Voices from the Past (No. 09): The trial of Tatyana Velikanova, 27-29 August 1980

From 5 August to 9 October 1980 (Chronicle of Current Events, No 58) twenty two people were prosecuted in the USSR in a succession of political trials. 

Many of the accused were arrested the previous year. TATYANA VELIKANOVA and FATHER GLEB YAKUNIN, the two most prominent detainees, were taken into custody on 1 November 1979, a month before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Their trials were delayed until after the 1980 Summer Olympics, held in Moscow that year. 

Today these events have a disconcerting echo. It was in 2014, after the Summer Olympics in Sochi, that Putin seized control of the Crimea and unleashed the ongoing campaign in east Ukraine. 

In 1980 some of those on trial admitted their guilt. They were given reduced or suspended sentences. 

After a decade of reporting on Soviet political trials TATIANA VELIKANOVA (1932-2002) took a principled stand and refused to take part in the proceedings. She received a nine-year sentence. Her refusal to accept the conditions of Gorbachev’s pardon delayed her release until the end of 1988. 

Note: This report appeared in the thirteenth year of the Chronicle’s publication. The text carries numerous links to earlier issues which can found on the CCE website. 

Foreword and annotation, John Crowfoot 

Source: A Chronicle of Current Events, November 1980, Issue 58 

58.1 The Trial of Tatyana Velikanova 

No 58 : November 1980 

From 27 to 29 August the case of Tatyana Mikhailovna Velikanova (b. 1932; arrested 1 November 1979, CCE 54.1), charged under Article 70 of the RSFSR Criminal Code, was heard by the Moscow City Court, presided over by Deputy Chairman of the Court V. G. Romanov. The prosecution was led by an Assistant Procurator of Moscow City, S. N. Chistyakov; the defence counsel (appointed by the court) was lawyer A. V. Batova. 

The trial was held in the people’s court of Moscow’s Lyublino district, where A. E. Krasnov-Levitin (CCE 20.1[7]), Vladimir Bukovsky (CCE 23.1), Andrei Tverdokhlebov (CCE 40.2) and Yury Orlov (CCE 50.1) also stood trial. The building is so designed as to facilitate the closure of all its entrances and the approaches to it. 

The Velikanova “case” consists of 12 volumes of material. 

During the pre-trial investigation some 40 witnesses were questioned, and the case materials contain extracts from the cases of P. Yakir and V. Krasin (CCE 28.3, 29.8, 30.1), Gabriel Superfin (Trial, CCE 32.3) and Sergei Kovalyov (Trial, CCE 38.3). The case file also contains material transcribed from Western radio broadcasts about the Chronicle of Current Events. At the request of the investigator the administrations of a number of corrective labour camps submitted information on conditions in their camps. 

Questioning of Velikanova began two months after her arrest. Most of the interrogation was conducted by Katalikov (CCE 54) and Malyshev (CCE 56). Velikanova did not reply to any of their questions throughout the pre-trial investigation. She was given Dmitry Dudko‘s “statement of repentance” to read (CCE 57.8). 

Those questioned included Mikhail Solovov (trial, CCE 56.12) and the Pentecostalist Bishop N. P. Goretoi (this issue, CCE 58.18). Both spoke approvingly of Velikanova. Attempts were made to interrogate Valentina Pailodze (Trial, CCE 51.1; Release, CCE 56.21). When asked whether she spoke Russian, Pailodze replied that she spoke both Russian and Georgian only moderately well, and would therefore not give evidence in either language. 

A search was conducted in spring 1980 in relation to the case at the home of Ma-Khun (Releases, CCE 42.4), who was also questioned. The case record contains notes saying that grounds for prosecution under Article 70 have been found in the activities of N. LisovskayaT. OsipovaS. Belanovsky and Ma-Khun

The investigation of Velikanova’s case ended in May. On 30 May she had a conversation with lawyer Batova, but refused her services on learning that she had been appointed by the investigators. 

