The Right to Leave, December 1978 (51.16)

<<No 51 : 1 December 1978>>


On 12 September 1977, the deputy head of the Vladimir City Section for Visas and Registration (OVIR) Major Ilyukhin informed Victor NEKIPELOV of the Moscow Helsinki Group that he had been refused an exit visa: “We consider that you have no reason to visit the State of Israel — there’s nothing for you to do there!” (CCE 47.8).

Victor Nekipelov, 1928-1989

At the Vladimir City Internal Affairs Department on 5 December 1977, Colonel Shaidrov told Nekipelov:

“You must prove that the person who sent you the invitation is really your twin brother. Besides, your father is categorically against your leaving.”

In March 1978 Major Ilyukhin told Nekipelov: “Your son is serving in the Army — you’ll have to wait.” In May 1978, Sergei Nekipelov was demobilized.

On 31 July, at the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Section for Visas and Registration (OVIR), Colonel Davydov told Nekipelov: “You have been refused a visa on security grounds. It’s in the interests of the State!” The same day Nekipelov sent a declaration of protest to K. I. Zotov, Head of the USSR MVD Section for Visas and Registration (OVIR).

On 15 August Nekipelov wrote a declaration entitled “On Security Grounds …“:

“… your ‘security grounds’ have nothing to do with access to State secrets, which you know I have never had. And all your earlier subterfuges about my twin brother or my son being in the army were just irresponsible gabbling by lips accustomed to lying. The real ‘security grounds’ are my dissenting views: my ‘Declaration on a Visa Refusal’; my apostasy, conscious and irreversible; my rejection of today’s State – of its spider-like Partocracy [rule by Party], prisons and special political hospitals, its godlessness, violence and lies.

“Your ‘security grounds’ consist of my defending to the best of my ability the rule of law, of my creative work and the publication of my poetry, of my sketches and journalistic articles in the foreign press.

“These are indeed ‘security grounds’, for by having grown up in your ‘large zone’ [note 2], I know too much about its security regime and you are afraid I’ll take my knowledge abroad with me!

“Only in this way can I explain to myself your refusal of today. I don’t know how long I will still be allowed to sit at my writing table. But even in those places you are now trying to force me into, on the same ‘security grounds’, — behind the barbed wire of a Mordovian camp, in a psychiatric hospital, in the punishment block of Vladimir Prison — I shall still do the same thing every day, every hour, every stolen minute: I shall be telling people the truth about your diabolical regime.”


In September 1976, Sergei Mikhailovich POLIKANOV, a Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, a department head of the United Institute of Nuclear Research (UINR) in Dubna [Moscow Region], winner of the Lenin Prize, marked his 50th birthday. Polikanov’s great scientific merits and widespread social activities were marked by numerous congratulations from the various laboratories of the Institute, from the directors of UINR, and from the Academy of Sciences.

In September 1978 the Academic Council of the Nuclear Research Laboratory requested the Higher Degrees Commission to deprive S. M. Polikanov of his degrees of Candidate and Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences; the Academy of Sciences was asked to deprive him of the title of corresponding member; the Lenin and State Prize Committee was asked to deprive him of his Lenin Prize.

As early as the beginning of the 1970s there had been a proposal that Polikanov should carry out a series of experiments at CERN [Centre Européen de Recherches Nucléaires] in Geneva. This idea was backed by the scientists at CERN, the leadership of the UINR, who had a keen interest in this cooperation, and lastly by Polikanov himself, who saw in it an opportunity to complete his 15-year programme of research in nuclear physics.


In autumn 1975, S. M. Polikanov began to fill out the documents for his journey to Switzerland for a year, together with his wife and daughter.

At the beginning of 1976 Polikanov was informed that he would be allowed to make the journey without his family, to which he replied that he would not go alone and would in that case refuse to make the trip at all.

In the spring of 1976 Polikanov was invited for a talk by Academician Bogolyubov, Director of UINR, who tried to persuade Polikanov to accept the conditions and go.

In summer 1976 Polikanov wrote a letter to M. A. Suslov, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, pointing out to him that decisions on questions of international scientific cooperation are often resolved by arguments which have nothing to do with science.

In September 1977 Polikanov was summoned for a talk by A. M. Petrosyants, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Committee, who intimated to him that he would not be going abroad. “You’ve come to the limit,” he said, “Don’t cross it and become a dissident.”

On 18 November 1977, at a press conference, Polikanov gave Western correspondents a letter to van Hove, Director of CERN, in which he stated that he could not come to CERN and explained the circumstances (CCE 47).

At the end of December 1977 Polikanov was invited to visit Logunov, Vice-President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and Academician Markov, Secretary of the Nuclear Physics Department. The academicians admitted the existence of shortcomings in the situation but condemned the position taken by Orlov and Sakharov, saying that a scientific approach was necessary in overcoming shortcomings.

