KGB report. Measures to halt the anti-Soviet activities of the “Helsinki Watch Committee in the USSR“: Yury ORLOV, Alexander GINZBURG, N.D. RUDENKO, Tomas VENCLOVA. Includes Secretariat Resolution, St 1/15 (25 January 1977), p. 1.
[R 20 January 1977, St 1-15] Total 6 pp.
Proposal to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Remarks by Yu.V. Andropov and R.A. Rudenko from 20 January 1977, 123-A (Kirilenko, Andropov, Ponomarev, Solomentsev, Katushev, Dolgikh, Zimyanin, Ryabov)
To agree with the measures outlined in the remarks of Yu.V. Andropov and R.A. Rudenko in 20 January 1977, 123-A:
Secretary of the Central Committee
January 20, 1977
On Measures to Curtail the Criminal Activities of
Orlov, Ginzburg, Rudenko and Ventslova
The security services and think tanks of the enemy are making serious efforts to revive and expand the hostile activities of anti-Soviet elements on the territory of the USSR. Especially noticeable is the aspiration of Western intelligence services to assist organized group of individuals, who have spoken out against the governmental and social system that exists in our country. The KGB has in its possession reliable information attesting to the fact that official representatives of the US embassy in Moscow are directly facilitating such activities. While at the current phase priority is given to the carrying out of subversive and anti-Soviet activities using illegal methods, the enemy is simultaneously attempting to incite hostile activity in legal and semi-legal forms.
According to our data, accredited Moscow correspondents from the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, England, France and Italy are persistently encouraging the leaders of the anti-Soviet movement to use such methods as “addresses” to the governments of various countries, containing vile slander of Soviet life, “press- conferences”, and open protests against the projects of the Soviet Union in their antiSoviet activities. Recently, a tendency to use the upcoming Belgrade meeting as a basis for legalizing open anti-Soviet declamations against the Soviet system by dissidents is being observed in the activities of the enemy.
The anti-Soviet elements, in concert with the West are striving to, in one form or another, bring into their ranks individuals who have been convicted in the past or new individuals who are easily manipulated. Here are involved nationalists, Zionists, Crimean Tatars, Meskhettian Turks and religious sects.
For example, in Moscow, A.I. Ginzburg engaged in active anti-Soviet activities. He was born in 1936 and was convicted of fraud in 1968 for his attempt to create an NTS group in Moscow. In recent years, he has not been gainfully employed and instead has taken it upon himself to become the manager of the so called “Solzhenitsyn Fund”, which is more or less a front for the rendering of Western financial and material support to antiSoviet convicts.
In Lithuania, the Lithuanian nationalists Venclova and Pyatkus, who has been convicted three times for his hostile activities, have worked towards this end. Kandyva, a past participant in an illegal nationalist organization, along with others, have partaken in similar activities.
In Moscow Yu. F. Orlov has embarked on the path of antisocial activity. He was born in 1924, and for a prolonged period was not gainfully employed. In 1956, as a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and a researcher at the Institute of theoretical and experimental physics, he presented an openly anti-party address, for which he was expelled from the party and subjected to criticism in the pages of Pravda.
This came despite the fact that Orlov was elected a member-correspondent of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. In recent years he abandoned scientific work and wholly dedicated himself to antisocial activity. Orlov is the author of a series of provocative declarations, interviews with foreign correspondents, and a regular participant in openly provocative actions.
In May 1976, upon entering into criminal contacts with a representative of the American embassy, Orlov formed the so-called “Group to Assist the Implementation of the Helsinki Accords in the USSR”, and presently under this cover is attempting to legalize anti-Soviet activity. Under the direct influence of Orlov analogous “groups” have been formed in Kiev and Vilnius.
These groups’ participants have not concealed their true goals: to legally work on the political demagoguery surrounding the Helsinki accords, and to illegally and scornfully propagandize anti-Soviet ideas. In part, the leader of the Ukrainian “group for assistance in the enforcement of the Helsinki accords in the USSR” N.D. Rudenko, who was born in 1920, amongst his supporters directly avows that his goal is to aid the struggle for Ukrainian secession from the USSR.
