On 11 October 1972 a search, directed by KGB Major E. M. Bykov, was made at the flat of Victor Kuznetsov (municipality of Pushkino, Moscow Region). The search was made in the presence of Kuznetsov’s wife, Valentina Kuznetsova; Kuznetsov himself was at that time being taken to the Lubyanka for interrogation. A notebook was confiscated in the course of the search.
The interrogation was conducted by investigator A. V. Trofimov. He was interested in whether Kuznetsov was acquainted with Balakirev, Bolonkin and Yukhnovets, who were arrested in August and September. The investigator also tried to get information on an episode involving the dissemination in Moscow, on the night of 31 May-1 June 1972, of a leaflet signed “The Citizens’ Committee” (the so-called “Economic Leaflet”) [see CCE 26.14, item 3]. On that same day, following the search, Valentina Kuznetsova was interrogated.
In late November the Kuznetsovs were again called in for interrogation. They were shown protocols of the interrogation of Yury Yukhnovets in which the latter acknowledged his guilt and repented for what he had done. They were also shown a letter from Yukhnovets, dated 8 or 10 October, and addressed to Victor Kuznetsov. In the letter Yukhnovets asked Kuznetsov to acknowledge his guilt and plead guilty. At the interrogations the Kuznetsovs were repeatedly threatened with arrest.
Victor Kuznetsov is a former political prisoner [see CCE 7.3, CCE 8.7 CCE 9.3 CCE 18.1, CCEs 19, 20, 21 and CCE 22.3].
On 7 December 1972, a confrontation was organised between Valentina Kuznetsova and Yukhnovets. Yukhnovets testified that Victor Kuznetsov had taken part in preparing the leaflets and had composed the text of one of them. According to Yukhnovets’s testimony, Kuznetsov also took the initiative in preparing the leaflets. Yukhnovets also testified that on the night of 31 May-1 June Valentina Kuznetsova, together with him, had disseminated the “Economic Leaflet”. Kuznetsova did not confirm the testimony of Yukhnovets.
As has become known, in addition to Yukhnovets (arrested on 23 September — see CCE 27.2, item 7) the following were arrested in connection with associated cases in September: Alexander Bolonkin (21 September), Valery Balakirev (22 September), Zarya, Georgy Davydov (22 September), Vladimir Shaklein (28 September), and one other person whose name is not known to the Chronicle.
Vyacheslav Petrov was arrested in Leningrad on 5 February 1973. For the trial of Davydov and Petrov, see the present issue (CCE 29.2).
Zarya was released from custody in January 1973 and the unknown person in May 1973. In connection with this case Yukhnovets was found non-responsible but competent (i.e., he cannot bear criminal liability for his acts, but he can give testimony), and was released in May 1973.
On 23 May 1973, in connection with the Balakirev-Bolonkin case, a search was conducted at the home of Vitaly Rubin, Doctor of Historical Sciences and a well-known sinologist [see CCE 30, 32].