14 November 1989* (2292-K/ov) Miners

KGB memo (Kryuchkov) to Central Committee (Gorbachev). SAKHAROV’s influence on the striking miners in Vorkuta. [R 14 Nov 89, 2292-K-OV]


[page one of two]

Special Importance
Copy No 2

14 November 1989, No 2292-K/ov

To the CPSU Central Committee
Attention: Comrade M.S. Gorbachev

Concerning the influence of A.D. Sakharov
on the strike movement in Vorkuta

According to reports in the possession of the USSR KGB, information that Academician A.D. Sakharov supports the strike movement has been widely distributed among the miners by the Vorkuta strike committee. Great significance is attached to the support from his side of the political demands being put forward by the miners, and of the decisiveness and general direction of their actions. Sakharov is very disturbed “by the unhealthy situation being stirred up around the striking miners” and intends to take every measure to ensure they have skilled legal support when the legality of the strike is examined by the RSFSR Supreme Court. He also supports the efforts of the city strike committee to obtain aid from American trade unions and to create an independent trade union of the miners of Vorkuta.

On 13 November Academician Sakharov’s reply to an appeal made to him by the strike committee was broadcast on the mine’s internal radio network “Halmer-Yu”. In it he declared: “Yours is an important cause. I support your strike and your demands and consider that this is part of the workers’ movement as a whole and a contribution to the whole country’s struggle with the Stalinist bureaucratic


[page two]

apparatus. This is particularly important in a period of difficult economic and political circumstances.

Sakharov does not exclude visiting Vorkuta himself and addressing the miners.

For your information.

Chairman of the Committee





1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. text written by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.

Translation, John Crowfoot