VELIKANOVA’S FAMILY learned that the opening of the trial had been fixed for 27 August only on the morning of the same day, thanks to a telephone call from a foreign newspaper correspondent. Later they discovered that Western radio-stations had transmitted the information the previous night. 

The area around the court building was cordoned off by officers of the traffic police [GAI] in order to divert the flow of motor vehicles. This happened throughout the trial. Local residents immediately “interpreted” these signs to mean a political trial was taking place and recalled the trial of Yu. Orlov there in May 1978 when talking to the people who had gathered outside the building. 

Apart from the “special public”, only Velikanova’s children and sisters were admitted to the courtroom. Her sisters were searched as they entered, to check they were not carrying tape-recorders. The children were admitted without searches, but during the first recess they were pushed into a side room containing some twelve policemen, who ordered them to “present” the contents of their bags and pockets. When they refused they were forcibly searched. Nothing was confiscated. 


The only occasions when she addressed the court were (1) when she refused the appointed lawyer. “I do not need a second prosecutor,” she said. 

In one of her statements on this subject she reported that according to the lawyer, she, Velikanova, was charged with “illegal contacts with foreigners”. “These are the juridical attitudes of thirty years ago,” observed Velikanova. She also said that during her talk with the lawyer, Batova referred to the trial as “closed”. She ended by saying that in spite of her request, the lawyer had not informed her children of the opening of the trial, and she could not therefore have any faith in Batova. (According to the lawyer, she herself only learned of the venue of the trial one hour before its beginning.) Batova supported Velikanova’s petition for her removal from the case: she stated that she was unable to find common ground with the accused, since Velikanova completely rejected her line of approach to the defence. Batova said in effect that she herself was incompetent in such matters. The court repeatedly rejected petitions for her removal. 

(2) At the start of the trial Velikanova expressed astonishment at the absence in court of her sisters, mother and friends. (The sisters soon arrived. Shortly before the trial her mother suffered a severe stroke, but Velikanova was not told of this. As for the absence of her friends, the Judge referred the matter to the court superintendent.) 

During the trial Velikanova made several requests for her friends to be admitted to the courtroom, since, she stated, she was sure they were outside the court building. Finally the superintendent stated that there was no one outside the doors: at that moment, in fact, the people who had gathered around the court building were being kept several dozen metres away from the doors. 

During the second day of the trial Velikanova attempted to read out her statement explaining her refusal to take part in the trial. The Judge did not allow her to do so and proposed that she hand the statement to the court in written form. The full text is as follows: 

I refuse to take part in the trial because I consider that, like all such previous trials, it is unlawful. The course of the previous trials is already known to me, and I can judge what the course of my own will be from the investigation and the indictment. 

A large number of statements, appeals, etc, are cited against me, in addition to 26 issues of the Chronicle of Current Events. I am charged with defamation. This is an enormous amount of material, covering thousands of incidents and people, and I am convinced that neither the investigation nor this trial has as its aim the investigation of this material. Any objective and impartial analysis of it would naturally reveal no small number of mistakes. But such an analysis would also reveal something else: that the journal, A Chronicle of Current Events, is in no way libellous; and that it has as its aim the most objective and conscientious disclosure possible of instances when the law has been violated by official bodies and their individual representatives, and of instances of opposition to these violations. Not only has most of the material from the Chronicle which features in my case file not been investigated: its investigation has been meticulously avoided. 

The logical consequence are the violations of procedure which occur in all such trials as this. I know of no law, for example, by which anyone could determine who may be present at a trial. I am sure that no such law could exist. Nevertheless, the court or some persons unknown to me decide every time not only who shall not be admitted to the trial, but also who shall be specially invited. They sanction any means of preventing “undesirable persons” from attending the trial or even reaching the court building. Some are detained on the street and taken to a police station on an invented charge, for example, of stealing someone’s handbag. That actually happened to me, and it has happened many times to other people. 

