1 November 1979* (Pb 172/113) Olympic Games

Politburo decision based on KGB advice. Response to US Department of Justice concerning potential terrorism and drug distribution during the summer Olympic Games in Moscow – rejection of offer to cooperate (4 pp). [R 1 November 1979, Pb 172-113] Excerpt


[page two of four]

In a conversation with the Soviet ambassador to the USA about holding the [1980] Olympic Games in the USA and in the USSR, the American Minister of Justice Civiletti drew attention to the danger of increased activity by terrorists, the transporting of narcotics and the commission of other crimes during this period. In his view, it might be expedient to establish working contacts behind the scenes between the relevant Soviet and US agencies to “exchange ideas about specific concerns on these issues” and then set up “special working groups to exchange information and for both sides to take measures”. Civiletti expressed a desire to receive a preliminary reaction to his proposal.

As you know, we and the Americans have different approaches to the issue of terrorism. This is graphically demonstrated, for example, in attitudes to national-liberation movements and their organisations.

Moreover, in the USA a halo of “martyrdom” has been created around convicted terrorists in the USSR such as [Eduard] Kuznetsov who intended, with a group of accomplices, to seize an airplane and kill members of the crew.[1] Kuznetsov and the renegade Bukovsky, also a supporter of terror, have been received at the White House by the US President. The two Brazinskas murderers [2] have received asylum in the USA.

[page three]

In view of the above, the USSR Committee for State Security does not think it would be expedient to establish contact with the American agencies via Soviet administrative bodies as proposed by the USA Minister of Justice. At the same time, we could reach mutual agreement to pass one another, via the usual diplomatic channels, information about supposed terrorist or other criminal activities linked to the holding of the Olympic Games.




[1] Imprisoned in the 1960s for his part in the open-air readings at Moscow’s Mayakovsky Square, Eduard Kuznetsov played a leading role in the June 1970  attempted hijacking of a plane in Leningrad (see Chronicle of Current Events, 17.6 : “The Leningrad Trial of the ‘Hijackers’,” 31 December 1970).

[2] “Brazinskas murderers” — a reference to the first successful hijacking of a Soviet plane in October 1970 by father and son Pranas and Algirdas Brazinskas. They shot dead a young stewardess and several crew members were wounded when the two men demanded that Aeroflot domestic flight No 244 divert to Turkey.


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, JC