4 February 1987* (206-B) Marchenko

KGB memorandum (Bobkov) to International Department. What to tell French Communists about imprisoned dissidents Anatoly MARCHENKO and Alexander OGORODNIKOV. (Marchenko died in December 1986, following a lengthy hunger strike in Chistopol Prison.) [Russian: 4 Feb 87 – 206-B]


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4 February 1987, No 206-B

Comrade Yu.I. Zuyev, deputy head of the CPSU Central Committee International Department

[your ref] No 18-05-146, 16 January 1987

Dear Yury Iosifovich,

Concerning the issues raised by the French comrades we can reply as follows.

Anatoly Tikhonovich MARCHENKO, born 1938 in Barabinsk, Novosibirsk Region, Russian, completed eight years of schooling, repeatedly convicted for committing various crimes. He was being held in a place of detention, became seriously ill [Note 1] and was moved to the hospital where, despite the provision of skilled medical care he died in December 1986 of a heart attack. His wife Bogoraz-Bruchman, together with his family and close friends, took part in the funeral, which was held in Chistopol, Tatar ASSR. The circumstances of the illness and death of Marchenko were conveyed to his relatives and to accredited foreign journalists in the USSR, including the French.

Alexander Iolyevich OGORODNIKOV, born 1950 in Chistopol, Tatar ASSR, Russian, secondary education, repeatedly prosecuted for various criminal offences unrelated to his religious convictions. In 1985 was sentenced in the Perm Region to 3 years imprisonment. He is serving his sentence in the city of Khabarovsk [Soviet Far East]. The release of Ogorodnikov is currently under consideration in view of his declaration [Note 2] that he will end his anti-Soviet activities.

Deputy head of the Committee [KGB]

F. Bobkov



[1] Anatoly MARCHENKO began his last hunger strike in August 1986, in protest against the conditions imposed by Gorbachev’s Politburo on the release of all political prisoners. See report by Chebrikov and Politburo discussion (25 September 1986) and Alexander Podrabinek, “Our campaign for an amnesty” (1986).

His death was reported, with additional detail, by the Munich-based fortnightly USSR News Brief (1986: 22/23-1, 15 December). For Marchenko’s earlier biography, see A Chronicle of Current Events, 31 March 1975.

[2] Alexander Ogorodnikov was released in February 1987 but, according to USSR News Brief (1987: 4-1, 28 February) he did not request a pardon. He was freed by a decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (13 February 1987).


  • 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 inserted in a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.

Translation, John Crowfoot

Fond 89 (Hoover Institution) — Opis 18, Reel 1.994, File 113

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