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1961
16 March
The Council of Ministers of the USSR passes a resolution “On Strengthening Control over the Implementation of Legislation on Cults.” Special commissions are formed as adjuncts to district executive committees and town and village councils, whose activity boils down to writing denunciations, monitoring, and brutally interfering in the internal affairs of the church.
May
The organizers of the “Ukrainian Worker-Peasant Union” are tried in Lviv: L. Luk'ianenko, I. Kandyba, Y. Boro-vnytsky, S. Virun, O. Libovych, V. Lutskiv, and I. Kipysh.
13 August
Work begins on the construction of the Berlin Wall, a distinctive iron and concrete symbol of the “Cold War,” which will be dismantled only in 1989.
17 October
The XXII CPSU Congress convenes in the newly built Kremlin Palace of Congresses. The Party announces: “Today's generation of Soviet people will live under Communism.” The congress approves the utopian program of building a Communist society within twenty years and passes a resolution to remove Stalin's remains from the Mausoleum.
1962
April 1962
In Lviv the oblast party committee and KGB organs implement joint measures aimed at discrediting the local Jewish community, which leads to its de-certification.
2 June
In Novocherkassk (southern Russia) the authorities open fire on a demonstration of workers from the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive-Building Plant and city residents, who are protesting food shortages and a decline in living conditions. Troops of the Northern Caucasus military district, under the command of General Pliiev, kill more than twenty people, including a schoolboy; thirty people are wounded. In August 1962 the judicial collegium of the Supreme Court of the RSFSR convenes legal proceedings in Novocherkassk against fourteen of the most active “organizers” of the demonstration. Seven defendants receive the death sentence.
19 July
The Presidium of the CC CPSU ratifies the KGB order “On Measures to Intensify the Struggle of the State Security Organs against Hostile Displays on the Part of Anti-Soviet Elements” and the order of the General Prosecutor of the USSR “On Strengthening Prosecutorial Supervision over Investigations of Cases Pertaining to State Crimes and Their Scrutiny by the Courts.”
August
The trial of Marat Omerov and S. Umerov, who are accused of organizing a clandestine “Union of Crimean Tatar Youth for the Restoration of the Fatherland,” ends in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.
1963
31 January
Heads of law enforcement organs meet in Kyiv. The head of the KGB, V. Nikitchenko, reads a report on the struggle against “particularly dangerous state crimes.”
31 July
to the 150th anniversary of the death of the famous Ukrainian poetess Lesia Ukrainka takes place in Pershotravnevyi Park in Kyiv. Among the participants are the writers Ivan Dziuba, Tetiana Tsymbal, Mykhailyna Kotsiubynska, Ivan Drach, Stanislav Telniuk, Yu. Nazarenko, and Iryna Zhylenko.
Throughout 1963
Food shortages are on the rise, with growing queues for milk and bread. The volume of grain imports increases.
1964
March
On the direct orders of the Kyiv oblast party committee secretary V. Boichenko, vandals destroy a stained-glass window depicting the Ukrainian national poet Taras Shevchenko at Kyiv State University. This window is the creation of the artists Panas Zalyvakha, Alla Horska, Liudmyla Semykina, and Halyna Zubchenko.
Spring
Under pressure from the power structures, the “Suchasnyk” Club of Creative Youth is disbanded in Kyiv.
14 October
The Plenum of the CC CPSU dismisses Nikita Khrushchev from the post of First Secretary of the CC CPSU and head of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. As noted in the documents of the plenum, Khrushchev, who did much to expose Stalin's cult of personality, abused the subjective approach to solving important economic and political problems. Leonid Brezhnev is elected first secretary. This is a victory for the neo-Stalinists.
20 November
The KGB of the Ukrainian SSR alerts the political leadership of Ukraine to the “lack of ideological perseverance” in the works of the writers Yevhen Hutsalo, Volodymyr Drozd, and Valerii Shevchuk.
The national-cultural activity of the 1950s fosters a young generation called the “sixtiers,” who oppose the regime. This generation of Ukrainian intellectuals, primarily writers, fights for human dignity and national liberty. Among the “sixtiers” are the poets Lina Kostenko, Vasyl Symonenko, Ivan Drach, Mykola Vinhranovsky, and Yevhen Hutsalo; the literary critics Ivan Dziuba, Ivan Svitlychny, and Yevhen Sverstiuk; the journalists Valentyn Moroz, V'iacheslav Chornovil, and Mykhailo Osadchy; the artists Panas Zalyvakha, Alla Horska, and many others. Within a short time the authorities begin to harass them.
Even during the “Khrushchev era” dissidents would continue to be arrested throughout the entire period of the “thaw.” Khrushchev encouraged brutal attempts to “educate” a creative intelligentsia and fuelled attacks against those who dared to criticize him for the unpardonable eccentricity and inconsistency of his economic and political reforms. One should not forget the horrific shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Novocherkassk in 1962 or other repressive actions that were not, however, on the same bloody scale as in Lenin and Stalin's time.
An illegal “manifesto of the Ukrainian revolutionary center,” which was circulated in late March 1953 in western Ukraine in connection with Stalin's death, states that his successors “will do everything in order to strengthen their position. They will intensify repressions and introduce a system of terror in order to preserve the dictatorship established by Stalin.”
In October 1964 those who had greeted Nikita Khrushchev on his seventieth birthday in April oust him from power. So ends the career of a Communist reformer, proving that the Communist system cannot countenance reforms, even those that are planned from “above.”


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