There have been ominous developments in the case of Anatoly Shcharansky, the arrested Jewish leader and human rights activist.
Among Moscow Jews who have been taken for interrogation to Lefortovo prison, where Shcharansky is being held, is Professor Benjamin Fain, who was asked for details of Shcharansky’s work within the Jewish movement. The line of questioning indicated that the main concern of the KGB was with an organisation termed “the Moscow Aliya”.
Moscow Jews believe that the KGB is initiating a campaign to liquidate the movement by forcing it to become a covert anti-Soviet organisation whose members are punishable under Soviet law.
Another sinister development has been the open revelations in the Soviet press by informers who had until recently been trusted members of the exodus movement. The most prominent of these is Dr. Sanya Lipavsky, who alleged in an article in Izvestia that he and other members of the movement were CIA agents. Until then, Lipavsky had been regarded as one of the most trustworthy activists struggling to reach their homeland and had acted as unofficial doctor to many refuseniks.
Vitaly Rubin, one of those named in the article, who now lives in Jerusalem, believes that Lipavsky was forced to sign after exceptional pressure had been applied. Moscow activists, however tend to discount that theory and believe that Lipavsky was a “sleeper” planted by the KGB to be used at the appropriate moment.
A few weeks ago, a second refusenik made his appearance in the Soviet press. Leonid Tsypin, an activist who was prominent with Shcharansky in militant demonstrations in the early 1970s, “confessed” his sins in an article In Vechernaya Moskva. Among those he named as associates were Lev Gendin and Pavel Abramovich.
Tsypin, who is in his twenties, was a leader of a younger group of activists who specialised in more sensational types of protest. Most of this group has emigrated. It is believed that Tsypin cracked under the psychological pressure and frustration of his enforced detention. The KGB found a way to entice him into their web of influence while in this low state and utilise him at will. Just over a year ago, the activists suspected that he was an informer and broke all contact with him.
Jewish Observer May 1977