I do not believe in the impartiality of the court. I consider that all those taking part in it – the judge, the lay-assessors, the defence counsel and the procurator – do not dare to act in accordance with the law or their own consciences. If they did, they would not have been appointed to this trial. By participating in this trial I would be collaborating in an unlawful act. I respect the law and therefore I refuse to take part in this trial. 

Apart from the above-mentioned petitions and statements, Velikanova entered into no relations with the court at all. She attended the sittings of the court, maintaining a free and detached attitude: she followed the proceedings attentively and occasionally with close concentration. 

Velikanova was charged with the following: 

– participation in the Action Group for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR, “together with her fellow-thinkers YakirKrasinKovalyov and others”; involvement in the discussion, composition and signing of documents of the Action Group; involvement in the circulation of these documents in the USSR and in sending them abroad, where they had been widely used by “bourgeois propaganda centres” and “foreign anti-Soviet organizations” with the aim of “undermining the ideological, political and diplomatic positions of the Soviet state at an international level”. These activities dated from May 1969 (the organization of the Action Group, CCE 8.10) to January 1972 (CCE 24); 

– involvement, “together with A. SakharovT. KhodorovichS. Kovalyov and other fellow-thinkers”, in the composition, signing and circulation of various letters, statements and appeals during the period from September 1973 to October 1974. By this Velikanova “facilitated acts of ideological diversion against our country”; 

– in October 1974 Velikanova organized a “gathering which included foreign correspondents” to mark “the so-called political prisoners’ day”; at this meeting she gave the foreign correspondents a number of documents which had been “illegally prepared and obtained from places of imprisonment” which contained “libellous fabrications concerning the State authorities, particular aspects of Soviet domestic policy, the Soviet system and Comecon [note 1] (CCE 33.1); 

– in 1974, “seeking new opportunities to continue her criminal activities”, Velikanova, together with Kovalyov and Khodorovich, resumed the publication and circulation of a “defamatory, anti-Soviet, illegal journal, the Chronicle of Current Events, the publication of which had been halted (temporarily – Chronicle) in 1972;” (On 7 May 1974 T. Velikanova, S. Kovalyov and T. Khodorovich stated that they assumed responsibility for the circulation of the Chronicle, CCE 32.19); at the same time, “together with Kovalyov and Khodorovich”, Velikanova gave issues 28, 29 and 30 of theChronicle to foreign correspondents; 

– between 1974 and 1979, together with Kovalyov (arrested 27 December 1974, CCE 34.1), Khodorovich (emigrated 6 November 1977, CCE 47) “and others”, Velikanova prepared and circulated in the USSR, and “to the detriment of the Soviet Union’s interests” sent abroad, 25 issues of the Chronicle (Nos. 28 to 52). She was responsible for collecting and editing the material for these issues. She collected and stored material for the 53rd issue. All these issues contained: “tendentiously selected and libellously presented” information on the activities of the judicial and investigative authorities; “distorted information on conditions for prisoners in places of imprisonment and for the mentally ill in psychiatric institutions”; and publicised anti-Soviet literature. The contents of the Chronicle were selected “with a view to discrediting the domestic policies of the Soviet State”; 

– “with the aim of inciting anti-Soviet activities”, Velikanova “maintained criminal links with her fellow-thinkers ChalidzeLitvinovAlexeyevaZaksKhodorovich and others who have now left the USSR”. With their help she organized the publication of copies of the Chronicle and “other defamatory materials” by Khronika Press and “other anti-Soviet publishers abroad”, the circulation of this literature abroad, and its “unlawful despatch” to the USSR. In general, Velikanova “coordinated the anti-Soviet activities both of individuals within the USSR and of societies and organizations abroad”. 

In addition to these main charges Velikanova was also accused of having given, in 1971, copies of Avtorkhanov’s The Technology of Power and Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984? by [Andrei] Amalrik to her acquaintance K. Zainutdinov, and of having kept at her home a book published in Canada entitled Karl Marx on Russia. 

