This memorandum, signed by Yurii Andropov, the chairman of the Soviet Committee of State Security (KGB); Nikolai Shchelokov, the Minister of Public Order (whose ministry was renamed the Ministry of Internal Affairs in late November 1968); and Mikhail Molyarov, the Procurator of the USSR, was sent to the ruling Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) eleven days after the demonstration in Red Square against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. The document lays out the basic facts of the case as viewed by the KGB and the CPSU. The document mentions the names of the eight activists who were in Red Square as well as two who helped with planning but were not actually in Red Square, Inna Korkhova and Maiya Rusakovskaya. Natal’ya Gorbanevskaya, one of the eight, was detained but released because she had recently given birth. However, a year later she was arrested in connection with her involvement and sentenced to a harsh term in a psychiatric prison.
September 20, 1968
Yu. Andropov to the CPSU CC
This document was made possible with support from Blavatnik Family Foundation
Copy No. 1
of State Security of the USSR
under the USSR Council of Ministers
20 September 1968
To the CPSU CC
By way of addendum to our No. 2102 from 5 September 1968, I am reporting that the Moscow procurator, in contact with the Committee of State Security, has completed the investigation and is remanding to the court the criminal case charging L. I. BOGORAZ-BRUKHMAN (the wife of the imprisoned writer [Yulii] Daniel), P. M. LITVINOV, K. I. BABITSKII, V. I. FAINBERG, V. A. DREMLYUGA, and V. N. DELAUNAY. The guilt of these people in staging disturbances on Red Square on 25 August 1968 was confirmed by the testimony of multiple witnesses and by material evidence that was confiscated.
During the operational work carried out after the arrest of the above group, information was gathered indicating that the accused, especially BOGORAZ-BRUKHMAN and LITVINOV, are hostile to Soviet reality. Up to the time of their arrest, they, together with BABITSKII, FAINBERG, and the others, had been distributing letters protesting the earlier judicial proceedings in the cases of [Lidiya] GINSBURG, [Yurii] GALANSKOV, and others — that is, as a source told us, “they spent their time actively spitting on the social and state order.”
On the eve of organizing the disturbances in Red Square, these people provided detailed information to foreign correspondents accredited in Moscow so that they could provide defamatory information to Western countries about the “demonstration.” In a conversation with sources, the accused LITVINOV said: “Warning of the forthcoming demonstration was conveyed to journalists from numerous Western press agencies who could photograph the demonstrators for the press and depict them as representatives of the avant-garde of the intelligentsia of the USSR’ who were protesting the occupation of freedom-loving Czechoslovakia. To ensure that the demonstration would appear in the photographs as realistic as possible, the journalists advised the demonstrators to choose specially the place alongside Lobnoe mesto opposite St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Statue of Minin and Pozharsky in order to create a very striking image in the press.” Through foreign bourgeois journalists, this group had also earlier conveyed defamatory information about the Soviet Union to the West.
Characterizing the political views of the participants of the group, in particular DELAUNAY, our source indicates that the latter, “calling himself an ardent opponent of the Soviet regime, vehemently despises Communists and Communist ideology and fully agrees with the views of Djilas. Analyzing rthe activity . . . of the group, he (DELAUNAY) explained that they do not have a definite program or charter of the sort typically associated with an organized political opposition, but they all agree that our society is not developing normally and is lacking freedom of speech and freedom of the press. They also agree that harsh censorship makes it impossible to express one’s opinions and thoughts and that the authorities suppress democratic freedoms. The activity of this group and their propaganda have developed mainly in a circle of writers and poets but have also encompassed a wide circle of people working in mathematics and physics. They have conducted agitation among many scholars with the aim of pressuring them to sign letters, protests, and appeals that have been composed by those who more actively pursue this kind of activity, Petr YAKIR and Pavel LITVINOV. These people are the core around which the above group has been formed. . . . YAKIR and LITVINOV were the most active figurees in the so-called “samizdat.”
This same source, noting the status of the arrested DELAUNAY in this group, declared: “DELONE . . . had access to a circle of prominent scholars and academicians among whom he fit right in and thereby linked the [protest] group with the scholarly world . . . Among his acquaintances he named Academician [Andrei] Sakharov, who initially reacted cautiously and with mistrust toward the activities of YAKIR, LITVINOV, and their group and who wavered in his positions and assessments, but gradually, under the influence of DELAUNAY’s explanations, began to sign various documents of the group. . . ; and Academician [Mikhail] LEONTOVICH, whose views coincide with those of the group. According to DELAUNAY, many from the scholarly world share their views but are cautious, fearing that they will lose their jobs and be excluded from the party.
According to operational information, DELAUNAY in 1967-1968, being a graduate student at Novosibirsk State University and living at Academician [Aleksandr] ALEKSANDROV’s residence and being a pupil of his grandfather, conducted vigorous anti-Soviet activity among graduate students, put up leaflets at the institute, painted appeals and slogans on a house in Akademgorodok, and distributed “samizdat” literature.
Instances of the distribution of leaflets and the appearance of inscriptions on houses in Novosibirsk’s Akademgorodok have occurred.
Agents’ reports indicate that members of the group LITVINOV, DREMLYUGA, AND DELLAUNAY, having not been engaged in socially useful work over a prolonged period, have used the resources of the so-called “private foundation” created by their group created with monetary contributions from individual representatives of the creative intelligentsia and scholars.
The arrested DELAUNAY told our source: “We are helped by monetary resources from the intelligentsia, highly paid academicians, and writers who share the views of the YAKIR-LITVINOV group. . . . We have the right to demand money, we are the ones who take action and they share our views but fear for their own positions, and so let them support us with money."
According to information at the disposal of the KGB, BOGORAZ-BRUKHMAN and LITVINOV recently received through secret channels a collection of poems from [Yulii] DANIEL mocking Soviet reality, and they sent it for publication abroad.
The Committee of State Security believes it is advisable to refrain from using these operational data in the case at hand in order to avoid giving it a political tinge.
Chairman of State Security
This memorandum from KGB Chairman Andropov to the CPSU Politburo follows up on the initial report from Andropov, Shchelokov, and Malyarov. The document highlights the “malevolent views” of the group that held an unauthorized demonstration in Red Square on 25 August 1968, singling out Pavel Litvinov, Larisa Bogoraz, Viktor Fainberg, and Vadim Delaunay for particular opprobrium. Andropov stresses that the KGB will intensify its crackdown on opposition figures who try to “spread defamatory information about Soviet reality.”
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