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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

THE CASE OF HMELYOVA: "THE WITCH." FOLDER 37. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY

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    In this entry, Mitrokhin relates the KGB details surrounding “The Witch”—Aida Moiseeva Hmelyova (b. 1936), a native of the Kokchetavskii region in Russia. Mitrokhin describes how Hmelyova was investigated by Moscow’s Fifth Directorate of the KGB which shadowed her throughout 1969.
    "The Case of Hmelyova: "The Witch." Folder 37. The Chekist Anthology," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110779
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In this entry, Mitrokhin relates the KGB details surrounding "The Witch," Aida Moiseeva Hmelyova (b. 1936), a native of the Kokchetavskii region in Russia. Mitrokhin describes how Hmelyova was investigated by Moscow's Fifth Directorate of the KGB which shadowed her throughout 1969.

According to KGB files, Hmelyova maintained close ties with Ginsburg and Galanskii, and had positioned herself against the Soviet government by participating in anti-state demonstrations, particularly within the Democratic Movement. Drawing upon KGB sources, Mitrokhin mentions that Hmelyova had passed on harmful material to foreign officials, and had spread anti-Soviet documents within her social circle. In February 1971, Hmelyova accompanied Galanskii to the Dubrov Camp in order to collect information about the condition of inmates and to take photographs in restricted areas of the camp. The KGB file asserts that when an agent named Gabriel Kolko (the identity of Kolko within the entry is questionable) was arrested, he declared that the materials he had received to send abroad came from Hmelyova.

The entry goes on to state that Hmelyova even had a negative impact on her children, in whom she aroused anti-Soviet sentiments. Hmelyova's apartment had often served as a gathering place for foreign visitors. Beginning in 1975, Hmelyova and Sichev (whom she married in 1977), became the spokespersons for the so-called Free Artists. According to KGB sources Hmelyova and Sichev often hosted exhibitions at their apartment which presented the works of the artists, and were attended by anti-Soviets, foreign correspondents, and diplomats.

The KGB entry concludes by describing how in May 1978, the KGB conducted a preventative talk with Hmelyova. During the conversation Hmelyova was warned that in the long run, her role in anti-Soviet movements would result in administrative sanctions. Nonetheless, Hmelyova continued to assume an adversarial stance. In January 1979, Hmelyova participated in the founding of an organization called "Election-79." In October 1979, Hmelyova and her husband Sichev emigrated abroad.



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