The first witness to be called was Glazko, a former Head of Department in the computing centre at the Moscow Main Auto Transport Administration, where Velikanova had worked as a programmer. He exchanged rather friendly nods with Velikanova, and his evidence was given in a friendly manner. He said that they had worked together for five years, and their relations were good. 

Velikanova was the department’s leading specialist, “a very good and experienced worker” although “she applied herself to the work only 40%, whereas it could have been 100%”. She was often late for work, saying that she often came in to work again in the evenings. An argument occurred when she refused to take on a task which she considered incorrectly presented. Glazko stressed that: “as you probably know, Tatyana Mikhailovna is prepared to die for her beliefs”. She did not take on extra tasks; she refused to vote in elections, and did not go to meet foreign visitors (“If I want to meet anybody I’ll do it myself”); she did not possess a television. However, she did turn out to work on extra work-days [subbotniki]. As regards her political views, Glazko remarked that she considered the one-party system ineffective, and that it led to “social stagnation”. She believed that the elections were a farce and that Soviet newspapers and radio told lies. The witness considered that Velikanova was “a fellow-thinker of Sakharov’s”. He did not confirm the allegation that Velikanova had termed the Soviet state “fascist” (this incident had featured in the indictment with reference to Glazko’s evidence, but was omitted from the final judgment). 

Witness M. M. Kondratov (CCE 40.8) is an official in the camp where A. Feldman (CCE 30.5) was imprisoned five years ago. He stated that Feldman had “remained aloof from the collective” and spent all his time with books. He was not forbidden to read, and no restrictions were imposed on his correspondence. As for the reported assault on Feldman (CCE 32.9, 40.8), he confirmed that it had occurred, but said that he did not know who attacked him, only that he was not seriously injured. He rejected with great pathos the statement in the Chronicle that he was an anti-Semite: it was ridiculous to say there was any anti-Semitism in the USSR! 

Witness G. E. Korolyova is the niece of the owner of an apartment which Velikanova rented in 1974. Korolyova related an incident concerning the discovery of some papers in that apartment, which had been handed to the police. (Her evidence on this point closely resembled similar evidence given on the episode in the trial of Sergei Kovalyov, see CCE 38.3). 

Witness Kolodko (b. 1906) is a prisoner currently serving his 23rd year of imprisonment. He spoke of conditions in his camp (Mordovian Camp 17). Conditions were good. Food was normal, and in hospital one even received stewed fruit. The work consisted in sewing sleeves, and Kolodko over-fulfilled his norm. Velikanova asked the witness to forgive her for being the unwitting cause of his exhausting journey to Moscow and back to Mordovia. “I hope you are released as soon as possible,” she said, to which he replied: “And you too.” 

The next witness was also a convict, Alexander Soldatov, found guilty of “theft” (CCE 45.11). He is the son of political prisoner Sergei Soldatov (trial, CCE 38.4). He seemed uneasy, and answered in words of one syllable, or sometimes by a mere nod of the head or shrugging of his shoulders. He thought for several minutes before answering each question. To those present in the courtroom it seemed that he was having difficulty understanding the questions (he has lived all his life in Estonia and does not speak Russian very well). However, he avoided giving careless replies which might have harmed himself or others. When asked by the Judge what his relations with Velikanova were, he could not give an answer. 

“Why are you in prison?” 

“You mean under which Article?” (He then stated the Article of the Criminal Code.) Later he said: “I don’t exactly know why I’m in prison.” 

Soldatov was also asked about conditions in the camp. Conditions were “okay”; work was not heavy. When the judge asked how he had been treated during the investigation of his case, he replied: 

“I was beaten up.” 

“Who beat you?” 

“I don’t remember.” 

“The men in your cell?” 

“No, not them.” 

(For this assault, see CCE 48.6, item 6) 

When the evidence Soldatov gave at an interrogation in connection with Velikanova’s case was mentioned, he drew the court’s attention to the fact that the record of the interrogation was not signed by him. He insisted that he knew nothing of Velikanova’s activities. Soldatov was led from the courtroom and, when he passed the bench where the accused was sitting, Velikanova nodded to him and said a few words of approval to him. 

