Chronicle of Current Events

From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

The Chronicle of Current Events, i.e. Хроника текущих событий, was a major Russian samizdat (self-published) news bulletin. It was founded during the International Human Rights Year, 1968, with the purpose of reporting on the state of human rights in the Soviet Union, and somehow managed to keep publishing until 1983. From the very first issue its editorial policy was to simply report facts. For example, reporting on the trial of Galanskov, Ginzburg, Dobrovolsky, and Lashovka:

All four were charged under article 70 of the criminal code, and Galanskov was additionally charged under article 88-1. All four were arrested in January 1967 and had spent nearly a year in Lefortovo prison, in violation of article 97 of the Russian criminal code, according to which the maximum period of pretrial detention may not exceed nine months.

The Soviet Union in 1968 claimed to be a champion of human rights and free speech, so the Chronicle in turn asserted itself to be simply reporting facts and operating in a wholly legal way. The reality, of course, was that the Chronicle was published in a country in which the truth itself was something which the government wished to control. The government found the Chronicle horribly inconvenient, and the KGB sent most of those associated with it to extended interrogations and, eventually, labor camps and exile.


How the Chronicle worked

The Chronicle was originally compiled by Natalya Gorbanevskaya. Gorbanevskaya would type up the inconvenient truths she received from her friends in Moscow on a typewriter purchased on the gray market. All work had to be done covertly, although the Chronicle would always insist on its legality, because the KGB was attempting to monitor the Russian human rights movement. Gorbanevskaya typed each issue of the Chronicle six times, access to photocopiers being controlled by the Soviet Union. These copies would be secretly distributed to friends, who made copies on their own typewriters and gave these to friends, etc.

The KGB broke into Gorbanevskaya's home on December 24, 1969 as she was compiling issue #11. She hid her source papers, which had handwriting which could identify other authors, in her desk, and additional information was hidden in her coat. By a stroke of luck the KGB managed to miss both of these hiding places, and #11 was released on schedule, headlined with a story on Gorbanevskaya's arrest. She was diagnosed as schizophrenic and threatened with confinement in a mental hospital, but eventually allowed to return to Moscow and emigrate to Paris.

Case 24

After two years, the Chronicle was finally in the KGB's spotlight. From 1970 to 1972 the Chronicle was "Case 24" in their broader efforts to squash dissent, leading to the arrests of many associated with it.

Anatoly Yakobson took up the reins of the Chronicle after Gorbanevskaya's arrest. He faithfully continued the detached and factual style of reporting, separating rumors from reliable information.

Other arrests

Other quotes

"The medical verdict on Sevruk's diminished capacity: 'mania of Marxism and truth-seeking'." (#15, August 1970)

Translations of the Chronicle

The original, in Russian, can be found here:


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