22 January 1970* (Pb 151/XIII) Abuse of Psychiatry

Politburo decision about the mentaly ill. ANDROPOV circulates to fellow Politburo members a report from Krasnodar Region KGB suggesting a widespread threat to public order and the Soviet system from the mentally ill.

Includes note to Politburo from Andropov (19 January 1970, 141-A), p 2, and report to Andropov from Major-General SMORODINSKY (15 December 1969, No 8951), about the activities of mentally ill individuals in the Krasnodar Region, pp 3-5. [R 22 January 1970, Pb 151-XIII] total 5 pp.


[page one of five]

[Workers of all Lands, Unite!]




No. Pb 151/XIII

To Comrades Brezhnev, Kosygin, Suslov, Andropov,
Baibakov, Petrovsky, Shchelokov, Trapeznikov,

Excerpt from Minute No. 151 of the meeting of the Politburo
of the CPSU Central Committee, held on 22 January 1970

Request from Committee for State Security

Instruct the USSR Ministry of Health, the KGB and the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, with the participation of the USSR State Planning Commission and the Council of Ministers of Union republics [3] to present proposals to the Central Committee for the 1st half of 1970 about the detection, registration and organisation of treatment and, in certain cases, the isolation, of the mentally ill within the country.


[Handwritten note, bottom right hand corner]

Implementation, see St-31/19s
Dated 22 February 1972

[Text along left-hand margin]

NOTE: A comrade who receives conspiratorial documents may not pass them to another or acquaint anyone else with their contents unless the Central Committee has specifically given permission.

It is strictly forbidden to copy these documents or make notes from them.

A note and date on which they were read is to be made personally on each document by the comrade to whom they are addressed, signed with his own signature.


[page two]

[Stamp] Minute of Politburo 151 / XIII

Sent to members of the Politburo
CPSU Central Committee for voting


To the CPSU Central Committee

We present a report by the KGB Department for the Krasnodar Region concerning the presence within the region of a considerable number of mentally ill individuals, who are nurturing terrorist and other socially dangerous intentions. A comparable situation is to be found in other parts of the country.

In view of this the Committee for State Security considers it expedient to instruct the USSR Ministry of Health, the KGB at the USSR Council of Ministers and the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, to present proposals to the Central Committee during the 1st half of 1970 about the detection, registration and, in certain cases, the isolation, of the mentally ill as a whole for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

We request authorisation.

Chairman of the Committee for State Security
at the USSR Council of Ministers

Yu. Andropov

19 January 1970
No 141-A


[page three]



To Comrade Andropov, Yu.V.

The KGB for the Krasnodar Region is in possession of materials testifying that a considerable number of mentally ill individuals are displaying socially dangerous and hostile manifestations, and are nurturing criminal, politically harmful intentions, introducing demoralising factors into the life of Soviet people. Over the last two years more than 180 such people have come to the attention of the KGB in the region. Some of them issue terrorist threats, intentions to kill Party activists or commit other crimes. Bychkov, G.L., and Mikov, G.B., made malicious anti-Soviet statements, and threats against certain leaders of the Party and Soviet government. Vorona, A.P., also made terrorist threats, drew up a list of Party activists “due for extermination” in the Krymsk district, and tried to set up an anti-Soviet group. Soni, S.A., voiced malicious, crazy intentions to visit Lenin’s mausoleum, bring him back to life with the help of a cinema camera, and then to kill him. Vatishchev, G.V., visited the Mausoleum where he committed a brazen and cynical act. Dmitriev, O.V., attacked a sergeant in the government’s security force and wounded him. In September 1969, Pikalov, V.M., voiced threats of physical reprisals against one of the leading officials of the Anapa city committee of the CPSU, he also prepared and copied slanderous documents and distributed them.

