25 November 1967* [Information Dept] Ginzburg-Galanskov trial

Information Department to Central Committee. Memo critical of the preparations for the forthcoming trial of Ginzburg, Galanskov, Dobrovolsky and Lashkova (excerpt). [R 25 November 1967] total 5 pp.


[page one of five]


About the case of the anti-Soviet group of Ginzburg, Galanskov,
Dobrovolsky and Lashkova

In their present form the charges in the case of Ginzburg, Galanskov, Dobrovolsky and Lashkova have been drawn up so that both the items of the accusation and the presentation and argument of the charges being brought put both the investigators and the State prosecutor in a very unfavourable position.

Holding the trial on the basis of this present version of the charges could lead to a new anti-Soviet campaign abroad similar to that which developed after the trial of Sinyavsky and Daniel. For in its present form the charge sheet lays emphasis on the gathering and, in part, the composition of tendentious (essentially anti-Soviet) materials to be sent abroad. This pushes into the background the better proven and, for the Soviet public and that abroad, more convincing accusations. There are sufficient convincing facts in the case files for the trial to be used for the propagandist exposure of the under-hand methods of the US intelligence service, working through one of its branches, the NTS, which, in order to deceive Soviet and foreign public opinion, is termed an “independent political organisation”.

Since the charge sheet has already been handed to the accused and their lawyers and cannot be changed, it is expedient during the course of the judicial investigation and the speeches of the State prosecutor at the trial to construct the argument of


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the prosecution and of the judicial investigation on the basis of the following main framework. It can be confirmed by facts at the disposal of the investigative bodies.

1. I is expedient to explain why Ginzburg, Galanskov, Dobrovolsky and Lashkova found themselves involved in anti-Soviet activities, and how they became infected with anti-Soviet attitudes. […]

2. It would be expedient in presenting the evidence of their guilt to concentrate all attention on their links with the NTS. […]


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At the same time, while stressing these points in particular, it would be expedient to show that the accused, perhaps, did not fully appreciate the true purpose of their activities, which were concealed by NTS emissaries under phrases about “the fight for freedom and democracy, the fight against injustice” and so on. In essence, however, the accused were carrying out tasks of a branch of American intelligence and were being prepared for use, in the last instance, as a network of agents for American intelligence under the guise of the NTS. […]

3. It would be expedient to reduce to a minimum, if they are to be mentioned at all, every mention in the charge sheet concerning distribution by the accused of the


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so-called White Book, the underground magazines Phoenix and Syntax, various appeals and documents linked to the “struggle” for the release of Sinyavsky and Daniel. In this way, the accusation will be concentrated around one indisputable fact: the accused acted on instruction from the NTS, a branch of American intelligence hiding behind the banner of a political anti-Soviet organisation. […]


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In order to ensure the trial’s success as propaganda, in the Soviet Union and abroad, it would be expedient before the trial takes place (and it would be desirable to limit it to one day’s duration), after ensuring that second-rank witnesses do not hear it, to do the following work:

1. To prepare and circulate guidance to Soviet ambassadors which will outline the above-presented interpretation of the trial. This guidance should be sent in good time (one or two days before the trial begins) to Soviet ambassadors in a number of countries so they can inform the leadership of fraternal parties.

2. Central Committee departments together with the corresponding KGB directorates should prepare the necessary reports for newspapers about the course of the trial to be published in “Komsomolskaya pravda”, “Moskovskaya pravda”, and the weekly “Nedelya”. Similar accounts should be prepared for distribution abroad through the Novosti press agency and through radio broadcasts.

We request your authorisation

[signed] Shevlyagin [1]



[1] D.F. Shevlyagin was head of the Central Committee Information Department from 1965 to 1968.


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