The Arrest of Revolt Pimenov

posted 8 Jan 2016, 10:40 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 11 Jan 2016, 05:53 ]
Among the many extraordinary stories of the post-Stalin years that of mathematician Revolt Pimenov stands out because of an indomitable character first displayed in his student years.

His troubles began in 1949 when he had the temerity to resign from the Komsomol. At regular intervals over the next twenty years the Communist system would bring new charges against him, and his unfortunate associates. In October 1970 he and Boris Vail were sentenced to 5 years’ internal exile.

A special piquancy of this report from the Chronicle of Current Events is the attempt it records by a high-ranking Party official in Leningrad to “talk some sense” into the uncompromising Pimenov. During perestroika the same Vadim Medvedev, now a Central Committee secretary in Moscow, was viewed as a leading reformer and comrade-in-arms of Mikhail Gorbachev.

In July 1970 Doctor of sciences Revolt Ivanovich Pimenov, a research officer at the Mathematical Institute, was arrested In Leningrad.

(For the search of Pimenov’s flat on 18 April see Chronicle 13.10 [items 17 & 18].)

R.I. Pimenov (b. 1931) graduated from the mathematics and mechanics faculty of Leningrad University. In 1949 he was forcibly hospitalised in a psychiatric institution with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, after he had submitted his resignation from the Komsomol. A second commission headed by Professor Goland then judged him to be healthy; the only thing the professor insisted on when discharging him was that he should withdraw his resignation.

In March 1950, threatened with a second hospitalisation, he agreed to remain in the Komsomol; in 1951 he was expelled from it, reinstated by the district committee, and then expelled from the University; but he was reinstated, and graduated in 1954.

He worked as a mathematician. [Read more]