Pre-Trial Investigations, August 1980 (57.9)

<<No 57 : 3 August 1980>>

The Yakunin-Kapitanchuk-Regelson-Dudko Case.

G. Yakunin was arrested on 1 November 1979 (CCE 54.1), L. Regelson on 24 December 1979 (CCE 55) and V. Kapitanchuk on 12 March 1980 (CCE 56).

In Moscow, in March 1980, Investigators Kolpakov and Yakovlev (CCE 54) spent a whole day interrogating E. Barabanov (CCE 30, 32, 37, 45) in connection with the Yakunin, Regelson and Kapitanchuk cases. At the same time in Pskov Father S. Zheludkov (CCE 29. 32, 43, 46) was interrogated for two days running in connection with the same cases. Father Sergy refused to give evidence “for professional reasons”.


On 5 May two officials of the Criminal Investigation Department took member of the Christian Committee to Defend Believers’ Rights in the USSR V. Shcheglov (CCE 56) from work to the Party district committee where a KGB Major showed him xeroxed copies of Christian Committee documents. Shcheglov was asked to sign a record of a caution issued “according to the Decree” [CCE 32.11]. Shcheglov wrote at protest against the classification of the Committee documents as slanderous and signed the record.


On 15 May 1980, Investigator Levchenko interrogated Stanislav Zherdev in connection with the Kapitanchuk case. Zherdev was shown a letter from his wife to the “Slavic Mission” dated 25 February 1979. The letter spoke of the difficult material and living conditions in which the family lived. Levchenko said that Zherdev was doing a bad turn to his friend Kapitanchuk with this “slanderous” letter (soon after it was sent the Zherdevs received a good flat in the centre of Moscow — they have seven children). Zherdev said that he had seen the letter and thought it was accurate. He did not know who had sent it abroad and whether it had been broadcast by Western radio-stations. The following questions were also put to him:

  • concerning his acquaintance with Dudko, Yakunin, Regelson, Kapitanchuk and Popkov;
  • Had Zherdev been in Dudko’s flat or other flats at meetings with foreigners? (Levchenko read out Popkov’s testimony on this point);
  • Concerning his attitude to the Christian Committee’s activities.

Zherdev refused to answer any of these questions on the grounds of his religious beliefs. Levchenko then brought in a Bible and asked Zherdev to show him the passage which made him unable to answer. Zherdev answered: “To dispute over the Word of God with an atheist is to be led into temptation”. Zherdev was then given a short educational chat. They hinted that they would not make it difficult for him to leave and wished him “a pleasant journey”.


On 12 June, a search was conducted at the home of A. Sidorov in connection with the Yakunin case. Over a hundred items were listed on the record. Sidorov is an art historian whose articles are published in Russian publications abroad: he is a neighbour of Yakunin’s aunt, L. Zdanovskaya (CCE 54.1).

ln mid-June in Moscow KGB officials interrogated former member of the Christian Committee Varsonofy Khaibulin for three days. The interrogations concerned the Yakunin and Dudko cases. Khaibulin was asked by what means he had sent Christian Committee documents to the West. He replied that he had done this via Western correspondents. He did not give names. He was threatened with arrest, but when he said that he had left the Christian Committee in 1979 and was now occupied with theology they released him. On 20 June Yakunin’s aunts, A.I. Zdanovskaya and L.I. Zdanovskaya, were interrogated in connection with the case against him.


On 24 July 1980, Iraida Yakunina brought her husband a scheduled parcel. She was asked to see the Head of the Moscow KGB Investigations Department, A. V. Trofimov, who extracted from her a promise to chat only of domestic matters and took her to see her husband. She was amazed at how G. Yakunin behaved during the meeting (for example, he did not ask anything about their children, and he praised the investigators and the conditions in which he was being held). Yakunina told her husband that she was waiting for his return, but not a return like Dudko’s. Her parcel for Yakunin was accepted (he had been stopped from receiving parcels on 15 May for “violation of regulations’).

The Dyadkin Case. The Arrest of Gorbachev

In June 1980, Josif Dyadkin (arrested on 25 April, CCE 56) underwent an out-patient psychiatric examination. He was ruled responsible. His wife N. Dyadkina has received a letter from him in which he says that he has not changed and that nothing bad is happening to him. He asks her to find him a Moscow lawyer. In the second part of July an investigator asked Dyadkina about her and her husband’s acquaintance with A. Lavut.

Josif Dyadkin, 1928-2015

L. Lozovsky (CCE 56) and S. Gorbachev (CCE 56) and a lecturer at Kalinin University, Golitsyn, petitioned the Procuracy to grant Dyadkin bail. In May, Gorbachev was summoned for interrogation in connection with the Dyadkin case and threatened with arrest. He was arrested on 5 June 1980.

Gorbachev’s mother, who had come to Kalinin from the Far East, was given two meetings with her son. She came on the advice of KGB officials. In Kalinin she was “worked over’, at first by female “neighbours” and then by official KGB employees. Gorbachev was characterized by them as the obedient instrument of the will of his wife, who had ordered him not to betray the anti-Sovietists, who were her lovers. They asked Gorbachev’s mother to try to use her influence on her son, and to this end allowed her to see him. She went to the meetings but refused to “use her influence”.