“And when you signed the letter against Sakharov, were you also taking a scientific approach?” asked Polikanov.

Almost at the same time, on the orders of the Party committee, Academician Pontecorvo came to talk Polikanov round. He also criticized the dissidents.

In January 1978 Kuznetsov, Secretary of the town Party committee, and a representative from the regional Party Committee talked to Polikanov. They also urged him to think again.

On 20 February 1978 a Party meeting at the Laboratory expelled Polikanov from the Party.


From the beginning of 1978 administrative persecution of Polikanov began.

His lectures at seminars were cancelled. post-graduate students were forced to reject him as a scientific adviser, and he was forbidden to travel to Moscow from Dubna without written permission from the administration. The persecution was orchestrated by the Head of the Laboratory. V. P. Dzhelepov, who specially wrote a letter to the Higher Degrees Commission asking that Polikanov be expelled from the Academic Council. This request was granted.

Polikanov suddenly learnt that he was no longer secretary of the Institute’s general seminar. Finally, N. N. Bogolyubov issued an order on the necessity of concentrating forces on the physics of higher energy and, in accordance with this, the section headed by Polikanov was to be disbanded.

Polikanov became a Senior Research Fellow. A notice quoting the Law Code on Labour appeared on the Laboratory wall, stating that every employee in our land should be at work every day from start to finish. Now the Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences began to receive warnings for being absent. One of these was for spending a few days outside the trial of Yu. Orlov [CCE 50.1]. Not one of the warnings was signed by N. N. Bogolyubov. They were signed by deputy directors from brotherly countries — the Hungarian Kiš and the Pole Sawinski.

In the spring of 1978 Polikanov learnt that he had received a prize from the American Physics Society and sent a declaration to OVIR asking permission to go and receive the prize.

From the spring of 1978 Polikanov became actively involved in activities to defend the rule of law in the USSR. He spoke out in defence of Yu. Orlov, A. Ginzburg and A. Shcharansky. He often journeyed to Kaluga to find out what was happening to A. Ginzburg [CCE 50.3] and stayed there during the whole trial. He spoke out in support of the boycott organized by Western scientists after the trial of Yu. Orlov. He appealed to psychiatrists throughout the world to fight for the release of A. Podrabinek.

On 15 July Polikanov announced that he was joining the MOSCOW HELSINKI GROUP.

In summer 1978 Polikanov wrote a letter to Brezhnev, stating that it was impossible to do scientific work in this country and expressing his desire to emigrate to any capitalist country. On 21 August A. G. Zotov, Deputy Head of Moscow OVIR, summoned Polikanov and suggested he name a particular country to which he wished to emigrate. Polikanov named the USA. On 7 September Polikanov was called in by S. A. Fadeyev, Head of Moscow OVIR, who told him that the answer to his request for emigration was positive.

On 15 September, a meeting of the Academic Council of the Laboratory took place, which demanded that Polikanov be deprived of his degrees of Candidate and Doctor of Sciences for his unpatriotic activity, in accordance with Article 104 of the Regulations of the USSR Higher Degrees Commission, and that he should also be deprived of his Lenin Prize and title of Corresponding Member.

Two hours later, after the Academic Council meeting, an order from the directors followed: “For actions incompatible with the title of Soviet scientist and with his work in the UINR, Polikanov is to be dismissed from the Institute.”

The next day, the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet deprived Polikanov of all his government honours.

On 10 October 1978 S. M. Polikanov and his family left the USSR.


In July 1976, after a win in an international tournament in Amsterdam [note 1], chess Grand Master Viktor KORCHNOI declared that he did not want to return to the USSR. Korchnoi explained his decision by referring to the political stance of the USSR Chess Federation, which prevented him from leading a normal creative life as a player.

In August 1977 his wife Bella Korchnaya and his 18-year-old son applied to the Leningrad OVIR for permission to visit relatives in Israel. Before this, for over two months, OVIR had refused to accept their application, demanding a note from her husband renouncing all material claims on his wife and giving his consent to her emigration from the USSR. In November 1977 B. Korchnaya received a refusal, on the grounds that the relatives were too distant.

In April 1978 B. Korchnaya sent a letter to L.I. Brezhnev asking for permission to leave the USSR. On 3 September B. Korchnaya received a telephone call from OVIR, informing her that her request had been refused again: “We can’t boost his morale” (i.e., that of the defector V. Korchnoi, Chronicle).

On 19 October B. Korchnaya gave a press conference for journalists at which she read out a declaration setting forth the above-mentioned facts.

On 13 November B. Korchnaya applied to the newly elected President of FIDE [Fédération Internationale des Échecs], Grand Master Olafson, asking for help in emigrating from the USSR.

On 14 November B. Korchnaya appealed to Shchelokov and Brezhnev in letters asking for permission to leave the USSR.


