14 March 1978* (Pb 97/54) Rostropovich

Formal, jointly signed request (March 1978, 459-A) by KGB, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Central Committee that Mtsislav Rostropovich and his wife Galina Vishnevskaya be stripped of their Soviet citizenship (5 pp). [R 14 March 1978, Pb 97-54] Excerpts.


[page one of five]

To item 54 of Minutes No. 97


To the CPSU Central Committee

Depriving Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya of their Soviet citizenship

Analysis of the material we are receiving show that for the entire period of their time abroad since 1974, Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya have been engaged in anti-social activities, denigrating the Soviet State and social system and committing other acts unworthy of the title of Soviet citizen.

By their provocative actions and defamatory statements Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya have repeatedly provided material for inciting anti-Soviet insinuations in the West, including malicious attacks on the USSR over the notorious issues of “human rights” and “creative freedom” in our country….


[page three]


Such behaviour by Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya creates a precedent for imitation by other politically immature representatives of the creative intelligentsia. Following their example, several musicians, directors, writers, artists and sportsmen have already submitted applications for extended visits abroad.

In view of the above we consider it expedient to deprive M.L. Rostropovich and G.I. Vishnevskaya of their Soviet citizenship, and to publish an edict of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet in the News of the USSR Supreme Soviet and a short item about this issue in Izvestiya.

We request authorisation.

Andropov [KGB chairman]
Gromyko [USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs]
Zimyanin [Central Committee Secretary]

March 1978


[pages four and five – Text of decree depriving Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya of their Soviet citizenship, and Excerpt from Politburo minutes]



An item in the Chronicle of Current Events, July 1971, listed various forms of extra-judicial harassment and persecution to which Rostropovich was subjected, in the USSR and in Soviet reporting of his musical activities abroad, between November 1970 and May 1971.


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


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