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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

THE CASE OF ZINOVYEVA AND OTHERS, 1972. FOLDER 23. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY

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    Mitrokhin describes KGB reports on slanderous and politically harmful material disseminated in Kaluga Oblast.
    "The Case of Zinovyeva and Others, 1972. Folder 23. The Chekist Anthology," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112815
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Mitrokhin describes KGB reports on slanderous and politically harmful material disseminated in Kaluga Oblast. In particular, such instances were reported in the city of Obninsk, where a well-known Institute of Physics and Energy and other scientific organizations are based. As a result of a systematic flight of young scholars abroad, the ongoing correspondence between many employees and foreign correspondents, and visits by foreign specialists, a substantial part of the scientific and technological intelligentsia has been influenced by harmful ideology.

Zinovyeva, a 25-year-old senior laboratory assistant at the Institute of Physics and Energy, had been keeping contact with Vayl and Pimenov, both of whom had been formerly convicted for anti-Soviet activity. Zinovyeva periodically visited them in Kursk and Leningrad, received their manuscripts, and carefully disseminated their works among her colleagues at the Institute. Zinovyeva passed the material on to Ivanovsky, Dobrokvashyn, Vygodin, Sokolovsky and others. She went beyond just introducing her colleagues to the "spicy" writings, organizing regular readings.

Agent "Smirnov" was among her closest acquaintances. Two additional agents penetrated here entourage. But agent "Kazakov" conducted the most active investigation. Zinovyeva introduced Kazakov to Pimenov's memoirs and other ideologically harmful material that she had received from Vayl and Pimenov.

Politically harmful material in Zinovyeva's possession was photographed in the course of the investigation.

With the help of agents Kazakov, Smirnov and K., the KGB tried to persuade Zinovyeva to stop disseminating ideologically harmful material and acknowledge the futility of such efforts. Nevertheless, Zinovyeva continued.

Taking into account that Zinovyeva worked at the institution of strategic significance and enjoyed access to the top-secret projects, the KGB decided to implement legal measures against her. Thus, an emergency maintenance of the dormitory where Zinovyeva had been residing was arranged. During the repair, maintenance personnel came across Zinovyeva's documents that contained slander on the Soviet state.

All the material was seized from Zinovyeva and handed over to the special prosecutor's office in Obninsk, resulting in criminal charges against her. The successful prosecution of the case drew suspicion away from the agents and involvement of the KGB.

The judicial collegium of the Kaluga Oblast found Zinovyeva, Pimenov, and Vayl guilty. Zinovyeva was placed on a year-long probation. Pimenov and Vayl were sentenced to 5 years in a corrective camp.



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