San Fransisco Chronicle

Kremlin Cracks Down on Charitable Group

May 19, 1983

Soviet authorities, having all but extinguished the country’s organized human-rights movement, have launched a harsh new attack on a charitable fund sponsored by exiled writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn for families of political prisoners.

For nearly a decade, royalties that Solzhenitsyn has earned in the West from “Gulag Archipelago,” his history of death and privation in Soviet labor camps, have been filtering back to Russia to feed and clothe the wives and children of camps’ current inmates, as well as the prisoners themselves.

Dissident sources say more than 1,000 families have benefited from the fund since its inception in April of 1974, two months after the Soviet deported the writer, who now lived in the United States.

Soviet officials say the fund is a conduit for money from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to finance espionage and subversions.
Valery Reoubm, 32, involved in distributing benefits from the fund, is on trial in Leningrad for high reason and the fund’s principal Soviet coordinator in Moscow, Sergei Khodorovich, 42, is under arrest on unspecified charges.

Despite the intensified campaign to suppress and discredit the program, a new manager of the fund has circulated in Moscow in the past few days, Andrai Kistiakovshy, 46, a translator of American and English literature, defended Solzhenitsyn’s aid as “Christian Charity”

“Secret Khodorovich had been arrested for mercy and selflessness for kindness, humanity and civil courage.” Kistiakovshy declared.
Soviet officials have offered no evidence to support their charges nor have they sought to explain why the CIA would use such a visible channel for illicit funds or what national security information might be available to dissidents who are outcasts in Soviet society.