Yuri Galanskov

Yuri Galanskov

Infobox Writer
name = Yuri Galanskov
birthdate = birth date|1939|6|19|mf=y
birthplace = Soviet Union
deathdate = death date|1972|11|4|mf=y
deathplace = Mordovia
occupation = Journalist, essayist, poet, and publisher.
nationality = Russian
period = 1961-1966
subject = Politics, Communism
movement = Samizdat
influences = Alexander Ginzburg

Yuri Timofeyevich Galanskov _ru. Юрий Тимофеевич Галансков (June 19, 1939 - November 4, 1972, Mordovia) was a Russian poet, historian, human rights activist and dissident.

For his political activities, such as founding and editing samizdat almanac "Phoenix", he was incarcerated in prisons, camps and forced treatment psychiatric hospitals. "(See Psikhushka)"

In 1967, he was sentenced to seven years of labor camp, where he died, allegedly after an unsuccessful surgical operation on ulcer.

Early publications

Yuri Galanskov began his dissident activities in 1959, as a participant in the poetry readings in Mayakovsky Square.Several of his works were pusblished in the samizdat anthology "Sintaksis". After Alexander Ginzburg was arrested in 1960 for publishing "Sintaksis", Yuri Galanskov became the leader of dissident publishing in the Soviet Union. Galanskov’s first publication, "Phoenix" came in 1961, and contained direct criticism of the Soviet government, partly in the form of poetry. "Phoenix" published works by Boris Pasternak, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Ivan Kharabarov, and Yuri Galanskov himself.

As a punishment for publishing "Phoenix", the Soviet authorities convicted Galanskov and sentenced him to several months in a psychiatric hospital. Following his release Galanskov formed a friendship with Alexander Ginzburg, and together the two publishers made arrangements to have their work published in the West.

The Daniel-Sinyavsky Trial

During the years of Khrushchev’s leadership, frustrations had been mounting in the Kremlin over the difficulty of suppressing the Samizdat literary movement. In an attempt to finally destroy dissident literature, the Soviets arrested Yuri Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky, two prominent samizdat writers. The show trial was made a media spectacle, with "Pravda" issuing passionate condemnations of the defendants. The trial did not, however, discourage the underground literary movement. Instead, it provoked the first intellectual protest to occur in the Soviet Union in 30 years. Moreover, the protest was held at the Red Square itself. Galanskov and Ginzburg took detailed notes of the trial and released their observations in four-hundred page report known as "The White Book". This work was widely circulated among the dissident writers and was eventually smuggled out to the West.

Final Work

Shortly after the release of "The White Book", Galanskov released the second edition of "Phoenix", titled "Phoenix '66". This issue featured works by Gorbanyevskaya, Yuri Stefanov, and Vladimir Batshev. It was generally regarded as being even more daring than the first issue. The KGB arrested him and four others in January 1967.

The Trial of the Four

In what came to be known as The Trial of the Four, the Soviet Union brought charges against Yuri Galanskov for publishing "Phoenix". The prosecutors also charged Alexander Dobrovolsky with contributing to the magazine, Vera Lashkova with assisting the typing of the manuscript, and Alexander Ginzburg with collaborating with Galanskov on "The White Book". Lashkova was sentenced to a year in prison. Dobrovolsky was sentenced to two years at hard labour, while Ginzburg received five years at hard labour. Galanskov was sentenced to seven years at a labor camp in Mordovia.


During his years in prison, Galanskov advocated the rights of prisoners. In collaboration with Ginzburg, he wrote a letter describing the poor conditions and cruel guards of the gulag. The letter was smuggled out of Russia and published in the West.

After several years of hard labor, Galanskov developed a severe ulcer. The surgery was carried out at the prison by a doctor with no surgical qualifications. The operation was unsuccessful, resulting in Galanskov's death two weeks later, on 4 Novermber, 1972.

External links

* [http://www.diacritica.com/sobaka/archive/canvas.html Sobaka: "The Canvas is the Crime" by Cali Ruchala]

Works by Yuri Galanskov
* [http://www.diacritica.com/samizdat/galanskov/reprisals.html For an End to the Policy of Reprisals]
* [http://www.diacritica.com/samizdat/galanskov/manifesto.html The Manifesto of Man]

Stories from TIME magazine archives
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,841172,00.html Off with the Mask- January 19,1968]
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,945167,00.html Crackdown on Dissent- December 18,1972]

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