In the Prisons and Camps, 1982 (64.13-1)

<< No 64 : 30 June 1982 >>

The Trial of Vasily Sichko

On 4 January 1982, the people’s court of Pridneprovsk district in the town of Cherkassy, with A.L. Kulchitsky presiding, heard the case of Vasily Petrovich SICHKO (b. 1956), charged under Article 229-6 pt. 1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (“Possessing Drugs for Personal Use”). The defence lawyer was M.U. Kramar; there was no prosecutor.

[Vasyl Sichko and his father Pyotr were previously tried and convicted under Article 190-1 in 1979, see CCE 55.1.]

A complaint by Vasily’s mother, Stefania Petrash, included the following:

“Prior to the trial my son was beaten up, though they said a criminal prisoner had done it. They beat him so that his eyes were not visible for the bruises and swellings — this greatly amused the judges and they laughed at my son.”

V. Sichko (CCE 63.16) was accused of possessing hashish in September-December 1981; on 3 December 1981, during a search of his home, a synthetic box containing 12.4 grams of hashish was discovered; prisoners A.A. Parferov and V.V. Slivko stated that in September Sichko had treated them to some hashish cigarettes (Sichko does not smoke, Chronicle).

Sichko said that the box of hashish had been planted on him and Parferov and Slivko were lying. The box had not been tested for fingerprints during the investigation.

The court found Sichko guilty and sentenced him to three years in strict-regime camps under Article 229-6 pt. 1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code; taking into account the unserved remnant of his previous term, the final sentence was 3 ½ years, with 25 days strict-regime, beginning on 11 December 1981.


On the morning of 4 January 1982, Stefania Petrash, who had heard of the new charge against her son only the day before, appealed to Judge Kulchitsky. The latter said that an examination had shown that Sichko’s organism was not used to drugs. Kulchitsky also said that the trial would probably begin after lunch and that if Petrash waited he would call her. Half an hour later all the judges went off somewhere. Petrash managed to find out that Vasily was to be tried in the Investigations Prison and succeeded in getting there before the judges; however, she was not allowed in after them. When Kulchitsky came out for the lunch break, Petrash went up to him, but he said, “Go away!”

Petrash went to the Procuracy. After hearing her out, Beseda, Deputy Procurator of the Cherkassy Region, told Prokopenko, the procurator in charge of Corrective Labour Institutions, to ensure that the mother attended the trial. After ringing someone, Prokopenko told Petrash, “Go to the Investigations Prison, Tell the guard to call Major Shedko – he’ll take you into the courtroom”. At the Investigations Prison Petrash actually managed to get hold of Shedko, but he said “What’s Beseda to me? I’ve got my own superiors and I obey them”.

On 5 January Kulchitsky would not sign a statement allowing Petrash a meeting with her son and would not return it, either – “I don’t want to!” When Petrash applied again to Beseda he was angry with her: “What do you want from me? I’ve had all kinds of trouble because of you!”

On 19 January, the Cherkassy Regional Court turned down an appeal by the defence lawyer. Vasily Sichko is serving his new sentence in Vinnitsa Region – [penal] institution IV-301/86.

The Case of  Pyotr Sichko

In October 1981, Pyotr Sichko (CCE 56.20) was the victim of a provocation: his fellow prisoner Shumeiko put some papers in the lining of Sichko’s boot which were confiscated by the camp administration and defined as ‘anti-Soviet’. Soon afterwards Shumeiko, who was being threatened with reprisals by P. Sichko’s fellow prisoners, was transferred to another camp.

On 26 May 1982 P. Sichko was arrested, one and a half months before the expiry of his three-year sentence (5 July, CCE 55). He was again charged under Article 187-1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (= Article 190-1 of the RSFSR Code).


The Trial of Bolonkin

On 8 February [1982], the Supreme Court of the Buryat ASSR heard the case of Alexander Alexandrovich BOLONKIN (b. 1933), charged under Article 70 pt. 2 of the RSFSR Criminal Code (CCEs 62, 63), and sentenced him to one year’s imprisonment (ending in April) plus five years’ exile.

On 7 April Bolonkin expressed his ‘repentance’ in a television appearance. In April, the article “Enlightenment” by L. Kolosov and 0. Meshchaninov was published in The Week [Nedelya] No. 16.

Bolonkin‘s place of exile is in the Buryat ASSR. He has been given a room (70 Pavlov St., flat 11) and a job, as a senior research officer in a technical institute.

An anonymous author writes in quasi-Aesopian language:

“… A cruel choice was put to him: either 15 years (with the prospect of the work being prolonged afterwards) or he would have to read out the statement …

“He was handed the text five minutes before the recording and was not allowed to change a word.

“In addition, a report was placed in the wall newspaper. The report attributed to him words which he had never spoken, particularly about himself and A.D [note 1]. He saw the wall newspaper only when it had already been put up …”


The Case of Kukobaka

Mikhail Kukobaka, b. 1936

On 6 October 1981, thirteen days before the expiry of Mikhail Kukobaka‘s sentence, a new case was brought against him under Article 190-1 of the RSFSR Criminal Code [on Kukobaka, see CCE 27.5, CCE 34.9, CCE 39.3, and CCE 63.]

At first Kukobaka was under investigation in Yelets [Lipetsk Region]. In April he was transferred to the Serbsky Institute, where he was declared responsible. On 25 May he was sent back to Elets.

The Case of Litvin

In March [1982], five months before his three-year sentence (CCEs 54, CCE 55.1) was due to end, a new charge under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (= Article 70 of the RSFSR Code) was brought against Yury Litvin (CCEs 56, 57). He was held in the Kiev KGB Investigations Prison.

In connection with his case, a search was carried out in the town of Vasilkov (Kiev Region), at the home of Galina Matusevich, sister of Nikolai Matusevich (for his trial, see CCE 49.3).



[1] Possibly A.D. Sakharov, who appealed several times on Bolonkin’s behalf (see CCE 61 and 62) but did not know him personally.