5 January 1966* (St 132/11) Sinyavsky-Daniel

Secretariat. Preparations for the trial of Andrei SINYAVSKY and Yuly DANIEL. Includes joint memorandum from KGB chairman and Procurator-General (23 December 1965, 2843-S), pp 2-7, and February 1966 report on outcome of trial, pp 8-9. [R 5 January 1966, St 132-11] total 9 pp. Excerpts.


[page one of nine]

Workers of all Lands, Unite!


Top Secret

No. St 132/11

Excerpt from Minute No 132, item 11 of the meeting of the Central Committee Secretariat held on 5 January 1966

The 23 December 1965 Memorandum of Comrades Semichastny and Rudenko, No 2843-S

Agree to the proposals of the USSR Procurator’s Office and the KGB at the USSR Council of Ministers, concerning the open judicial hearing of the case of A.D. Sinyavsky and Yu.M. Daniel.


Sent to Comrades Rudenko, Semichastny
(? illegible surname) – 2 January 1966


[page two – 23 December 1965 (2843‑S)]


To the CPSU Central Committee

In addition to 2138-S, 17 September 1965



[page six]                                                                                                           5.

[… ]

At present the KGB, the Central Committee Culture Department and the USSR Union of Writers are jointly preparing reports for the press which will uncover the true character of Sinyavsky and Daniel’s literary activities.

To provide the public with more detailed information, and avert similar activities on the part of certain individuals with hostile intentions, it would seem expedient to examine the case of Sinyavsky and Daniel in an open court hearing at the RSFSR Supreme Court and condemn the criminals to imprisonment under Article 70, part 1 of the RSFSR Criminal Code, for preparing and distributing literary works that


[page seven]                                                                                                    6.

contain defamatory fabrications against the Soviet State and system.

It is proposed that the trial be held in early February 1966. The chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Court Comrade L.N. Smirnov will preside, Comrade O.P. Temushkin, aide to the USSR Procurator-General, is to serve as State prosecutor, and the case will be heard in a courtroom of the RSFSR Supreme Court. The room holds one hundred people and we propose inviting Soviet-Party activists and writers to attend the trial.


After the trial is finished the appropriate reports will be issued in the press and on the radio.

We request your authorisation.

KGB Chairman, Semichastny

Procurator General, Rudenko

[23 December 1965, 2843‑S]


[page eight]

To the CPSU Central Committee

The open judicial hearing of the case of Sinyavsky and Daniel will take place between 10 and 12 January 1966 in the courtroom of the Moscow Region Court (the room can hold 100 people). The case has been processed by the RSFSR Supreme Court and will be heard under Comrade L.N. Smirnov. Prosecution for the State will be conducted by Comrade Temushkin, deputy section head at the USSR Procurator’s Office; the accused will be defended by the attorneys, Comrades [illegible]. It is intended that there will be a prosecutor for the public from the Union of Soviet Writers.

The judicial hearing will proceed in the presence of workers, Party and Soviet activists, and writers and journalists from Moscow. The procedure for their invitation will be established by the Moscow city committee of the CPSU.

Regarding the forthcoming trial, we consider it necessary to make these suggestions about its coverage in the press and on radio:

1. The newspapers “Izvestiya” and “Literaturnaya gazeta” will publish daily accounts of the course of the trial by their own correspondents, and special reports by TASS. The editors of the newspapers “Pravda”, “Komsomolskaya “Pravda”, “Sovetskaya Kultura” and “Sovetskaya Rossiya” can publish items from the courtroom by their correspondents, at their own discretion.

All other newspapers are to publish only the official TASS announcements about the trial. Radio will broadcast reports from TASS and individual items from the newspapers.

Novosti, together with the KGB, are instructed to prepare the appropriate articles about the trial for publication abroad.

Correspondents of the aforementioned newspapers and of TASS and Novosti will be admitted to the courtroom (without cameras) on presentation of permits issued by the KGB.

Foreign correspondents are not to be allowed into the trial.


[page nine]                                                                                                        2.

2. To prepare official reports and an overview of correspondence about the course of the trial a special press-group will be formed, made up of comrades: Yu.S. (?)Melentyev, deputy head of the Central Committee Department of Culture; director, V.R. Sitnikov (deputy head of the Central Committee Department of Propaganda and Agitation; A.A. Belikov, Department of Culture; V.P. Kuznetsov, head of the Administrative Bodies Department; and A.F. Volkov and F.D. Bobkov, KGB.

Central Committee Culture Department, V. Shauro

Deputy head of Central Committee Department for Propaganda and Agitation, A. Yakovlev (A. Yakovlev)

Deputy head of the Central Committee Department for Administrative bodies [signature] (N. Savinkin)

“–” February 1966


The measures indicated in this memorandum have been carried out.

V. Shauro, deputy head of the Culture Department

26 February 1966



Almost a year later Semichastny and Rudenko would report to the Politburo on measures taken against those who had defended Sinyavsky and Daniel (27 January 1967*, Pb 32/5).


  • 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

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