The trial of Tatyana Velikanova, 27-29 August 1980

posted 15 Feb 2016, 08:06 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Nov 2016, 05:34 ]
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