From December 1977 to May 1978, four invitations were sent to the Kievan Grigory TOKAYUK (CCE 48) — but he did not receive a single one. At the Ministry of Communications Tokayuk was told that no invitations had come addressed to him.

Tokayuk wrote complaints to Brezhnev and Andropov.

In July he met French journalists in Moscow and asked them to help him emigrate.

In August Tokayuk was summoned to the Kiev KGB Department. There he was scolded for his active support of P. Vins (CCE 49), his contacts with members of the Moscow Helsinki Group, with T. Velikanova and A. Podrabinek, and his Minks* with foreigners; he was warned that if he became ‘a recidivist’, ‘stricter measures’ would be taken: “You know, don’t you, that we’re all-powerful?”

Tokayuk’s father was a Polish citizen; all his relatives on his father’s side live in Poland, the U S A or Argentina; his uncle on his mother’s side is a German Jew; he has a grandmother and aunt on his mother’s side living in Israel.


Yury MAXIMOV, a resident of Riga, has been trying to get permission to emigrate since 1974.

In October 1978 he was told by the Riga OVIR; according to existing legislation emigration can be permitted only to those who have invitations from relatives abroad; in addition, on presenting such invitations it is also necessary to show the envelope in which this invitation has arrived. When Maximov quoted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, he was told “The International Covenant operates between States, but internally they use different rules from those laid down in the Covenant.” When he asked for a written reply, he was told that written replies might be used to compromise the State.


Anatoly Leonidovich GLUKHOV (b. 1946) and his mother have been trying to obtain permission to emigrate for 14 years.

On 31 August 1978, A. Glukhov was forcibly interned in the Chelyabinsk Psychiatric Hospital, apparently for writing a letter to a Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kovalyov. One of the doctors told Glukhov that If he continued trying to emigrate, he would “earn himself some schizophrenia”.

In 1972 and 1974 Glukhov had twice been in a psychiatric hospital (34 days altogether) because of his wish to emigrate.

On 9 October Glukhov was discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of “reduced energy potential’. He was ordered to visit the local psychiatrist every month.


Nikolai MASLENNIKOV (b. 1943), a resident of Kansk, was put in Krasnoyarsk Psychiatric Hospital for trying to get in touch with the Canadian Embassy by post. A few weeks later Maslennikov was transferred to Krasnoyarsk Territorial Psychiatric Hospital No. 1 (in the settlement of Poimo-Tiny), where he stayed for about a month.


In June 1974 Vladimir Alexeyevich TSURIKOV (b. 1947) was placed in Krasnoyarsk Psychiatric Hospital for writing a letter to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, applying to emigrate. The doctors ‘explained’ to him that “The sulfazin injections are to cure you of thinking about emigration from the USSR, and the insulin injections are to restore a sense of patriotism in you.” After 3 months of treatment he was released from the hospital and told, on being discharged, that his wish to go to Israel was a symptom of his illness.

For a year he was regularly invited to the psychiatric clinic and warned that, if he started to make a fuss about emigrating again, he would end up back in the psychiatric hospital.


On 25 May Lydia VALENDO of Minsk (CCE 49) was released from a psychiatric hospital, where she had been subjected to treatment. On 16 November L. Valendo appealed to the Secretary-General of the U N, in a letter asking him to use his influence with the Soviet government to facilitate her emigration. She has been trying to emigrate since 1975.


Sergei BELOV, a resident of Privolzhsk (Ivanovo Region, Central Russia) has been sending telegrams for a long time to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, asking for permission to emigrate. He gives as his reasons for wanting to emigrate: his beggarly existence (he has a university education as a lawyer, but is working as a motor-scooter driver, transporting food-products) and the violation of human rights in the USSR.



Seventeen-year-old I. VASHCHENKO from the town of Chernogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Region, central Siberia) has sent a declaration to the UN Committee of Human Rights. The Vashchenko family has been trying to get permission to emigrate since 1961.

In April 1978 they received an invitation from the USA. In Chernogorsk their applications were not accepted and the Vashchenkos travelled to Krasnoyarsk. At the Krasnoyarsk OVIR they were told that their invitation was of no use. The Vashchenkos travelled to Moscow. There they tried to enter the US Embassy. During this attempt Vashchenko was beaten up he was taken away, interrogated and sent back to Chernogorsk accompanied by KGB officials. Only there did I. Vashchenko learn that his parents and three sisters had managed to break through to the embassy (where they still are).

The Pentecostals of Chernogorsk have appealed to President J. Carter, asking him to help them emigrate.


Pentecostalists in the town of Nakhodka (Primorsky Region) have now been trying to emigrate for 13 years.

