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September 13, 1963

Letter from the worker of Donetsk metallurgy plant Nikolai Bychkov to Ukrainian Republican Committee of Peace Protection, Donetsk

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

Letter from a laborer at the Donetsk metallurgy plant Nikolai Bychkov to the Ukrainian Republican Committee of Peace Protection. Donetsk, 13 September 1963.



TELEGRAPH AGENCY OF UKRAINE                         [State Emblem of USSR]


under Council of the Ministers of Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic

Donetsk, Artem street, 80-a    3-16-64

14 September 1963                                                                                                   

No. 38




  We send you a letter from the open-hearth shop foreman of the Donetsk metallurgy plant Bychkov N.G.









                         Esteemed comrades!

I write you this letter under the impression of the newspaper articles about the Moscow Partial Test Ban Treaty. Some newspapers make a good impression, and this is understandable because every signature under the treaty, every word in support of it gives confidence that the cause of peace will prevail. When I knew that three great powers ended air pollution, I felt that it was easier to breathe and work. I am proud of external policy of our government which expresses the vital interests of all the peace loving people.

But unfortunately some newspapers still publish articles which are upsetting. The “crazies” in America or the French atomic scientists call for war – the leopard cannot change his spots. But it is frightful to hear that the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party do the same. For example, they have declared that they are ready to sacrifice the half of the population of their own country in order to crush imperialism.

I visited China; I met and talked with the Chinese laborers. I have many friends among the Chinese metallurgists. I know very well that they also seek a sustainable peace which is so necessary for improving their life. Of course, none of them approved the attempts to start the thermonuclear war and die in this war. Thus, the Chinese government betrays its people’s interests because it continues its efforts aimed at conducting nuclear weapon tests.

We have the right to ask this government: who and when allowed it to foredoom millions of people to death? Who and when expressed this readiness to make the air radioactive and to jeopardize himself and his children?

I think the Chinese laborers will not support such an adventurist and harmful policy of the leaders of CCP[i]. They will make their voices heard.  

The Chinese Government has made a frightful and brazen statement that the Soviet Union betrayed its people’s interests when it signed the Treaty. As the saying goes: “He lays his own fault at somebody else's door”. So, according to the Chinese leaders, prohibition of nuclear tests and prevention of air pollution is betraying the people’s interests, but the readiness to sacrifice half the population are in conformity with the interests of the people.

Together with my colleagues I understand that the Treaty does not remove the risk of thermonuclear war, but, at the same time, it is the first step to reducing this risk. This is clear for everybody except the Chinese leaders. They try to justify their evil deeds through criticism of the Treaty and they do what they can to circumvent the people of their country and all the honest people of the whole world.

But they fail to circumvent the people. The ordinary people can define very well what is in conformity with their interests and what is aimed against them. I personally would like to tell the Chinese leaders: mind your own affairs and don’t intermeddle in Soviet people’s business. We think that our government found the right path when it signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty, and this is in conformity with our interests and wishes.

Esteemed comrades, I address this letter to you because I hope that, when you advocate peace, you will rely on my voice and on voices of the laborers of our facility who are diehard supporters of the struggle for strengthening peace in the entire world. And let me assure you that we will spare no pain and no effort to strengthen the power of our country.



                [Signature]                          Open-hearth shop foreman of Donetsk metallurgy plant

                                                                                    Bychkov Nikolai Guryevich

Donetsk, 13 September 1963


[i] The Chinese Communist Party [translator's note]

This letter is just an example of similar numerous letters which were sent to Kiev on the occasion of signing Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) in 1963. In these letters the Ukrainian teachers, workers, collective farmers wrote about their happiness because of partial prohibiting of the nuclear tests. At the same time these letters condemn China, whose relations with USSR had deteriorated by that time and who prepared to perform its first atmospheric nuclear test which broke PTBT regime.


Document Information


Central State Archives of Supreme Bodies of Power and Government of Ukraine, Kiev, Fond 4649, Series 1, File 86, pp. 84-86. Obtained and translated for NPIHP by Oleksandr Cheban.


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