The next witness was Minakhmetova [note 2], Head Doctor at the central hospital of the Perm Camps. She stated that the hospital was equipped with all that was required, and any kind of specialist or medicine could be obtained from the medical centre without exception. Each camp had its own sick bay, and each was well equipped. Patients were received twice daily, morning and evening. No one was forcibly treated, but some patients at times required persuasion, for example when they needed dental treatment. 

Witness Veniamin Kozharinov (CCE 19.11, 21.5, 30.2) was asked: “Do you know the accused?” 


“But during the pre-trial investigation you stated –” 

“I only knew her indirectly. I may have seen her.” 

From 1968 to 1970 he had copied several texts at the request of Krasin, but after Krasin’s arrest for “parasitism” (CCE 11.8, 22.8) he had ceased this activity. It was through Krasin that he met Yakir, with whom he became friends; he had visited Grigorenko on several occasions at his home. 

“Did you see Velikanova there?” 

“I don’t remember. It was a long time ago, more than ten years.” 

“During a previous interrogation you stated that you saw her at Grigorenko’s home.” 

“If I said that, then it must be true.” 

“Did they ever discuss the Action Group in your presence?” 

“I don’t remember.” 

“But you stated at that interrogation that while you were at Grigorenko’s home they discussed the formation of the Action Group. You stated that Yakir, Krasin, Velikanova and others were there.” 

“I don’t remember, but I won’t deny my old testimony.” 

A number of witnesses did not appear in court, and evidence given by three of them was read out. 

[1] Sergei Alexeyev is the son of L. M. Alexeyeva; he was questioned in winter 1980, but in May he emigrated from the USSR (CCE 57). He did not give evidence when first questioned (CCE 56), but subsequently testified that he knew Velikanova, and had seen her at his mother’s home. 

He knew that his mother was involved in the movement to defend the rule of law, but was not himself interested in such matters. He never heard Velikanova and his mother discuss politics together. His impression of Velikanova was that she was a pleasant, good and honest woman. When shown a letter he stated that it was written by his mother, since he recognized her handwriting where she had added “Greetings to Tanya!” (The letter itself was typewritten.) 

[2] Gainichenko, commandant of one of the Mordovian camps, described the anti-social attitudes of a number of prisoners – Vladimir OsipovSergei Soldatov and others (he mentioned five or six names). They were all parasites, renegades, did not attend political meetings, and did not participate in the social life of the camp. 

[3] Kamil Zainutdinov stated that he had first met Velikanova when she visited the settlement of Krasny Zaton, near Syktyvkar, where her husband Konstantin Babitsky (Trial, CCE 4.1) was serving exile during the years 1969-70. After Velikanova’s visit to Krasny Zaton some samizdat literature had appeared there, including works by Avtorkhanov, Mandelstam, Solzhenitsyn and others. Babitsky gave him some to read, beginning with Cancer Ward, and then certain documents concerning court cases. Another visit from some of Babitsky’s friends led to the appearance of more books. Zainutdinov did not know who brought them, but he thought that they were left by Anatoly Yakobson and Leonid Flishman

Then he travelled to Moscow, where he lived at Velikanova’s home for a month. Whilst there he noticed that there was samizdat literature standing openly on the bookshelves. With Ksenia, Velikanova’s sister, Zainutdinov had visited the home of Ernst Rudenko, “who bound anti-Soviet works for them” [note 3]. Accompanied by Velikanova’s brother Kirill and Vadim Delaunay he had visited Yuly Daniel (“now they are all involved in anti-Soviet activities in the West”). He had also attended a party at Ksenia Velikanova’s home, where samizdat was sold. He asked the price of a copy ofCancer Ward, but it was too expensive – 20 roubles. He then asked Ksenia to lend him the book, which she did. He knew nothing of Velikanova’s activities since 1971. 

The summing up then began. The procurator’s speech began and ended with quotations from Lenin. 