They made their first attempt to do so in 1965, when V. F. PATRUSHEV (CCE 47), the preacher in their congregation, sent a list of those wanting to emigrate to the UN. Patrushev is a Second World War veteran who has already served 3 years in camps (his co-defendant Sidenko got 4 years). Attempts to obtain permission to emigrate were renewed in 1974, when members of the congregation compiled a series of documents about the unlawful actions of the authorities and sent them to the West,

The activities of the Nakhodka Pentecostalists led to more cruel repression, also to a desire by the authorities to break off all contacts between the members of the congregation and people outside the [Far Eastern] Primorsky Region. With this end in view, Pentecostalists are hindered in every way from travelling to the European part of the USSR from Nakhodka. Photographs and ‘reports’ on members of the congregation like Boris Perchatkin (CCEs 46-48) and Vladimir Stepanov (Presbyter of the Nakhodka Pentecostalists) have been sent to all railway-stations and airports in the region. They are often detained on the way to Moscow and sent back, Letters are also intercepted. Since 1977 a special group of KGB officials has been operating in Nakhodka to combat the Pentecostalists: Major Rudmitsky (the leader), Senior Lieutenant Malyukovich (who recruits informers among the believers), Captain Volkov and Senior Lieutenant Lukashin.

About 40 members of the congregation already have invitations from the USA. All of them have been turned down, on the grounds that the invitations are not from relatives.

Patrushev is in a particularly difficult situation: in the camp he contracted glaucoma, as a result of which he now has vision (about 10%) in only one eye. He has more than once received invitations from abroad for treatment (the last time was in 1978, from Italy), but he has always been refused permission to go.


Sixteen families of Baptists from the town of Chernovtsy submitted a declaration in August, asking to be allowed out to any non-Socialist country. They have received no reply.


in August 1977 TILMAN, a resident of Frunze (//), applied to emigrate. In February 1978 he received a refusal on the grounds that “you have more relatives here than in the Federal Republic of Germany’ (Tilman has two brothers in West Germany, from whom he had received the invitation). In September 1978 Tilman again applied for permission to emigrate.

Yakov VAGNER, a resident of Kuragino in the Krasnoyarsk Region (central Russia), has been trying to get permission to emigrate since 1976. The “higher authorities’ (the Krasnoyarsk UVD, the USSR MVD and the CPSU Central Committee) direct him to the Kuragino UVD, while M. I. Sviridenko, its head, says: “I don’t decide your fate. I only accept your applications. The regional authorities decide.’

In August Alexander MILLER (CCE 49) received a routine refusal. He then sent his passport and a declaration renouncing his Soviet citizenship to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet.

Pyotr Iosifovich EBEL (b. 1937) has been applying for permission to emigrate since 1972. He has submitted his documents five times already.


38 Germans living in Lithuania have put their signatures to an appeal addressed to “Members of the American Trades Unions”. The appeal lists the political, economic and cultural restrictions and repressions to which Soviet Germans are subjected. The signatories ask for help in emigrating from the USSR.



Comrade Brezhnev, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet;

President Scheel of West Germany;

Chancellor Schmidt of West Germany,

On the eve of a visit to West Germany by L. I. Brezhnev, Chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, a court in Moldavia sentenced Ivan Vagner, a worker of 32 years’ experience, who is trying to get permission to emigrate to West Germany, to one year’s imprisonment for so-called parasitism. I appeal to you, and through you to the governments of the USSR and West Germany, to intervene in Vagner’s case and restore justice …

Andrei Sakharov, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 4 May 1978.

On 6 May A. D. Sakharov delivered this letter in person to the West German Embassy and to Brezhnev’s Kremlin office. On 26 June A. D. Sakharov was informed by the USSR Procurator’s Office that the case of Vagner had been returned for re-examination. On 2 August A. D. Sakharov was informed by the Moldavian SSR Procurator’s Office that:

“In the case of Ivan Ivanovich VAGNER an oversight review has been demanded by the Moldavian SSR Procurator’s Office and accepted in part by the Presidium of the Moldavian SSR Supreme Court.

“The case has been returned for further examination, to establish I. I. Vagner’s state of heath and the source of the sums of money he possesses.

“I. I. Wagner has been released from detention.”



On 15 November B. Shumilin, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the USSR, received in turn a large group of Moscow women refuseniks (CCEs 47-50) and some of their husbands.

During the conversation he told Gyuzel KHAIT that in December her family would receive exit visas.

Shumilin refused to show the women the reports from their places of work, on the basis of which OVIR had refused them visas — “on security grounds”. He said it would be the same in future.

Shumilin stated that there was no maximum term for obtaining permission to leave and that no such term would be fixed. He gave them to understand that there were people who would never be given permission to emigrate. At the same time, he said that refuseniks who had been waiting for over five years were special cases and should be given particular consideration.

Shumilin promised to end the illegal practice of some OVIRs of demanding that schoolchildren provide references from their schools.

