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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

AROUND THE NOMINATION (THE CASE OF ORLOV). FOLDER 42. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY

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    In this folder Mitrokhin expresses the KGB’s concerns regarding the potential for Yuri Orlov’s nomination for a Nobel Prize. Orlov was well known in the Soviet Union for his dissident activities and for organizing the Moscow Helsinki Group to monitor Soviet adherence to the 1975 Helsinki Accords. According to Mitrokhin, he openly supported all anti-soviet groups and organized public protests for the Soviet human rights movement. As the KGB was concerned, they made many efforts to take the movement under control, but these did not lead to success. Mitrokhin provides examples of the KGB’s attempts to stop Orlov’s activism. Mitrokhin states that the West, however, was in extreme support of Orlov’s ideology. In order to help his movement to gain more influence, Western officials nominated Orlov for the Nobel Prize in 1978. The KGB immediately developed a complex plan to assure Nobel officials that Orlov did not deserve the prize and that it would have been unfavorable for the prestige of the Nobel Prize if Orlov was awarded it. Mitrokhin states that KGB chief Yuri Andropov took control over the operation because Orlov winning the prize would have been crucially harmful for the Soviet political system. Mitrokhin provides the detailed plan in this entry. A KGB resident in Oslo sent an urgent telegram to Moscow on October 27, 1978 stating that Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin became laureates of the Nobel Peace prize. Mitrokhin provides full telegram text in this entry and also states that the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Orlov did not win the prize because it would have negatively affected relations between the two countries.
    "Around the Nomination (The Case of Orlov). Folder 42. The Chekist Anthology," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110343
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    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110343

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