KGB report. About the anti-Soviet activities of the so-called Helsinki Groups in USSR, and measures to counter their activities. [R 15 November 1976, 2577-A] total 3 pp.
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USSR COMMITTEE For State Security
At the USSR Council of Ministers
15 November 1976
To CPSU Central Committee
About the Hostile Actions of the So-called Group for
Assistance of Implementation of the Helsinki Agreements in the USSR
In recent years, the adversary’s special and propaganda services have been trying to create the appearance of the existence in the Soviet Union of a so-called “internal opposition;” [they] have undertaken measures to provide support for those inspiring antisocial trends and have objectively encouraged bringing together the participants of various tendencies of anti-Soviet activities.
Thus in 1969, anti-social elements under the leadership of YAKIR and KRASIN created an “initiative group” for purposes of uniting organizationally the participants of the so-called “movement for democratization.”
In 1970, to energize the anti-social activities of hostile individuals, CHALIDZE created the so-called “Committee for Defence of Human Rights,” which in addition to him also included Academician SAKHAROV and Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences SHAFAREVICH.
In 1973, the functions of an organizational centre for uniting the anti-socially inclined individuals were assumed by the so-called “Russian section of Amnesty International,” headed by TURCHIN and TVERDOKHLEBOV.
Members of these named organizations established contact with some foreign anti-Soviet centres
and engaged in the collection and dissemination of libellous materials for the purpose of discrediting the Soviet state and social regime.
As a result of the measures undertaken by the Committee of State Security, the “initiative group” and the “Committee for Defence of Human Rights” had compromised themselves completely, and practically ceased to exist, and the activity of the “Russian section” was localized.
However, notwithstanding the failures of the efforts to create an “internal opposition” in the USSR, the adversary did not give up on this idea.
On May 12 of this year, on the initiative of Corresponding Member of the Armenian SSR Academy of Sciences Yu. F. Orlov, unemployed, born in 1924, the antisocial elements announced the creation of a “Group for Assistance of Implementation of the Helsinki Agreements in the USSR”
The following individuals are members of this “group:” A. I. Ginzburg, repeatedly tried for criminal activities, born in 1936, Jewish, unemployed; P. G. Grigorenko, born in 1907, Ukrainian, pensioner; professional criminal A. T. MARCHENKO, born in 1938, Russian, serving his exile term in the Irkutsk oblast; Jewish extremists V. A. Rubin, born in 1913, Jewish, emigrated to Israel; A. D. SHCHARANSKY, born in 1948, Jewish, unemployed; and V. S. SLEPAK, born in 1927, Jewish, unemployed; participants in various hostile actions: SAKHAROV’s wife E. G. BONNER, born in 1922, Jewish, pensioner, M. S. BERNSHTAM, born in 1949, Jewish, emigrated to Israel, M. N. LANDA, born in 1918, Jewish, pensioner, L. M. ALEXEEVA, born in 1927, Russian, unemployed, and A. A. KORCHAK, born in 1922, Ukrainian, employee of the Institute of Earth Magnetism of the Ionosphere and Dispersal of Radio Waves of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
With the creation of this group, the individuals named above are pursuing the subversive goal of placing in doubt the sincerity of the USSR’s efforts in implementing the statutes of the Final Act of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and thus to put pressure on the government of the Soviet Union on the issues of implementation of the Helsinki Accords, primarily those of the “Third Basket.”
Members of the “group” collect information about cases of alleged violations of the Final Act by the Soviet government, and in particular about “violations of the basic rights of Soviet citizens,” “persecution for dissent,” and so on.
They use various channels to pass the information collected on these issues to the governments of the countries who signed the Final Act. According to the original idea of the “group” members, in special cases they would appeal to those countries with requests to create an international commission to investigate the circumstances of the case. At the same time, the “group” counts on the pressure of public opinion in the West on the Soviet government, and is not trying, according to ORLOV, to “look for support among the [Soviet] people.”
The anti-social elements have put forth appeals to the heads of states who took part in the Helsinki Conference to establish similar informal control groups, which could subsequently be united in an international committee in their countries.
During the period of its existence, the “group” has undertaken a number of efforts to obtain formal recognition by the U.S. state organs. Thus, ORLOV, in his conversation with First Secretary of the Political Department of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow RICHARD COMBS, insisted that the U.S. State Department should give official recognition to the “group,” and that the Americans should use the information passed to them by the “group” at the level of governments and heads of states, including at the forthcoming conference in Belgrade.
The Committee for State Security is undertaking measures to compromise the members of the “group,” and to put an end to their hostile activities.
Reported for your information.
CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE FOR STATE SECURITY
Translated by Svetlana Savranskaya For the National Security Archive.