Political Prisoners in the Mordovian Camps (25.6)

<<No 25 : 20 May 1972>>

Dmytro Kuzmich VERKHOLYAK (b. 1928). From 1947 he was in the Ukrainian Insurrectionist Army [UPA]. Arrested in 1955, on 14 February 1956 a court in Ivano-Frankovsk sentenced him to be shot, but this was changed to 25 years of camps [note 1].

In camp he is working as a doctor’s assistant. In June 1971 he was transferred from Camp 17 to Camp 19. His natural-law wife (since 1955), Kateryna Ivanovna Yatskiv, was sentenced on 14 February 1956 by the same court to ten years’ deprivation of freedom. Until 1969 she was allowed conjugal visits to see Verkholyak; from 1969 on she has only been allowed general [i.e. short] visits.

Vladimir Yurkiv [b. 1928] is in Mordovian Camp No. 17; he has been a prisoner for 22 years [note 2].

Nikolai Yakovlevich KURCHIK is in Camp No. 3; he has already been a prisoner for about 26 years, but still has seven years left to serve.

Bezugly is serving a a 25-year term.


The brothers Pestov have arrived in Camp No. 3. They are two of those sentenced in Sverdlovsk in November 1971 (see CCE 24.11, item 1).


After a ten-day hunger-strike in December in Camp No. 10. Alexei Murzhenko (first Leningrad “hi-jack” trial, see CCE 17.6) was promised a conjugal visit of which he had earlier been illegally deprived [see CCE 23.3]. The illegality of the deprivation of the visit was admitted by the Procurator of Saransk. Now he has again been refused visits for the same reason as in December – failure to fulfil the norm for two da vs running, Murzhenko’s wife has received an explanation from the procurator that no permission had been given in December for a visit.

In March, in the police department at Potma Station, Butman’s wife [Eva] was beaten up after arriving to visit her husband [Gilel]. After this, Butman himself (see CCE 20.1) was placed in a punishment cell for ten days, “because of his wife’s behaviour”.

Recently there has been persecution of S. Dreizner (see CCE 20.1) –  deprived of a general visit, and of D. Chernoglaz (see CCE 20.3) – deprived of a regular conjugal visit.



[1[ On Verkholyak see Ukrainian Herald No. 4 and Uncensored Russia.

[2] On Yurkiv see Browne, Ferment in the Ukraine.