This Book and its Sources

The archival documents referred to in this book were photocopied in Russia in the early 1990s. Most of them are available here, in the Bukovsky Archives online.

The dates and original reference numbers of documents cited in the text have been included throughout this book. When an English translation is available the date is followed by an asterisk, e.g. 29 December1980*, Pb 230/34. If the document is one of the few not in the online archive it is identified in the footnotes and its status is denoted 5 January 1981, St 244/50)^. (Of the 334 citations of archival documents in the book, only two dozen are from documents^ not currently online.)

The original departmental numbering of most of these documents is prefixed either by the letters “St”, indicating their origin in the CPSU Secretariat, or “Pb”, denoting a document of the most powerful body in the Soviet Union, the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee. A common suffix is -A, indicating a document submitted to the Politburo by or on behalf of KGB chairman Yury Andropov.

Marked Secret or Top Secret, these memoranda and decisions were often further classified as “Special File”, “Of Particular Importance”, and, the highest level of all, “For Your Eyes Only”, thereby imposing additional limits on their accessibility within the highest echelons of the Party: see, for example, 23 April 1974*, 1071-A/ov, a highly-classified communication between Andropov and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.


The book has been translated from the 1996 Russian edition (Moskovsky protsess), in a version edited and prepared by the late Natalya Gorbanevskaya. Its publication in Russian was funded by the Solzhenitsyn Foundation and Ilya Roitman.

Chapter Six, “The Revolution that Never Was”, has been updated for the present edition by the author, drawing on materials from the Gorbachev Foundation archives in Moscow: they were brought to England by Pavel Stroilov (the Stroilov Archive—SA).

Almost all the footnotes were derived and adapted from the 1995 French edition, Jugement à Moscou (Robert Laffont, Paris). A handful were added by myself.

John Crowfoot
August 2018