Trials in Ukraine, January-April 1973 (29.5)

<<No 29 : 31 July 1973>>

1. Ivan Dzyuba, 11-16 March 1973

From 11 to 16 March the Kiev Regional Court heard the case of the critic and literary historian Ivan Mikhailovich Dzyuba,[note 1] indicted under Article 62 of the Ukrainian criminal code (Article 70 of the RSFSR code).

Representatives of the institutions where Dzyuba had worked, the Biochemical Journal at the Dnipro Publishing House, were present in the courtroom. Also present were the following members of the Writers’ Union of the Ukraine: Soldatenko, Rud and //KJiorunzhy. Outwardly, the trial was conducted properly. The defendant was not interrupted when he spoke.

Ivan Dzyuba, b. 1931

The only charge in the indictment was the writing and distribution of the work Internationalism or Russification?

At the trial Dzyuba stated that the work was not intended for publication but had been written in the form of a letter addressed to the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party. The letter had been prompted by the first arrests in the Ukraine in 1964-1965, which had shaken him. Thus, it was possible that the emotional aspect of the letter was stronger than cool judgement. By virtue of these circumstances, he had not striven for equilibrium between the positive and negative aspects but had directed attention to violations of the Constitution and the law. It was possible that he had made mistakes in the economic aspects of the work, as here he was not a specialist. During the first months of the investigation, he had been charged with drawing up some platform or other, with which he had no connection.

Dzyuba expressed his gratitude to the investigative organs, which had made available to him materials on all aspects of the experts report on this platform: this had enabled him to refute that charge. He did not want to name the experts but preferred to let their report remain on their consciences.

Sentence: 5 years in strict-regime camps.

(Ivan Dzyuba has active tuberculosis.)

2. Yevgeny Sverstyuk, 16-24 April 1973

The trial of Yevgeny Sverstyuk, arrested on 14 January 1972, was held from 16 to 24 April. The Judge was Dyshel. No one was allowed in the courtroom but the witnesses.

Sverstyuk was indicted under Article 62 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. The items of the indictment were as follows: [note 2]

1) Making a speech critical of the functioning of a school before educational workers in 1963 (at the time, Sverstyuk was employed as a researcher at the Institute of Psychology).

2) Works of literary criticism published in the West: “Cathedral in the Woods” on O. Gonchar’s novel, The Cathedral; “Our Kotlyarevsky Laughs”, on the jubilee of Kotlyarevsky; “The Last Tear”, a literary analysis of T. Shevchenko’s last works,

3) “On the Holiday of Women”,  thoughts on the fate of women in the history of the Ukraine.

4) Conversations with acquaintances and neighbours. As “anti-Soviet”, they served as a basis for incriminating Sverstyuk.

Sentence: 7 years in strict-regime camps and 5 years of exile.


3. Nadezhda Alexeyevna Svetlichnaya, 23-24 March 1973

[Ukr. Svitlychna]) has been sentenced to 4 years in camps with subsequent exile. The Kiev Regional Court tried her case on 23 and 24 March [ (see CCEs 25-27) 30].

Svetlichnaya was incriminated for possessing a manuscript by D. Shumuk (see CCEs 27, 28) and other works of Ukrainian samizdat.


4. Ivan Svetlichny, 19-27 April 1973

The case of Ivan Alexeyevich SVETLICHNY was tried by the Kiev Regional Court on 19-27 April. [note 3]

Ivan Svetlichny, b. 1929

The indictment included charges brought against him in 1965, when after eight months in prison he was released for lack of evidence to support the charges. Also, he was incriminated for having in his possession unpublished works of fiction in the Ukrainian language, and for his own manuscript works of literary criticism.

The witnesses at the trial included Kholodny and Seleznenko.

Sentence: 7 years in strict-regime camps and 5 years in exile.



[1] Dzyuba — See CCEs 5, 7, 11, 12, 14, 17, 18. 23-25, 27 and 30. Also P. Litvinov, The Demonstration in Pushkin Square, London 1969.

[2] On Sverstyuk see also CCEs 7, 24, 27.

[3] On Svetlichny (Ukr. Svitlychny) see CCEs 5,7, 24-27; on Kholodny and Seleznenko, CCEs 24-27.