In the middle he referred to the international situation, saying that Velikanova’s activities served the interests of reactionary groups in the West, as was confirmed by her links with émigrés such as BukovskyPlyushchAlexeyevaLitvinovZaksAmalrikShragin and Khodorovich. These people were all connected with anti-Soviet organizations in the West”. Proof of this could be seen in the correspondence confiscated from Velikanova, in the evidence of witnesses Glazko, Zainutdinov and Kozharinov, and in the materials from the cases of Kovalyov and Superfin. He asked for Velikanova to be sentenced to four years in camps, followed by five years in exile. 

Defence counsel Batova remarked in her speech that it was her first experience of such a complex case. The accused had insistently refused the services of defence counsel, “who was now the person closest to her”. “I say this in order to stress how difficult are the conditions in which I am working.” Nearly all the activities cited against the accused concerned the period up to 1974. Velikanova received an official warning in 1974, which indicated that all her activities were well known. However, she was not arrested then, even at the height of the case of Yakir and Krasin (the Yakir-Krasin case ended in September 1973, CCE 30.2). Batova stated that the same crime could not be punished twice. The evidence given by Korolyova, Zainutdinov, Alexeyev and Kozharinov proved nothing, as it did not directly relate to Velikanova. 

Defence counsel read out a reference from Velikanova’s last place of work, as an orderly in a children’s hospital. It stated that she worked conscientiously and was sympathetic to the children. (Here someone in the courtroom shouted: “How remarkable!”) The accused had brought up three good, healthy children. 

Of course, the documents which she had signed “bore an unmistakable stamp, but then punishment is intended to educate, not serve as revenge; is that not so, Comrade Judge?” Article 70 provided for a wide range of punishments, one of which was two to five years’ exile. Defence counsel considered it possible to sentence Velikanova to a punishment which did not involve imprisonment. When requested to make a final speech Velikanova merely said: “The farce is ended, it’s over.” 

On 29 August sentence was passed: four years in strict-regime camps and five years in exile. Velikanova preferred not to appeal. On 28 September she was despatched from Moscow, and on 3 October she arrived in Mordovian Camp No. 3. 

The Soviet press responded to Velikanova’s trial with a long article “With a Shield of Libel”, published in the Sovetskaya Rossiya daily newspaper on 31 August. It was signed “V. Ivanov”. Particular emphasis was laid in the article on Velikanova’s links with the West. There were a large number of quotations from letters written to her from abroad. Much attention is given toChronicle of Current Events, without mentioning it by name: 

The case materials leave no room to doubt what the authors of this anti-Soviet trash considered to be the “truth”: during the trial the evidence presented included both typewritten lampoons and other libellous trash printed in New York by the anti-Soviet publishers Khronika Press and smuggled into the USSR. 

All this “information” was concocted according to the same recipe. Once it was learned that someone had been committed for trial, even some petty thief or hooligan, they reported immediately about persecution for beliefs. If they heard of punishment imposed in some camp for violations of discipline, then at once they set up a cry about alleged brutality against prisoners … 

Velikanova and her accomplices, who call themselves “defenders of rights”, are least of all interested in rights in the broad and full sense in which they are proclaimed and guaranteed by the Constitution of the USSR. Their interests are limited to an extremely small set of subjects: prisons, corrective labour camps and arrests. In brief, any filth is collected, from rumours and gossip to open slander, and it arouses feelings of revulsion in any normal person, surrounded as it is with an odour of refuse and garbage … 

Muscovites will remember the incident of the bomb in the Metro, when criminals caused injury to 44 people, seven of whom died. Now in court we are shown one of the latest issues of a journal which Velikanova was about to send abroad. Its slanderous contents include an entire section headed “The Case of the Explosion on the Underground” (CCE 52.1 – Chronicle). 

Every line of this is a mixture of fiction and malicious libel. It expresses regret at the “excessively harsh sentence”, and hints that the criminals had some alibis or other … 

After the trial those members of the Committee to Defend Tatyana Velikanova who were still at liberty — L. I. BogorazE. G. BonnerS. V. Kalistratova and L. Z. Kopelev — signed the following statement: 

… It is pointless to talk about violations of the law in Velikanova’s case. 