At the time of Shumilin’s conversation with the refusenik women, there were American senators in Moscow, On 21 November (when the senators had gone) Shumilin did not receive three refusenik women whom he had earlier promised to see.


In June 1978 Sergei RUZER from Moscow (CCE 45) was refused permission to emigrate. At an interview after this refusal Colonel S, A. Fadeyev, Head of the Moscow OVIR, looked very embarrassed and said, “I do understand that you have every reason to complain”, but did not deign to disclose the reason for the refusal.

It was only in November, during a talk with Shumilin, that Ruzer managed to discover that the reason for the refusal had been a “security ban” from his last place of work: the Centre for Scientific Organization of Labour in the Chemical Industry.


In January 1978 the Employment Bureau in Tbilisi sent Isai GOLDSTEIN (CCE 48) to the Tbilisi Section of the Electrical Technology Research Institute [TONIETI], but the Director of this Institute, Lekishvili, refused to accept him as an employee because of the secrecy of research at the Institute.

On 18 January officials of the Lenin district OVD in Tbilisi issued a statement that I. Goldstein was avoiding work.

All attempts by I. Goldstein to obtain work in his specialized field have been unsuccessful.

In April he appealed for help to M. Gudushauri, Head of the Lenin district OVD. In June the latter replied that Goldstein should apply to the Employment Bureau. I. Goldstein followed this advice, but Senior Inspector Sokolov told him that there was no employment opening for him.

In a declaration to M. Gudushauri, dated 11 September, Isai Goldstein writes:

“I bring to your notice the fact that I am continuing to try and find work, without ceasing to be involved in socially useful activity without pay. If my work savings run out, I shall apply to the USSR Ministry of Finance, asking that it give me unemployment benefit.”


On 21 December 1977 a meeting of representatives from the Rossiya collective farm in Talovaya district, Voronezh Region (Central Russia), refused to allow four families of MATVEYEVS — in Ilynka village the Matveyevs are not necessarily relatives — and the PISKAREV family to leave the collective farm (CCE 49; the date of the meeting there is incorrectly given).

(During the years from 1974 to 1976, twelve families left Ilynka. Another 14 families have applied to leave. The above-mentioned five families are actively continuing their campaign to leave, while the others have “fallen silent”. Since 1976 no one has been allowed to leave.)

In the spring and summer of 1978, they tried to obtain justice in Moscow. At the RSFSR Procurator’s Office they were told that they should have been released from the collective farm but were refused any kind of help. In the waiting-room of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet they were told: “If you were pensioners, we would let you go, but as it is — who would be left to do the work?” The Deputy Head of OVIR at the USSR MVD explained to them that “Letting you go wouldn’t be in our interest”’.

In September the heads of the five families agreed to travel to Moscow again.

On 18 September the chairman of the village soviet handed them an invitation to come to the district soviet executive committee on 20 September; on 19 September they were given summonses to the district military enlistment office. All five family heads, however (Yakov Isayevich Matveyev. Yakov Mikhailovich Matveyev, Samuil Morafeyevich Matveyev, Moisei Einovich Matveyev and Ein Mikhailovich Piskarev) travelled to Moscow and spoke of their situation regarding emigration at a press conference.


On 3 April the Moscow refusenik Grigory ROZENSTEIN (CCE 50) was given an official warning at police station No. 27 to end his “parasitic way of life”. In reply Rozenstein wrote a declaration stating that this sanction was against the law and was one of the elements of the anti-Jewish and anti-religious campaign which had been promoted in the Soviet Union.

The Rozensteins’ home is traditionally the place where Jewish refuseniks in Moscow hold Jewish religious festivals. It was also here that the symposium on Jewish culture was held (CCE 43).

At the beginning of 1978 Rozenstein was taken to the central KGB office and warned: if his religious activities continued, a criminal case would be initiated against him.


Karl WARMBRAND (Varmbrand), a resident of Tashkent (Uzbekistan), is 68 years old. He was born, brought up and educated in Germany. In 1939, to save himself from the Nazis, he fled from Germany and ended up in the Soviet Union. There he was sentenced for illegally crossing the frontier. In 1941 he was amnestied as a political emigre but permitted to live only in Uzbekistan. In 1943, under pressure from the police, Varmbrand became a Soviet citizen.

In 1974 Varmbrand wanted to emigrate to East Germany — he was not allowed to and his letter of complaint to Honecker about this refusal remained unanswered. In 1975 Varmbrand discovered that his sister and brother were in Israel, and a year later that his twin sisters were in West Germany. His relatives sent him an invitation.

On 10 February 1977 Varmbrand and his wife handed in applications for emigration to Israel to the Tashkent OVIR. On 14 June 1977 they received a refusal, without a reason being given. They appealed against the refusal in a letter to the All-Union OVIR and in a letter to Brezhnev. Later they were informed by the Tashkent OVIR that Moscow had confirmed the refusal. No reasons for the refusal were given.

