KGB (Chebrikov) to Central Committee. Attempts by “the Adversary” to subvert Soviet writers and restore reputation of emigré authors (5 pp). [R 1 Jun 86, 5 pp – 1135-Ch]. Excerpts.
[page one of five]
Resolution of Comrade Gorbachev
see p. 5
[illegible] June 1986, No 1135-Ch
To the CPSU Central Committee
[Partially illegible] efforts of the Adversary
Soviet creative intelligentsia
Materials reaching the KGB shows that the Adversary is engaged in targeted subversive actions aimed at discrediting the Party’s policy of accelerating the socio-economic development of the country and the further improvement of social progress, and he is paying particular attention to representatives of the creative intelligentsia, first and foremost to figures in literature and the arts.
Taking into account the universal increase in the political and work activity in the life of our country, Western special services and centres of ideological sabotage are modernising the forms and methods of their subversive activities. These are aimed at the “ideological deformation of socialist society”, the incitement of revisionist and oppositionist feelings and they are trying to push Soviet writers onto the path of a departure from socialist realism and Party-mindedness in literature. To achieve his hostile intrigues the Adversary is striving to lodge in the thinking of the creative intelligentsia a nihilistic assessment of the entire practice of the building of socialism in the USSR.
[The first source of concern were “political degenerates” among writers who had emigrated (Solzhenitsyn, Kopelev, Maximov, Aksyonov, and Vladimov were named). They were, Chebrikov said, being “resuscitated” and encouraged by the special services of the Adversary to seek out like-minded individuals in the Soviet Union. The Party’s policy of further “democratisation” rendered certain writers a particular target]
those writers who have earlier been ideologically unstable, and not always come through the test of their civic maturity and class conviction: writers who, directly or in a veiled form, have cast doubt on the correctness of Party policy as concerns collectivisation, dekulakisation, the struggle against Trotskyism, and CPSU policy towards ethnic groups; writers who declared that there is a lack of social justice and creative freedom in our country, demanding the “removal of censorship” and the release of literature and art from the supervision of Party bodies.
These very issues, it may be noted, were those presented by Solzhenitsyn in 1967 in a provocative letter to the 4th Congress of Soviet Writers that then gained the support of 80 members of the USSR Union of Writers. Among them were [Anatoly] Rybakov, [Felix] Svetov, [Vladimir] Soloukhin, [Bulat] Okudzhava, [Fazil] Iskander, [Boris] Mozhayev, [dramatist Mikhail] Roshchin and [poet Vladimir] Kornilov.
The information to hand shows that throughout the subsequent period these writers were under the constant attention of the special services and centres for ideological sabotage of the Adversary. At present their ideological operations has been significantly activated, both by the embassies of capitalist countries in Moscow and by periodic visits abroad as part of international cultural exchanges …
[Finally, the Adversary was trying to depict this as a new epoch far less dependent on the ideological policies of the Party]
… They are promoting their idea that on the basis of “common spiritual goals”
there can be a fusion of the creative process of the artistic intelligentsia in our country with former representatives who are actively engaged in anti-Soviet activities in the West and numbered among the “geniuses of Russian literature in exile “.
According to our information, certain Soviet writers have spoken, in public statements and private conversations, in favour of a re-examination of attitudes towards the personalities and creative output of a number of renegades and are insisting on the relevance of considering their works as an inseparable part of a “single Russian culture”. In particular, M. Roshchin and [A.] Pristavkin have expressed an opinion about the possibility of Solzhenitsyn’s return to the USSR and the expediency of publishing his “works” in our country in the near future. In April this year at a gathering of the association of Moscow poets, V. Leonovich publicly called for a reconsideration of attitudes towards the renegades Voinovich and Brodsky, who are living in the West. In March 1986 during an evening event at the Mayakovsky Museum he voiced a high opinion of the work of the anti-Sovietist Galich, and expressed dissatisfaction that his courageous works are not published here. Speaking at the All-Union seminar of Slavists in Narva [Estonian SSR], Okudzhava called Galich “the first in importance among Russia’s bards”.
Recently statements and letters in defence of particular individuals convicted of unlawful activities have been sent to various authorities and these are being used by the West for purposes hostile to the USSR, while their lampoons are currently declared in the West to be “an inseparable part of Russian literature”…. The USSR Committee for State Security is taking the necessary measures to counteract the subversive efforts of the Adversary among the creative intelligentsia.”
Chairman of the Committee [KGB] Chebrikov
[Gorbachev added a resolution to Chebrikov’s report]
1. Send to members and candidate members of the Politburo and to secretaries of the Central Committee. 2. Comrades Ligachev and Yakovlev, please have a word with me.
1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ]
2. Text written by hand is indicated in italic script, and
3. by underlined italic script when a handwritten phrase, figure or word
has been added to a previously typed document.