In Memoriam: Zoya Krakhmalnikova


Human rights defender and writer Zoya Krakhmalnikova has died In Moscow after a long illness. She was 80. Her funeral will take place on Sunday.

Zoya Alexandrovna Krakhmalnikova was born in 1928. After graduating from the Gorky Literary Institute in 1954, she worked in various publishing houses, and became known as a literary critic.

In 1982 she was arrested for publishing the Orthodox almanac “Nadyezhda” [“Hope”].  She was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment and 5 years exile.  Her exile began immediately since she had already been imprisoned awaiting trial for a year. She served almost the full period of exile having refused to ask for a pardon.  She was only released after Gorbachev’s decree released all remaining political prisoners in 1987.

At the end of the 1980s Zoya Krakhmalnikova wrote a lot about the position of the Russian Orthodox Church.  A cycle of her works entitled “Bitter fruit of sweet bondage” about the relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet state was published in 1988-1990 in Canada, the USA and Australia. The author believed that the higher leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church should express their repentance before the people.

 In 1995 her book: “Listen: prison” appeared, with her notes from her period in the Lefortovo Prison and letters from exile.

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