Search at O. Meshko’s home, 5 February 1977 (44.5)

<< No 44 : 16 March 1977 >>

On 5 February a search was carried out in Kiev at the home of Oksana Yakovlevna Meshko. The search was conducted by senior investigator of the Kiev Procuracy D. Pankov, and by N. P. Diba. As O. Ya. Meshko did not open the door immediately, Pankov smashed the window and climbed into the room.

O. Ya. Meshko, anxious about her health (the day before she had had a heart attack), asked for her daughter-in-law to be summoned for the duration of the search. Pankov rejected her request. He presented a search warrant for the building and added that a search of her person would also be carried out. Meshko protested against a search of her person, declaring that it had not been authorized. Pankov went away and returned soon afterwards with the same piece of paper, in one column of which had been added by hand “of her person”. There were no signatures or stamps. Meshko continued to protest. Then Pankov twisted her arms behind her. After this, N. P. Diba carried out a search of her person. During this, Meshko’s friend Vera Tkachenko and Meshko’s tenant Julia Lavrova were present.

Those carrying out the search addressed the 70-year-old Oksana Yakovlevna in the familiar form and insulted her. During the search O. Meshko began to have a heart attack, Lavrova tried to call an ambulance. Pankov stated: “She is pretending,” and would not let Lavrova out of the house. The condition of Oksana Yakovlevna got worse and finally one of the officials yielded and called an ambulance.

The search was carried out in the house and the yard from 9.30 in the morning until 1.00 at night. The following were confiscated: O. Meshko’s correspondence with deputies of the Supreme Soviet about the review of the case of her son Alexander Sergiyenko; correspondence with the M V D; personal correspondence with her son, and with friends and acquaintances (it was noted in the record that not all of the correspondence was read, but was placed in an envelope and sealed); books; notes written by hand and extracts from books; ten copies of the [UN] Declaration of Human Rights; photocopies from the journal UNESCO Courier and photocopies of the Final Act of the Helsinki conference; and materials of the Ukrainian Helsinki group.

The record of the search was not presented to Oksana Meshko to read through or to sign.


After the arrest of Rudenko and Tikhy (CCE 44.4), members of the Ukrainian Helsinki group O. Berdnik, P. Grigorenko, L. Lukyanenko, O. Meshko, M. Marinovich, M. Matusevich, I. Kandyba and N. Strokatova appealed to governments which signed the Helsinki Agreement. In their letter they ask them to help secure the release of Rudenko and Tikhy.


On 9 February P. Grigorenko, Zinaida Grigorenko, V. Turchin, Sophia Kallistratova, A. Sakharov and Lydia Chukovskaya appealed to the Ukrainian Procurator. They asked him to revoke the detention order made against Rudenko and release him from custody under their personal guarantee or on bail.

On 25 February Raisa Rudenko sent him a similar request.

On 28 February, the Ukrainian Procuracy replied to them in the negative.


Members of the Ukrainian Helsinki group Ivan Kandyba, Oksana Meshko and Pyotr Vins were summoned to Donetsk for interrogations in the Rudenko-Tikhy case (Kandyba on 11 March, Meshko and Vins on 14 March).

Member of the Ukrainian group Lev Lukyanenko was detained at his relatives’ village and sent to Donetsk for an interrogation in the same case.