A number of mentally ill individuals commit dangerous crimes on the State frontier, trying to gain access to ships travelling abroad, with the purpose of leaving the country. In 1969 of the 50 persons trying to illegally cross the State border or gain


[page four]                                                                                                            2.

access to ships travelling abroad on the area covered by border guard No 32 nineteen were mentally subnormal. The most dangerous crimes were committed by P.A. Skrylyov who seized a AN-2 airplane, flew towards Turkey and was shot down over neutral waters by anti-aircraft battery; N.A. Korotenko who escaped from the conscription centre in the town of Kropotkin to Novorossiysk and tried to board an Italian ship; V.I. Pavlov was prepared to betray the Motherland in a boat with an outboard motor near Sochi in 1968, and had been already detained for similar attempts in Batumi; and V.A. Grekalov who persistently sought for ways to flee abroad.

Certain ill individuals travel to Moscow and try, with a fanatical persistence, to meet with foreigners, gain access to the embassies of capitalist countries with crazy intentions or with requests to be granted political asylum. In November this year P.L. Rybka visited the French embassy; A.I. Cherep tried several times in 1969 to visit the US embassy; S.V. Rezak tried to gain access to the US embassy; N.I. Leibovsky met with English people at the Inprodmash exhibition and asked them for political asylum, and tried to pass them certain documents.

Many suffering from mental illnesses try to create new “parties”, various organisations and councils and they draw up and distribute draft statutes, programmes and laws. N.S. Shevnin nurtured and forced on others the crazy idea of creating “councils to oversee the activities of the CPSU Central Committee Politburo and local Party bodies” and for this purpose sought to find and persuade fellow-thinkers; he made trips to Moscow to meet with figures from Communist and workers’ parties to “discuss” this issue; and he blackmailed individuals who did not wish to support him and issued threats in a letter to the secretary of the Novocherkassk city committee of the CPSU in the Rostov Region, linked to the well-known events in 1962 [1].  V.A. Pak has systematically prepared and distributed documents of a politically harmful content, and demanded the creation of a so-called world government.


[page five]                                                                                                            3.

Many mentally ill individuals write masses of letters containing slanderous, anti-Soviet fabrications and threats to various regional and central organisations. Among them D.I. Mikhalchuk, who was trying to emigrate, wrote to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet in 5 April 1969: “Do you want my deeds to be identified with the deeds by the Borovitsky Gates?” [2] In a conversation with the chairman of the Belorechensk city executive committee Mikhalchuk said he could not vouch for himself and might commit a crime.

Among the mentally ill quite a few are inclined to commit assault, rape and murder and several have tried and succeeded in committing such audacious crimes. For example, during an aggravated period of illness L.G. Buznitsky cut off the head of his ten-year-old son, B.N. Onelyan killed her husband and A.M. Ponomarenko murdered his sister.

According to the information of the mental health clinics in the Krasnodar Region there are there are many aggressive and malicious individuals among the 55,800 mentally ill and 700 of them are a danger to society. The largest numbers live in Krasnodar, Sochi, Novorossiysk, Maikop, Gelendjik, and in the Eisk and Krymsk districts.

In order to prevent dangerous consequences on the part of the named category of individual the State security bodies in the Region are obliged to take the necessary measures, which takes up a great deal of effort and funds.

At the present time, according to the regional health department, 11-12,000 individuals required hospital treatment but the in-patient facilities of the necessary type have beds for only 3,785.

In order to prevent dangerous manifestations by individuals suffering from mental illnesses, it is our view (and this view is shared by those in charge of the Region’s health services) further improvement is required to the system of measures used to identify, register, hospitalise and treat these individuals, and also to oversee their behaviour outside treatment centres.

The Regional Party Committee and the Regional executive committee have been given general information about the issue.

Department head of the KGB at the USSR Council of Ministers
for the Krasnodar Region, Major-general


15 December 1969
No 8951



[1] A protest by hundreds of workers over price rises and food shortages in Novocherkassk in early June 1962 was dispersed by soldiers firing into the crowd, wounding dozens and killing 24 (the official death toll).

[2] Attempted assassination of Brezhnev outside the Kremlin in Moscow on 22 January 1969 by army major Ilyn.

[3] On 10 August 1971 new directives were approved by the Procurator-General’s Office, the Ministry for Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Health for the “Urgent Hospitalization of Mentally-Ill Persons Representing a Public Danger” (see Chronicle of Current Events, 28.9).


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