19 May 1971* (Pb 4/48) Sinyavsky

Politburo decision to pardon Andrei Sinyavsky. Includes draft Edict (not for publication) and undated joint note from KGB Chairman, the Procurator-General and the USSR Minister of Justice proposing this decision.  (4 pp).  [Russian: 19 May 1971, Pb 4-48]


[page one of four]

Workers of all Lands, Unite!


[Text along left-hand margin]
Return within 7 days to CPSU Central Committee
(General Department, sector 1)


No. Pb 4 /48

To Comrades:
Brezhnev, Podgorny, Kosygin, Suslov, Andropov,
Rudenko, Gorkin, Yasnov, Savinkin, Georgadze,

Excerpt from Minute No. 4 of the CPSU Politburo meeting,
held on 19 May 1971

On pardoning A.D. Sinyavsky

Approve the draft decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (attached).



[page two]

Not to be published
in the press


On pardoning A.D. Sinyavsky

Taking into acccount that Sinyavsky has set his feet on the path of correction and has served more than two thirds of his sentence,

and taking note of the representation by the USSR Procuracy, the USSR Supreme Court and the Committee for State Security at the USSR Council of Ministers,

The Presidium of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet has decreed that the sentence imposed on A.D. Sinyavsky (b. 1925), on 14 February 1966 by the RSFSR Supreme Court’s Judicial Board for Criminal Cases (seven years’ deprivation of liberty) be shortened by one year and three months by way of a pardon.

Chairman of the Presidium
of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet

Secretary of the Presidium
of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet


[page three]

Sent to Politburo members
for voting

For – M. Suslov


To the CPSU Central Committee

The literary figure A.D. Sinyavsky, author of books of an anti-Soviet content published in the West under the pseudonym “Abram Tertz”, was sentenced by the RSFSR Supreme Court in February 1966 to 7 years imprisonment. He has now served more than two thirds of his sentence.

Observation of Sinyavsky shows that, while in the corrective-labour institution, he has observed the established regime, responded negatively to the attempts by certain prisoners to draw him into anti-social activities, and given no new reasons by his conduct for using his name abroad for purposes hostile to our State.

His wife, Rozanova-Kruglikova, who lives in Moscow, has committed no reprehensible acts.

At the same time, Sinyavsky continues to hold the view that he was not guilty, he denies the anti-Soviet character of his actions, and he still believes his trial was unlawful. With his agreement, however, Sinyavsky’s wife has submitted a petition for a pardon, choosing as an argument the difficulty of raising their under-age son.

Having examined this application and analysed the materials, and also bearing in mind that Sinyavsky’s term of imprisonment ends in September 1972, we consider it possible to give a positive response and reduce his sentence by one year and three months by issuing a pardon.

This measure, in our opinion, would help to distance Sinyavsky from anti-social elements and could have a positive influence on his future behaviour.


[page four]                                                                                                    2.

Drafts of a Central Committee Resolution and a Decree of the Presidium of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet on this matter are attached.

We request authorisation.

Yu. Andropov   R. Rudenko    L. Gorkin




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