31 July 1967* (1931-A) Samizdat

KGB memorandum. Samizdat publication in Obninsk by ZHORES MEDVEDEV of Solzhenitsyn’s book The First Circle. KGB plans to detain PYOTR YAKIR with copies of the typescript. [Russian: 31 July 1967, 1931-A] total 3 pp.


[page one of three]


USSR Committee for State Security [KGB] of the USSR Council of Ministers

31 July 1967, No.1931-A


To the CPSU Central Committee

The Committee for State Security reports that, according to information received, Zhores Medvedev, a Biology PhD who lives in the town of Obninsk (Kaluga Region), and his close acquaintance Valery Pavlinchuk have begun making typewritten copies [1] of A. Solzhenitsyn’s unpublished novel “The First Circle”, with the intention of circulating the book among the scientific staff of Obninsk. Pyotr Ionovich Yakir, a research associate at the USSR Academy of Sciences’ Institute of History, who is known as a participant in a number of anti-social actions and has made politically harmful statements, is planning to visit Obninsk for the same purpose.

Bearing in mind that Solzhenitsyn’s novel “The First Circle” is a politically harmful work, it would seem necessary if Yakir goes to Obninsk and obtains copies of the novel to arrest him and confiscate those manuscripts and, as concerns Zh. Medvedev, to instruct the Obninsk Party city committee to take measures to halt his anti-social activities.

I request authorisation


[signature] ANDROPOV


[page two, same text by Andropov with typed addition]

Comrade Kirilenko, A.N.

Top Secret

To be voted on by the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee

Agreed: M. Suslov [signature]


[page three, duplicate of previous page]



[1] For a KGB report on how samizdat changed in the next few years, see 15 January 1971.


  • 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

Fond 89 (Hoover Institution)

Opis 17, Reel 1.994, File 45