A year later, in February 1978, Varmbrand sent in a fresh application for a review of the original decision. The next day he was told that the refusal remained in force. On 6 March Karl Varmbrand wrote a complaint to General Khasanbayev, Minister of Internal Affairs for the Uzbek SSR. He emphasized that he and his relatives were all advanced in years and that further lobbying would be difficult for them. Although neither Varmbrand nor his wife had ever been involved in secret work, Khasanbayev said that Varmbrand had been refused emigration on security grounds.


The violinist Valery SHEVCHENKO-LERNER (Novosibirsk, 104 Gorky St., flat 11) was refused permission to emigrate in September, “because it is inexpedient”. He managed to discover that his ‘emigration file’ contained a letter from the Khabarovsk KGB stating that, as his brother was doing political work in the Army, his emigration was undesirable (as it might injure his brother’s reputation).


In June-July 1978, Josif KRASS, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Junior Research Officer at the Modelling Laboratory of Productive and Biological Processes of the Department of Theoretical Cybernetics at the Institute of Mathematics, Siberian Section of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and Galina KOLESOVA, Junior Research Officer at the same Laboratory, applied for emigration to Israel.

When Kolesova was handing in her application, she was asked to produce written consent from her child’s father to his son’s emigration. She explained that the father of her child had already emigrated from the USSR and was living abroad. In spite of this, the Novosibirsk OVIR insisted; the child’s father sent a telegram in which he “gave his consent” and asked that Kolesova be allowed to leave as soon as possible.

In August the ‘Leningrad Kirov Factory’ production unit transferred a sum of money to the Institute of Mathematics, Siberian Section of the USSR Academy of Sciences, to be paid as a prize to Krass, Kolesova and engineer Larisa Kononenko for fulfilling their contracted work.

I. A. Poletayev, a Candidate of Technical Sciences and head of the Laboratory, confirmed the proposed prize. However, V. T. Dementyev, D.Sc. (Physical and Mathematical Sciences) and head of the Siberian Section, and V. L. Makarov, D.Sc. (Physical and Mathematical Sciences) and Deputy Director of the Institute, refused to countersign.

On 20 September Makarov informed Krass that the district Party Committee had banned them from receiving the prize, because of their intention to leave the Motherland.

On 22 September S. L. Sobolev, Director of the Institute, signed the proposed award and sent it to the personnel section of the Institute for inclusion in instructions.

On 26 September 1978, at a reception to mark the opening of an international conference on “Differential Equations and Mathematical Calculation’, Dementyev said in the presence of witnesses to a Senior Research Officer of the Laboratory, Yu. I. Gildernum, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences: “Yids should be throttled! Yids will never get any damned prize from me! “

On 27 September A. V. Sychev, Secretary of the Institute’s Party Bureau, confiscated the award from the personnel section, declaring that Sobolev had changed his mind.

On 28 September the Party Bureau took this decision — to recommend to the local trades union committee that the prize be given to Kononenko but not paid to Krass and Kolesova because of their low level of morality, as expressed in their wish to leave the Motherland.

On 2 October the union committee decided — unanimously, except for one abstention, to ‘support’ the parallel proposal by Dementev and the recommendation of the Party Bureau. Kononenko was paid the portion of the prize allotted to her.

At the beginning of October Major-General Slanctsky of the Novosibirsk UVD invited Kolesova to meet him and told her that he was refusing her permission to emigrate because she had more close relatives in the USSR than in Israel.

In the middle of October Krass and Kolesova brought an action against the Institute of Mathematics in the Soviet district People’s Court in Novosibirsk. Judge N. G. Mozina accepted the case for investigation.

On 25 October 1978, at a pre-trial discussion, a legal representative of the Institute — Junior Research Scientist A. A. Batishchev — gave a completely new reason why the prize had not been awarded: the low quality of the work done. When the judge said that this version did not correspond to the documents submitted to the court, Batishchev declared that a special commission would be set up which would confirm the low quality of the work, and that the corresponding documents would be submitted later. The judge fixed the hearing for 10 November.

On 26 October Kolesova received a phone-call from the father of her child in Canada, who told her he was beginning a campaign for her emigration

On 2 November Kolesova was told at the Novosibirsk OVIR that she had permission to emigrate. She was given three weeks to do so.

At the request of the Institute of Mathematics, the court hearing was transferred to 24 November. On 20 November the lawyer engaged by Krass refused to carry on with the case he had accepted. On 22 November the Novosibirsk OVIR gave Krass permission to emigrate. On 23 November Krass asked the court to defer examination of the case, as he could not find a lawyer.

Meanwhile the union committee had ‘established’ a new reason for the non-payment of the prize money: the work had not been finished.

