’t quite remember what they did to me then. I heard a shout far away and when I started coming to, I heard one of the policemen saying, ‘Call the doctor’. When the doctor came and gave me an injection, he said ‘Don’t beat him anymore’. Then they interrogated me and drew up a record, also under threat.”

Vladimir Alexeyevich Deryugin, born 1942, residing Lenin St. 81, flat 63, Sterlitamak. At present I am in the Sterlitamak investigation prison. 1 February 1977. My nephews live at: Rayevskaya St. 34, Sterlitamak.

A Statement

To the Supervisory Procurator of the Bashkir A SSR from prisoner under investigation A. P. Budiev, b. 1958, residing in Marshanovka village (which is under the Ryazanovo village soviet).

“I request you to examine my complaint against policeman Nogayev of the Ryazanovo village soviet, Sterlitamak district, and investigator of the district police department Akhmetzyanov. On 20 January I was summoned to the district police department. Akhmetzyanov read me a statement by citizen Firsova, in which she accused me and others of theft of money and rape. I did not commit these crimes, and I began to say that I had taken 30 roubles and returned them to her before her statement had reached the police.

“When Akhmetzyanov was interrogating me alone, he threatened me and told me that he was reluctant to beat me up in somebody else’s office. When he had finished interrogating everybody who had been summoned to the police station, Akhmetzyanov called me to his office. Our local policeman Nogayev was in the office, and he started questioning me. I refused to answer and he started to beat me on the head, saying ‘Come on, confess’. I lost consciousness several times, and as a result of the beatings a stitch came loose on my stomach. He beat me until I agreed to sign the record which Akhmetzyanov had drawn up. All this time Akhmetzyanov was in the office and saw how I was beaten. Three days later my mother brought me food and shouted through the door that my father had also been beaten for refusing to testify. A policeman swore at her for this.

“On 4 February investigator Akhmetzyanov came to see me in the investigation prison of Sterlitamak. When I was summoned to him, I told him I had signed the record after I had been beaten up in his presence by policeman Nogayev and that I rejected my evidence and requested another investigator. When I tried to write at the bottom of the record that I had been beaten, he snatched the pen out of my hand and said that I could complain in a separate statement. Then investigator Akhmetzyanov began to threaten me, saying that I would be given another investigator with even stronger fists, and that I would be beaten until I confessed my guilt fully.”

4 February 1978

The Free Trade Union

CCE 48 reported that on 12 March the wife of Yevgeny Nikolayev, when she tried to enter a psychiatric hospital to visit her husband, was detained in the corridor and taken to a police station, Gavriil Yankov (CCE 48), who accompanied her, was arrested. He was accused of breaking the residence regulations and imprisoned on Matrosskaya Tishina street (in the investigation prison). Investigator Nekrasov was in charge of Yankov’s case; according to Yankov, he was not once interrogated.

The KGB officials who led the arrest of Yankov removed nearly all the papers from his wallet, without making any inventory. Demanding the return of the papers, Yankov began a hunger-strike on 16 March. Two controllers (warders) then beat him up in an attempt to make him end his hunger-strike.

On 10 April V. D. Kuvakin (CCE 48 and this issue) wrote a letter to Yankov in prison, offering to take on his defence at his trial: “in my own name as well as in the name of the trade union of which you are a member”.

On 26 April Yankov was sent for psychiatric examination at the Serbsky Institute. On 8 May Yankov ended his hunger-strike.

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At the beginning of May Vladimir Klebanov (CCE 48) was transferred from a psychiatric hospital to an investigation prison. [information Bulletin no. 10 of the Working Commission on psychiatric abuse reports that soon after this Klebanov was tried and interned in the Dnepropetrovsk SPH.]

*

On 11 May in Podolsk (Moscow Region) Valentin Poplavsky was sentenced to 1 year under Article 209 of the Criminal Code.

The End of Snegiryov’s Case

Gely Snegiryov was arrested on 22 September 1977 (CCE 47). While under arrest he declared a protest hunger-strike which continued for 29 days. On the ninth day force-feeding was begun. Soon the lower half of his body was paralysed. A letter of 7 April from the Ukrainian Helsinki Group reads in part;

“As a result of barbaric treatment and violence Gely Snegiryov has been struck down by paralysis and turned into a total invalid.

“Investigator Chyorny and other officials took advantage of the writer’s disastrous state of health to force him to write a confession, and then transferred him to the October hospital in Kiev. Friends and acquaintances are not allowed to visit him, and there is reason to believe that Gely Snegiryov is near to death.”

On 1 April, the republic newspaper Radyanska Ukraina published the letter “1 am ashamed and I condemn1. Under the letter was the signature ‘G. Snegiryov’. On 6 April, this letter was reprinted in the newspaper Visti z Ukrainy, which is directed at Ukrainians abroad (here it did not contain a sentence which had appeared in Radyanska Ukraina, in which the half-paralysed Snegiryov thanked the KGB investigators “for providing qualified medical assistance1). On 12 April Literary Gazette published the letter in Russian.

Judging from the published letter, Snegiryov’s case is closed. It is not clear whether it was closed in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure or whether Snegiryov was pardoned.

At first nobody, not even Snegiryov’s wife, was allowed to visit him in hospital. His wife managed to get a note to him. Snegiryov raised a protest and obtained permission for his wife to visit him.

On 10 April Snegiryov underwent an operation in the neurosurgical research institute (presumed diagnosis — a cancerous tumour in the spinal region), after which he was taken back to the October hospital.

It was suggested to Galina Snegiryova that she take her husband home, but as it was not possible to organize the proper medical care at home, she did not take the risk of accepting.

To the best of people’s knowledge, Snegiryov is not the author of the letter which was published in the newspapers: in a letter which he did sign he asked to be released in view of his illness and promised not to take part in political activities.