KGB on ANDREI SAKHAROV’s funeral (3 pp). [R 20 Dec 89, 3 pp – 2568-K]
[Translator’s notes are bracketed, tr Marta Olynyk]
kb-4 [two illegible words] DISTRIBUTED No. 1658 Secret
177 Copy no.: 2
20.12.89 No. 2568-K
On the Completion of Mourning Events in Connection with the Death of A.
[Andrei] D. Sakharov
[stamp at right: DECLASSIFIED; followed by several indecipherable words and “Security of the Russian Federation”; Employee: signature
(indecipherable) and date: 1994]
On 18 December of this year mourning events in connection with the death of Academician A. D. Sakharov were completed. After bidding farewell to him in the building of the presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Lebedev Physics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the mourning procession made its way to the Luzhniki Sports Complex. During the final stage the bus with the deceased’s coffin was accompanied by around 20,000 people; a group of them, formed earlier of representatives of a number of civic associations, carried the Russian, Ukrainian, Moldovan, and Latvian national flags as well as posters with such inscriptions as “You were the light of the world in the dark kingdom in the midst of an aggressive and obedient majority,” “.. .even in death you frighten them …,” and others.
Approximately 40,000 people, including around 300 People’s Deputies of the USSR, took part in the civil funeral rites, which began at 14:00 in Luzhniki. Twenty-six people gave speeches: 14 People’s Deputies of the USSR; Martelli, Deputy Prime Minister of Italy; Romaszewski, Senator of the Sejm of the PLR [People’s Republic of Poland]; Metropolitan Pitirim; Rev. Gleb Yakunin; and representatives of civic associations.
In their speeches they noted Sakharov’s services to the international community, his unflagging struggle for human rights, and expressed their support for his activities. Individual speakers sought in essence to canonize
the late academician, to turn him into a distinctive symbol of the struggle to create groupings opposed to the CPSU.
Murashov, a member of an inter-regional group of deputies, declared that, in fulfilling Sakharov’s behests, the group is ready to declare itself a parliamentary opposition. Yu. N. Afanas’ev, People’s Deputy of the USSR, harshly criticized the work of the II Congress and appealed for “the unification in a single democratic bloc named after Sakharov.” Major Moskovchenko, a representative of the coordinating council of the Shchit [Shield] Association asserted that “a decisive battle with the Stalinist- Brezhnevite proteges is still ahead.”
After the official end of the civil funeral rites at 16:00 a large number of participants left the site; however, for 40 more minutes the functionaries of informal associations tried to hold an unofficial meeting of a provocative character.
From 17:00 for a period of 30 minutes a ceremony to bid farewell to the deceased took place at the entrance to Vostriakovsky Cemetery. Among its participants were Walesa, the leader of the Polish “Solidarity”; Matlock, the US Ambassador in Moscow; other representatives of the diplomatic corps; foreign correspondents; as well as members of inter-regional groups of deputies.
After the burial a commemorative evening took place at the restaurant of the Hotel Russia (seating for 510).
The mourning events showed that the calculations of specific circles to use them for speculative political purposes have not been justified. As noted, they failed to attract hundreds of thousands of people; for that reason all the mourning events were deliberately dragged out, attempts were undertaken to ensure the participation in the funeral of as large a number of people as possible, especially students. Neither did the appeals to launch mass actions, work stoppages at enterprises and institutions, and naming streets, squares, and populated areas in honor of Sakharov find any mass support.
This is reported as information.
Chairman of the Committee
(signature) V. Kriuchkov