The Arrest of Marinovich and Matusevich, 23 April 1977 (45.7)

<<No 45 : 25 May 1977>>

On 23 April 1977, members of the Ukrainian Helsinki group Miroslav Marinovich and Mykola Matusevich were arrested, and a search made in their flats.

The same day searches were carried out at Matusevich’s parents’ (in their flat in Vasilkov and at their dacha in the village of Shevchenkovko); at the home of his sister; at the home of Marinovich’s mother (Drogobych); at the home of his sister (in Rovno); at the home of Mikhailina Kotsyubinskaya, granddaughter of the well-known writer; at the home of the writer Antonenko-Davidovich (the search lasted 17 hours); and at the homes of Lyubov Kheina, Yevgeny Obertas, Oleg Lapin and Anna Kovalenko. All whose homes had been searched were summoned for interrogation.

Mykola Matusevich, b. 1946

On 26 April Matusevich’s wife Olga Geiko and Marinovich’s wife Raisa Sergiichuk were told in reply to their questions that their husbands had been charged with having committed “especially dangerous state crimes” and were being held in an investigation prison of the KGB.

On 14 May O. Geiko joined the [Ukrainian] Helsinki Group.


On 29 April, an article by Gornovy appeared in the newspaper Literary Ukraine entitled “You don’t Get Money for Nothing” and containing crude attacks on Kotsyubinskaya and Antonenko-Davidovich. They were accused of receiving ‘handouts’ from the West Both wrote refutations and, receiving no reply, went to the newspaper’s editorial office. Here no one, including the chief editor, was able to show them the letters from ‘indignant readers’ to which the author of the article had referred.

Boris Dmitrievich Antonenko-Davidovich is 78 years old. He was in camps and prisons from 1934 to 1954. After legal exculpation he was allowed to publish one or two pieces. In 1970 he was called as a witness in the case of V. Moroz (CCE 17) and refused to give evidence at the trial, after which he was almost expelled from the Writers’ Union (CCE 27).