The Soviet Suppression of Academia:
The Case of Konstantin Azadovsky
by Petr Druzhinin
(Bloomsbury Academic, July 2022)
The Soviet Suppression of Academia tells the incredible story of the KGB's persecution of non-dissident literary scholar Konstantin Azadovsky. Drawing on rare archival materials, this evocative account details what became known in the West as the Azadovsky Affair: the arrest and conviction of Azadovsky and his future wife, Svetlana Lepilina, on trumped-up drugs charges in the early 1980s. It stretches from Azadovsky's early run-ins with the KGB in the 1960s to his arrest, conviction, and time in the labour camps of Kolyma, to his decades-long quest to clear his name. In the process, it sheds new light on the inner workings of the KGB during the 1980s and reevaluates the common perception of this time as a relatively free and safe period in Soviet intellectual history.
University College London
As too many in modern Russia are also discovering, repression has a momentum of its own. Petr Druzhinin's meticulous exploration of the case of the Azadovskys follows the dark path through forty years of Russian history through to the post-Soviet 1990s.
This fascinating account of the ordeal suffered by Konstantin Azadovsky, an eminent literary scholar, in the 1980s is a reminder of the cruelty and arbitrariness of the Soviet Communist regime...Much has changed in Russia since the 1980s, but unfortunately the travails Azadovsky experienced four decades ago are disturbingly reminiscent of the way opposition figures nowadays in Russia have been repressed under Vladimir Putin's autocratic rule.