At the end of November 1978, Kolesova left the USSR. Krass is due to leave in December.



In May and June 1978, the Kazakh Germans Ivan and Nelli Teirer, Valentin Klink and Helmut Martens (CCE 49) left the USSR.

The Leningrad residents Vadim Nechayev and Marina Nedrobova (CCE 49), Kirill Kostsinsky (CCE 49), Andrei Filippov (CCE 47) and Lev Konin (CCEs 45-7) have emigrated from the USSR.

In September 1978, Olga JOFFE (CCEs 11, 15, 18, 20, 21) and her mother N. Ya. SHATUNOVSKAYA left the USSR.

The following Jewish refuseniks have been allowed out of the USSR: Muscovites A. Nizhnikov (CCE 50), Ya. Gudz (CCEs 47, 48), L. Schastlivaya (CCE 47), I. Ass (CCE 43), B. Kats (CCE 50), Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences V. G. Levich, M, Pekker from Leningrad (CCE 49) and E. Pargamanik from Kiev (CCEs 47, 48).

The following ex-political prisoners have left the USSR: G. Rode (CCEs 45, 47), V. Kalnins (CCE 50), Yu. Mashkov (CCE 50), N. Svetlichnaya (CCEs 43-5, 47, 48; she left on an invitation from the USA), V. Uzlov (CCEs 46-8), the “aeroplane man” I. Zalmanson (see Releases in “the Prisons and Camps”, CCE 51.9), N. Budulak-Sharygin (see same section and “Biographies”, CCE 51.//) and M. Makarenko (CCEs 46,48).


At the beginning of August A. ZINOVIEV (CCEs 43-5, 48) was allowed out of the USSR. Not long before he was given permission to emigrate, he had once again been refused.

Zinoviev was not allowed out “to Israel for permanent residence” but to West Germany, on a visitor’s invitation. He left, therefore, while still a citizen of the USSR. But the Gazette of the USSR Supreme Soviet (No. 37, 13 September) announced that the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet had deprived Zinoviev of Soviet citizenship “for activities which dishonour the title of citizen of the USSR”. On this occasion the Decree depriving him of citizenship was not itself published, nor was the date of its issue given in the Gazette.


In November Aishe SEITMURATOVA (CCEs 47, 49), a Crimean Tatar activist, left the USSR.

At the end of June 1978, she had submitted a new appeal to the CPSU Central Committee. On 26 June she was received by Filatov, Head of the Central Committee reception office. He said that she could talk about emigration to K. I. Zotov, Head of OVIR at the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). The next day (not a reception day) K. I. Zotov received her and suggested she should write a declaration asking for a review of the refusal to allow her to emigrate. During the conversation Seitmuratova said that the invitation from relatives in Israel, which she had submitted to the Samarkand OVIR, was an enforced formality, but that she could submit an invitation from her real relatives (cousins) living in the USA. Zotov replied that there was no need for this.

In July, when A. Seitmuratova was living with her brother in the Crimea (he is one of the few who came to the Crimea ‘legally’, as part of organized labour recruitment), she was sought out there and told that she had permission to emigrate and could draw up the documents in Samarkand.

At the end of October, she received her emigration documents (to Israel) and decided to fly to Moscow on 3 November. At the airport, however, before boarding, certain persons told her she would not be flying: “Your presence in Moscow over the next few days (i.e., during the public holidays) is undesirable.”

On 20 November 1978, Seitmuratova flew to Vienna.

During the customs inspection at Sheremetyevo Airport, typed copies of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, and of the Convention Against Discrimination in Education, as well as a group photograph of Crimean Tatar delegates (about 40 people) on Red Square in the summer of 1967, were not allowed through. (In 1967 a few people from that delegation, including Seitmuratova, were received by Andropov, Mikoyan, Shchelokov and Rudenko).


About 20 January 1978, M. MAKARENKO escaped the surveillance of the MVD and KGB for the third time (CCE 48).

On 28 January his son-in-law Ye. Murashov (CCE 46) was seized on the street and taken to the Leningrad KGB. A man who refused to give his name demanded that Murashov ensure that by 13.00 on 31 January Makarenko would be at the KGB or at least that he would phone to say he was on his way. If he agreed, the ‘man’ promised that Makarenko would get a residence permit in Leningrad, the surveillance order would be repealed, he would receive a visa to leave the USSR and a series of other ‘benefits’; if not, he would be captured in five days at the most, and would get a new ‘term’ — either under Article 190-1 (on the basis of testimony from his former cell-mates, with whom he had shared a cell for a month in October-November 1977, CCE 48), or for evading surveillance, or for slandering the ballerina Kolpakova (CCE 48).