There was never a whiff of the law. The outward appearances were there, the phoney symbols of legality: the court building, cordoned off by three rows of policemen; the courtroom, more heavily defended from her friends than an ammunition store; the Procurator, the Judges and a person called the Defence Counsel who was rejected by Velikanova (“I don’t need a second prosecutor!”) but who played out her role; people taking the part of witnesses – including some who had never seen Tanya face to face, nor heard anything about her or her activities; and twelve volumes of “case materials”. 

Tatyana Velikanova was assigned the role of accused, a role she refused to play. The show fell to pieces and crumbled. 

There was no trial, and the only reality left was the escort (in military, police and plain-clothes) which separated Tatyana from her friends, and the prison van which at the end removed her from normal life for nine years. 

We, Tanya’s friends, stood in the street for three days outside the court, trying hard to get inside, not to “listen to the trial” but to take one last look at her before a long separation which actually began ten months ago. 

What was there to listen to in the courtroom? 

The Judge’s questions about the soup in the camps, the confused and irrelevant replies of the “witnesses”, the helpless mumblings of the defence counsel, the vacuous rumblings of the Procurator, the rehearsed shouts (“Not enough!”) about the sentence from the invited “public” – it was all about nothing and to no purpose. The whole mess could have been spun out for a week or omitted entirely. Velikanova remained silent, and the blows prepared against her struck empty air. “The farce is ended,” she said after the judgment was read out. 

After the trial of Tatyana Velikanova the trials still to come lose all their significance for the authorities: BakhminAbramkinPodrabinekOsipovaLavutTernovsky and others await their turn in prison. For what purpose? The escort, the prisons, the camps, and the black Marias are always at the ready and need no trials. 

On the first day of the trial Tanya managed to wave to us from afar. 

On 29 August the Moscow Helsinki Group adopted Document No. 140, “The Trials of Tatyana Velikanova and Father Gleb Yakunin”. On the same day “Who stands Condemned?”, a letter about the sentences received by Velikanova and Yakunin, was signed by 57 people: 

E. Alexeyeva, S. Anishchenko, N. Babitskaya, F. Babitsky, L. Bogoraz, L. Boitsova, E. Bonner, Yu. Velichkin, E. Gaidamachuk, Yu. Gastev. V. Gershuni, M. Gefter, A. Gorgan, A. Gotovtsev, S. Grimm, Z. Dzeboyeva, V. Dolgy, M. Dubakh, M. Zotov, V, Istomin, N. Istomina, A. Kabinova, D. Kazachkova, S. Kalistratova, I. Kovalyov, N. Komarova (Nekipelova), L. Kopelev, E. Kostyorina, V. Kronrod, V. Kuvakin, T. Lavut, M. Landa, R. Lert, M, Liyatov (Yakovlev), N. Meiman, I. Myaskovsky, M. Novikov, G. Pavlovsky, Z. Perchatkina, M. Petrenko (Podyapolskaya), V. Poleshchuk, G. Poleshchuk, K. Popov, N. Prokopchik, T. Prokopchik, A. Sakharov, F. Serebrov, A. Smirnov (Kostyorin), B. Smushkevich, V. Sorokin, S. Sorokina, L. Ternovskaya, V. Tolts, S. Khodorovich, Yu. Shikhanovich, V. Shcheglov and F. Yasinovskaya (Litvinova). 

Tatyana Velikanova graduated from the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics of Moscow University in 1954. Then she taught [at a school] in the northern Urals. 

On returning to Moscow she worked as a mathematician and programmer: first at the computing centre of the USSR Academy of Sciences, then in the Central Institute for Mathematical Economics, and afterwards at the computing centre of the Moscow Main Auto Transport Administration. In 1977 she left the centre to work for some time as an orderly in a children’s hospital.