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19.08.2015

In Memory: Anatoly Shevchuk

   

The writer and former political prisoner Anatoly Shevchuk died on Aug 12 in his native Zhytomyr, aged 78.  Anatoly Shevchuk passionately supported Ukraine’s independence and was a member of the 1960s ‘Shistdesyatnyky [Шістдесятники], and later dissident movement. He was sentenced in 1966 to five years labour camp for so-called ‘anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda’ (Article 62 § 1 of the relevant Criminal Code) and served the sentence in the Mordovian political labour camps. He was unbroken by the camps and continued to smuggle out letters giving details about the conditions and the efforts to humiliate and torment the prisoners. One of his letters, as well as three short stories were included in ‘Lykho z rozumu’ [‘Woe from Wit’], Viacheslav Chornovil’s compilation of material about the treatment of dissidents which was published in the West as the Chornovil Papers.  Shevchuk was long under KGB surveillance following his release.

 

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