Letters asking Makarenko to drop in were also sent (to Murashov’s address) by I. A. Kolpakova, by two researchers from the Leningrad regional Party Committee, by the Procurator of Leningrad, the Head of Leningrad OVIR and a number of other officials.

In June Murashov was summoned to the Leningrad regional Party Committee and told to “Clear out!” On 9 June Leningrad OVIR accepted applications to emigrate from Murashov on his own behalf, and also for his wife and son and Makarenko himself. On 20 June Murashov was told that they had permission to emigrate and was asked to give a written guarantee that they would leave by 10 July. Murashov replied that his father-in-law, who had not expected such a quick decision, had gone south for a rest and that he would not be able to get in touch with him.

On 24 July G. V. Romanov, First Secretary of the Leningrad Region Party Committee received from Makarenko a list of his legal claims against the KGB, the MVD and various courts concerning the theft of his money and property to the sum of 11,298 roubles, 9 kopecks (some of these claims were listed in CCE 48).

On 7 August Colonel Bokov, Head of Leningrad OVIR, told Murashov that the surveillance of Makarenko had been repealed and that they should leave by 31 August.

On 3 September Makarenko left the USSR.

On leaving, Makarenko circulated in samizdat a volume entitled Some letters, telegrams and reviews of the exhibition of works by Pavel Nikolayevich Filonov (1883-1941), held in Akademgorodok from 18 August to 27 September 1967 (Makarenko was then Director of the art gallery of the Siberian Section of the USSR Academy of Sciences). This volume contains 45 of his complaints and declarations — out of the 200 which he wrote in the 14 months after his release (entitled “A Report from the Socialist Middle Ages”), and a short account of his life during those 14 months entitled “Information in Case of Need”. (This account is dated 30 August 1978; it contains many interesting details left out of CCE 48 and this issue.)

Makarenko has described his life from his birth to his arrest (1969) in the book The Story of my Life: An Answer to Provocateurs (a supplement to my appeal to the RSFSR Supreme Court), written in the Lefortovo KGB Investigations Prison and smuggled out. This book was published in samizdat in 1970-1971; in 1974 it was published abroad [note 3].


In August the Kiev literary critic Igor POMERANTSEV (CCE 48) emigrated from the USSR.

In August 1976, he was detained on the beach in Odessa. He was interrogated for six days by KGB Lieutenant-Colonel V. P. Menshikov and KGB Major V. N. Melgunov, who accused him of having given his acquaintances the books Gulag Archipelago, From Under the Rubble and Invitation to a Beheading, which were confiscated from his friend Josif Zissels (CCEs 44, 49). Pomerantsev rejected all these accusations as baseless and unproven. He refused to talk about his acquaintances or friends. Towards the end of the sixth day Pomerantsev was informed that he was under arrest and would be transported to Kiev, after which he was unexpectedly released. During the six days Pomerantsev spent the nights with his ‘interviewers’ at the Novaya Moskovskaya Hotel.

In October 1977, officials of the Kiev KGB interrogated no fewer than 16 of Pomerantsev’s acquaintances, trying to obtain the same kind of evidence from them (see above). Those interrogated included: G. Tokayuk (CCE 48), engineers T. Korchagina and N. Sagalovskaya, translator M. Levina, Ya. Borodovsky (an employee of the Nuclear Research Institute), the doctor L. Sheindlin, linguist A. Lesovoi, patents specialist V. Karmazin, music-teacher M. Nezabitsovskaya, orchestra leader A. Smarichevskaya, the woman student L. Oleinik, V. Matyukhin (a member of the Kiev Chamber Orchestra), and the critic’s mother R. Pomerantseva.

During his interrogation, Matyukhin stated that Pomerantsev had disseminated libellous anti-Soviet fabrications, for example, by stating that in the USSR a creative personality could not realize his potential.

In November 1977 Major Melgunov gave Pomerantsev a warning “according to the Decree”. The text of the warning mentioned dissemination of libellous fabrications “defaming …”, storing and disseminating harmful literature, regularly listening to hostile radio broadcasts and having contact with foreigners. Pomerantsev refused to sign the warning.

In November 1977 Pomerantsev’s friends G. Tokayuk (CCE 48 and this issue) and M. Belorusets (CCE 48) also received warnings “according to the Decree”’.

At the same time KGB Major Izorgin advised Pomerantsev to emigrate.



[1] Korchnoi tied for first place in Amsterdam with Grand Master Tony Miles.

[2] In the USSR the corrective-labour camps were sometimes referred to as the ‘small zone’ [malaya zona], as distinct from the entire country outside the camps, ‘the large zone’ [bolshaya zona], which some considered to contain little more freedom than the penal system itself. (A similar contrast was made by opposition-minded Germans living under the Third Reich.)

[3] Makarenko’s volume was published in full in Volnoye Slovo (Possev Verlag, Frankfurt), 1974, No. 12.