Politburo. Directions to Soviet ambassadors in the Eastern bloc, and in Western countries, concerning the forthcoming trial of Alexander GINZBURG, Yury GALANSKOV, Alexei Dobrovolsky and Vera Lashkova. [R 22 December 1967, Pb 63-122] total 2 pp.
[page one of two]
Workers of all Lands, Unite!
COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION. CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Pb 63 / 122
To Comrades Brezhnev, Kosygin, Podgorny,
Andropov, Ponomaryov, Gromyko, Rusakov,
Excerpt from Minute No. 63
of the CPSU Central Committee Politburo meeting,
held on 22 December 1967
Instructions to Soviet ambassadors about the trial of Ginzburg and co
Confirm the draft instructions to Soviet ambassadors (attached).
SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
In the next few days there will be an open trial at the Moscow City Court of the case of Ginzburg, Galanskov, Dobrovolsky and Lashkova.
The usual anti-Soviet commotion has been raised abroad around the forthcoming trial and the accused are being presented as “young, talented writers”, “champions of free creativity” and so on. In reality Ginzburg, Galanskov, Dobrovolsky and Lashkova have no connections with writers and literary work: the first two are white-collar employees, Dobrovolsky is a binder, and Lashkova is a typist. None of them have any literary works to their names.
At different times agents of the NTS (a well-known branch of the CIA) have established contact with them in order to recruit them to carry out espionage tasks. To begin with foreign agents instructed them to recruit people for the NTS, supplying them with instructions as to the forms and methods of struggle with the socialist system, providing them with the means to duplicate leaflets of an anti-Soviet character and to maintain secret communications with those abroad. […]
The Soviet security agencies believed it was necessary to halt the links of Ginzburg, Galanskov, Dobrovolsky and Lashkova with hostile intelligence organisations and not permit them to become drawn into grave crimes of espionage.
Only if the leadership of the Friends [local Communist Parties] apply to you are you to explain the above.
This communication is being sent to USSR ambassadors in European socialist countries (apart from Albania), and also to Austria, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Great Britain, Denmark, Italy, Canada, Norway, Syria, USA, Uruguay, FRG, Finland, France, Chile, Ceylon, Sweden.
The trial was held from 8 to 12 January 1968.
Before and after it took place there were numerous protests across the Soviet Union, about the charges and about the failure to admit the press and the public to the hearings. One reaction to this demonstrative lack of “glasnost” was the appearance of the first issue of the Chronicle of Current Events (30 April 1968).
The first post-Stalin trial to evoke such a response was the trial of writers Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuly Daniel, early in 1966.
There are five other entries in the archive in 1967 and 1968 relating to the Ginzburg-Galanskov Trial.
1. Notes and additions by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. Text added by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been inserted
in a previously typed document it is indicated by underlined italic script.
Translation, John Crowfoot