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Eduard Kuznetsov

Edward Samuilovich Kuznetsov

Edward Samuilovich Kuznetsov (Russian language: Эдуард Самуилович Кузнецов; born in Moscow, 1939) is a Soviet-born dissident, human rights activist, and writer who settled in Israel in 1979.

In 1961, Kuznetsov was arrested for the first time and served seven years in Soviet prisons for making overtly political speeches in poetry readings at Mayakovsky Square in central Moscow and for his involvement in publishing samizdat. Among those also attending these informal gatherings were Yuri Galanskov, Vladimir Osipov and, the youngest of all, Vladimir Bukovsky.

The Leningrad plane hijackers case

A few years later Kuznetsov became one of the organizers of the Leningrad plane hijackers or Dymshits–Kuznetsov hijacking affair in June 1970. Arrested for "high treason", he faced the death sentence but after lodging an appeal and international protests against his execution his sentence was replaced with fifteen years in prison and labour camp.[1] This case "opened the doors of emigration to thousands of Soviet Jews."[2] In 1970 Kuznetsov shared a prison cell with Danylo Shumuk for five years.

In 1979 he and four other dissidents were exchanged for two Soviet spies arrested in the US.[2] Kuznetsov then emigrated to Israel.

Literary and other activities

From 1983 to 1990 he was chief of the news department of Radio Liberty in Munich.[2] In 1992 he co-founded the Israeli Russian-language newspaper, Vesti (The News), which he edited until 1999.

Kuznetsov is a member of the Pen Club and has been widely published in European, US and Israeli media. He is the author of three novels: Prison Diary (1973), Mordovian Marathon (1979) (both written secretly in prison and smuggled abroad) and Russian Romance (1984). All three have been translated into many languages. In 1974, Prison Diary won the Gulliver Award in France, being declared the best book written by a foreign author.[2]

In 2005 Kuznetsov participated in "They Chose Freedom", a four-part television documentary on the history of the Soviet dissident movement. He currently lives in Jerusalem, Israel and is a board member of Soviet dissident aid foundation The Gratitude Fund.[3]


  1. ^ See Chronicle of Current Events, issue 17, for a dispassionate account of this extraordinary affair.
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^

External links

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