August 29, 1985
Meeting of the Politburo of the CC CPSU, Regarding Yelena Bonner's Request to Travel and Andrei Sakharov's Situation
The Politburo discusses whether to permit Bonner to visit the United States to receive medical treatment and visit relatives, a decision complicated by concern about the potential risk of an embarrassing uproar if her request was denied barely two months before Gorbachev’s planned summit meeting in Geneva with Reagan.
On Human Rights. Folder 51. The Chekist Anthology.
Outlines the KGB’s response to the USSR’s signing of the Helsinki Accords in 1975. The accords obligated signatories to respect their citizens’ human rights. This gave Soviet dissidents and westerners leverage in demanding that the USSR end persecution on the basis of religious or political beliefs. Some of the KGB’s active measures included the establishment of a charitable fund dedicated to helping victims of imperialism and capitalism, and the fabrication of a letter from a Ukrainian group to FRG President Walter Scheel describing human rights violations in West Germany. The document also mentions that the Soviet Ministry of Defense obtained an outline of the various European powers’ positions on human rights issues as presented at the March 1977 meeting of the European Economic Community in London from the Italian Foreign Ministry. The KGB also initiated Operation “Raskol” [“Schism”], which ran between 1977 and 1980. This operation included active measures to discredit Soviet dissidents Andrei Sakharov, Yelena Bonner, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, measures designed to drive a wedge between the US and its democratic allies, and measures intended to convince the US government that continued support for the dissident movement did nothing to harm the position of the USSR.