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ARRESTS OF THE UKRAINIAN INTELLIGENTSIA 1972 – 1973

08.11.2006

Arrests of members of the Ukrainian intelligentsia 1972 – 1973, the second wave of arrests.

This was the second, after the arrests of 1965, operation by state security bodies of the Ukrainian SSR against the Ukrainian intelligentsia. On 28 June 1971 the Central Committee of the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) passed a secret resolution “On measures to counter the illegal dissemination of anti-Soviet and other politically harmful material” which within a month had been duplicated by the Central Committee of the CPU ((Communist Party of Ukraine) having added “of local material”. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU on 30.12.1971 ruled to begin an all-Union campaign against samizdat to destroy the infrastructure for its preparation and circulation. For the Ukrainian movement a separate “detective story” with “spying passions” was played out (cf. the DOBOSH CASE).

Beginning on 12 January 1972 and for the next year and a half more than one hundred people in Ukraine were arrested, thousands of searches were carried out, and tens of thousands of people were terrorized through interrogations as witnesses, thrown out of their jobs or institutes. Almost all the leading Shestydesyatnyky received the maximum sentence (7 years harsh regime labour camp and 5 years exile) to be served outside Ukraine – in Mordovia or the Perm region of Russia (Zinoviy ANTONYUK,  Viacheslav CHORNOVIL, Ivan HEL, Iryna and Ihor KALYNETS,  Vasyl LISOVY Mykhailo OSADCHY, Yevhen PRONYUK Stefaniya SHABATURA, Oles SERHIYENKO, Vasyl STUS,  Yevhen SVERSTYUK, Ivan SVITLYCHNY, Nadiya SVITLYCHNA, and others).  Those who refused to give testimony (Mykola PLAKHOTNYUK, Leonid PLYUSHCH, Boris Kovhar, Vasyl Ruban) were thrown into psychiatric hospitals.  Isolated attempts to protest against the arrests were ruthlessly suppressed (Vera LISOVA, Mykola LUKASH).

The atmosphere in society unlike that after the first wave of arrests of 1965 was oppressive. Any who refused to testify against those arrested or showed the slightest sympathy for them, were dismissed from their jobs or expelled from institutes. They lost any chance of career advancement or opportunity to have their works published, etc). If the renaissance of the 1920s is justly referred to as the “Executed Renaissance” [“rozstrilyane vidrodzhennya”], so the renaissance of the 1960s could be termed “stifled”. Those who wanted to survive had to make humiliating recantations (Zinoviya Franko, Mykola KHOLODNY, Leonid Seleznenko, Ivan DZIUBA), others hypocritically produced lampoons aimed at those recently their friends or at foreign “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists, hirelings of foreign intelligence services”, choked out of themselves insincere odes to those strangling their country (Ivan DRACH, Dmytro Pavlychko). Some could not endure the suffocating atmosphere and turned to drink or committed suicide (Hryhir Tyutyunyk).  The most steadfast retreated for a long time into “inner emigration” [Lina KOSTENKO, Mykhailyna KOTSYUBYNSKA, Valery Shevchuk), or actually emigrated to Russia (Les TANYUK, Pavlo Movchan).

Under these circumstances public opposition activities ended and those who had remained at liberty returned to underground methods (cf. the UKRAINIAN NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT, the ROSAKHACH (CHORTKIV) GROUP, Stepan KHMARA). 

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