«USSR News Brief, 15 December 1986» (Issue 22/23-1)
On 8 December 1986 Anatoly MARCHENKO (b. 1938), a political prisoner for many years, died in the maximum-security Chistopol Prison (Tatarstan). For several months prior to his death, he had been on hunger strike, started on 8 August 1986 (1986: 17-7, 15 September). Official reports of his death are contradictory: some talk of a cerebral haemorrhage, others of a heart attack.
A few days before his death, his wife Larisa Bogoraz received a postcard from Marchenko, requesting that she send him a food parcel. He had ended his hunger strike, in other words. A number of expressions in his postcard could be interpreted to mean that Marchenko was in the prison infirmary and was about to be transferred somewhere else, i.e. that the remainder of his ten-year sentence had been revoked. It’s difficult now to establish whether this interpretation is correct.
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