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Dissident movement in Ukraine



Article 64 of the UkrSSR Criminal Code (the counterpart of Article 72 of the RSFSR CC) came into effect on 1 January 1961.  It states:

“Organizational activities aimed at committing particularly dangerous state crimes, and also taking part in an anti-Soviet organization.

Organizational activities aimed at preparing or committing particularly dangerous state crimes, at creating an organization aimed at committing such crimes, as well as taking part in an anti-Soviet organization

-  shall be punishable in accordance with Articles 56 – 63 of this Code”.

This Article replaced Article 54-11 of the previous Criminal Code of the UkrSSR which had been in force from 1927 (counterpart of Article 58-11 of the RSFSR CC) “Any organizational activities, aimed at preparing or committing the crimes set out in this section, as well as participation in an organization formed to prepare or commit one of the crimes set out in this section”. It did not have its own penalties, however a number of normative acts adopted after the War introduced means of punishment not envisaged by the Criminal Code against people accused of “organizational activities” (right up to lifelong exile in remote regions of the USSR).

The new wording of the Article was introduced by the Law of the USSR on criminal liability for state crimes (Article 9) from 25.12.1958. Up to 1961 court prosecution in all republics of the USSR was carried out directly on the basis of this law and was then included in the new criminal codes of the Soviet republics. It was applied (usually together with Article 62, and a little less frequently with Article 56) against dissidents who had tried to give them activities some kind of organizational form (the Ukrainian Workers’ and Peasants’ Union of Levko LUKYANENKO, the Rosokhach (Chortkiv) Group of Volodymyr MARMUS, the Union of Ukrainian Youth of Halychyna of B. HRYNKIV and others). Up to 1964 it was used against participants in unregistered religious groups. However the authorities did not apply it against human rights associations (the Initiative Group for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR, the Helsinki Groups and others).

The Law of the UkrSSR from 17.04.1991 “On the rehabilitation of victims of political repression in Ukraine” does not envisage automatic rehabilitation for individuals convicted under this Article. However, as a rule, when the Article was included in a verdict together with Article 62, the individuals are rehabilitated.

In the Criminal Code of Ukraine from 5.04.2001, in the section “Crimes against the basis of Ukraine’s national security” there is no equivalent to this Article.

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