The West German correspondent Schmidt-Voiner characterized these groups. In his opinion, the aforementioned groups “constitute an attempt, in the wake of the Helsinki accords, to emerge from the quasi-legal status of underground journals and create groups that, in direct contact and dialogue with the West, can draw the world’s attention to violations of the Helsinki accords in the Soviet Union.”
The security services and prosecutor’s office of the USSR applied pre-emptive measures in order to curtail the activities of such “groups”. Administrative organs have held the necessary discussions with them. Many of them were discussed publicly. Party and Soviet organs assisted them in finding employment. Such efforts had meaning, since at other times many deluded citizens have ventured away from antisocial activity.
However, the most hostilely disposed leaders of the so-called “dissidents” did not cease their activity. Moreover, ignoring official warnings, they became more active and adamant in their attempts to legalize their criminal work.
It is necessary to say directly, that such behavior is explained by their total confidence in their own impunity and the defensive measures that could be undertaken by the West in their support. Academic Sakharov plays a significant role in the formulation of such views, whose behavior indicates his belief that the “authorities” can do nothing to him and therefore there is nothing for others to fear. The so-called “dissidents” openly and repeatedly assert this at their gatherings.
In such conditions, measures of a simply pre-emptive nature regarding these individuals neither have the needed effect nor lead to the limitation of their antisocial activities.
In connection with this, the necessity arises to take more decisive measures regarding the interception of the activities of Orlov, Ginzberg and others on the basis of current legislation.
When taking into account the political and operative situation, it seems there are various more expedient and effective ways of curbing the activities of the most active anti-Soviet dissidents.
With regards to Orlov, this means renewing the investigation into the criminal charges brought by the Moscow prosecutor’s office and convicting him under Article 190 of the RSFSR Criminal Code (the deliberate dissemination of libel against the Soviet governmental and social system). Orlov should not be arrested in the course of the investigation unless he forces us to do it with his own actions.
It is necessary to arrest and convict A.I. Ginsburg under Article 70 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The operation should be carried out at his place of residency in the Kaluga Region.
[We should] arrest and convict Rudenko in Kiev under article 62 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (corresponds to article 70 of the RSFSR Criminal Code), but the trial should be conducted not in Kiev, but rather in Donetsk, where there is a stronger legal basis for it.
Venclova, who was born in 1937 and is a former researcher at the History Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, is petitioning for a temporary visit to the US by private invitation. Permission should be granted. The question of his fate in the long-term will be determined by his behavior while abroad.
Regarding other persons, the KGB will enact measures to intercept and curtail their activities in the usual manner.
By taking such measures, we are depriving them (especially Orlov and Rudenko) of the ability to cause controversy in the West and a negative reaction in some communist parties. As listed above, the leaders of the so-called “dissidents” are depending on such an outcome. Even taking into consideration the aforementioned possible outcome, we have no other choice, since Orlov, Ginsberg, Rudenko and others (not to mention Sakharov) are becoming increasingly strident and are setting a very dangerous and negative example for others.
Together with the proposed measures, the ruling circles of Western countries should be shown the ineffectiveness of their policy of sabotage and pressure towards the Soviet Union. We should emphasize that in keeping with the policy of detente, we will
decisively stop any attempts at interference in our internal affairs and denigration of the socialist achievements of the working class.
The political significance of these measures will come from the fact that they will influence the situation in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the Polish People’s Republic other socialist countries, which are presently being subjected to mass pressure from both hostile internal elements and international imperialism.
In connection with the propaganda requirements of the suggested measures, the KGB will be prepare and present to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union the necessary proposals.
20 January 1977, No. 123-A
V. Bukovsky Archive, “Soviet Archive” at INFO-RUSS, Folder 3.2
Translated for the National Security Archive (Tr. 11) by Brian Bachor and Svetlana Savranskaya