26 February 1973* (409-A) Sinyavsky

KGB to Central Committee. On the need to keep writer Andrei Sinyavsky away from “anti-social elements”. Suggestion: offer and permit him the opportunity to work in France for 3 years (2 pp). [Russian: 26 February 1973, 409-A The attached original is unabridged and so is the English translation — see Note 1 below].


[page one of two]


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

26 February 1973
No. 409-A

To the CPSU Central Committee

The Committee for State Security is working to exercise a positive influence on Andrei Donatovich Sinyavsky, who was released early from imprisonment,[note 2] and to enable him to keep away from anti-social elements. {paragraph 1}

The measures adopted have compromised the name of Sinyavsky to a certain degree in the eyes of that part of the creative intelligentsia who formerly sympathised with him. Some of them, according to our information, consider that he has links with the KGB. Sinyavsky is following the behaviour that was jointly developed after his return to Moscow, leading a secluded pattern of life, and engaged in work on issues of 19th-century Russian literature and the history of mediaeval Russian art. {2}

Using the “authority” of Sinyavsky we have been able, through his wife Rozanova-Kruglikova, to influence in a manner favourable to us the attitudes of Daniel and Ginzburg who are serving terms of imprisonment. As a result, they are not making attempts to actively participate in the so-called “democratic movement”, and avoid contacts with the Yakir group. {3}

At the same time, while Sinyavsky in general follows our recommendations, he retains his previous idealist creative attitudes and does not recognise Marxist-Leninist principles in matters of art and literature. As a consequence, his new works cannot be published in the Soviet Union. {4}

Various bourgeois publishing houses are trying to make use of this circumstance by offering their services for the publication of Sinyavsky’s work. This could again lead to the creation of an unhealthy atmosphere around his name. {5}


[Page two]                                                                                                   2.

On 5 January 1973 Sinyavsky applied to the Visa and Registration Section of the Moscow Internal Affairs department for permission to travel to France, together with his wife and son (b. 1965), for three years on the private invitation of Professor Claude Frioux of the Paris University. {6}

In view of the above, and taking into account Sinyavsky’s wish to retain his Soviet citizenship, we consider it would be possible not to obstruct the departure of the Sinyavsky family from the USSR. {7}

A positive decision would reduce the likelihood of Sinyavsky becoming involved in a new anti-Soviet campaign, since it would deprive him of the position of an “internal émigré”, detach him from his creative milieu, and finally place Sinyavsky among the writers of the “emigration”, who no longer are of public significance. {8}

It can subsequently be decided whether or not it is expedient for Sinyavsky to return to the Soviet Union after his stay in France. {9}

We request authorisation

Chairman of the Committee for State Security




[1] An abridged version of this document, published on 12 September 1992 in Vesti, a Russian-language newspaper edited in Israel by former dissident Eduard Kuznetsov, led to a public furore and accusations that Bukovsky had doctored this and other documents in his possession (see Judgement in Moscow, 3.12 “The Party’s most powerful weapon” [last section] and 3.13 “Intelligentsia dolorosa”).

In the version published in Israel the top of the document was cropped and paragraphs {1}, {2}, {3} and {6}, {7} and {9} were excluded (Arkady Dubnov, “Bukovsky vs Sinyavsky”, Yeltsin Centre website [R]).

[2] Sinyavsky was pardoned two years earlier, see 17 May 1971*, Pb 4/48.


  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.

Translated and annotated by John Crowfoot

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