Table of contents:

What were silent about in Brezhnev times: Explosions in the Mausoleum, hijacking of planes and other non-Soviet incidents
What were silent about in Brezhnev times: Explosions in the Mausoleum, hijacking of planes and other non-Soviet incidents
What was silent about in Brezhnev times

It is believed that the Brezhnev era was a time of quiet stability without large-scale social upheavals. The Stalinist terror was a thing of the past, and there was still a long way to go before military conflicts in the Caucasus and Central Asia. But it was during these quiet years that several terrorist attacks took place, about which the newspapers wrote almost nothing and the media did not speak.

Explosions in Lenin's mausoleum

The mausoleum of the leader and founder of the state, Vladimir Lenin, is the very heart of the Soviet country. There, to this day, the body of Ilyich is open for display, which they tried to damage and even destroy more than once. Even under Stalin, in 1934, the peasant Mitrofan Nikitin, in protest against the policy of collectivization and dispossession of kulaks, shot at the embalmed Lenin with a revolver.

In the USSR, giant queues could line up to the mausoleum. 1960 photo

During the years of the Khrushchev thaw in the mausoleum, various persons smashed the glass of the sarcophagus with their feet or a hammer, threw stones and sledgehammers at it, a bottle of ink, and so on. About a dozen such hooligan cases are known. And in the Brezhnev period, there were two real terrorist acts with explosions and human casualties.

In 1967, at the entrance to the mausoleum, a resident of Kaunas by the name of Krysanov detonated a homemade bomb. Who he is and what his goals were, is still unknown from open sources. It was said that as a result of the explosion, several people were killed, and the Italian tourist's legs were blown off. Krysanov himself also died along with his bomb.

As a result, the architects tried to strengthen the structure of the building and replace the glass in the sarcophagus with more reliable and bulletproof glass. And, indeed, the new sarcophagus withstood the explosion, as shown by another terrorist attack in 1973. The attacker's name remained unknown. Perhaps he did not choose the date of the assassination attempt: it was September 1, the Day of Knowledge, when groups of children were taken to the mausoleum.

Old photo of Lenin's sarcophagus

The explosion took place inside the building. The terrorist must have been mistaken for a school teacher, and then he carefully followed the students to the sarcophagus, where he connected contacts, blowing himself up. Besides him, a married couple from Astrakhan died, and four children were injured. Some documents were found in the remains of the criminal's body, torn apart by the explosion, but whether they belonged to him and to what conclusion the investigation eventually came - the general public remained unknown.

A series of terrorist attacks in Moscow

The metro terrorist attacks familiar to us today also took place in the Soviet years. On January 8, 1977, on Saturday, and even during the school New Year's holidays, an explosion occurred in Moscow in a subway car on the stretch between Izmailovskaya and Pervomayskaya stations. Seven people were killed and more than 30 were injured. Half an hour later, two more devices were blown up in the capital in different areas - this time without casualties, apart from a few minor injuries.

Surviving photographs of the blown up carriage

Naturally, people remembered the explosion in the metro most of all: they had to stop traffic, people were evacuated, their documents were carefully checked. The first official report of the explosion appeared only two days after the event, which only gave rise to rumors and panic. Although the authorities understood that three bombs in one day were not an accident, but a purposeful action.

The investigation found out that the terrorist attacks were staged by three members of the underground “National United Party of Armenia”.For many years this movement has set the goal of the independence of Armenia, conducted underground activities, and its members were prosecuted for "anti-Soviet propaganda". The initiators of the attacks were Stepan Zatikyan, and two of his comrades - Hakob Stepanyan and Zaven Baghdasaryan - traveled to Moscow to organize the explosions.

Surviving photographs of the explosion at a grocery store

The trial was closed, and only one short article in the Izvestia newspaper could inform Soviet citizens about the final verdict. The lack of publicity led a number of dissidents, including Andrei Sakharov, to assume that the case was falsified and the guilt of the Armenian terrorists was not proven. Similar rumors are still alive today.

Airplane hijacking

The favorite technique of terrorists in many countries was the hijacking of planes with passengers. There were several such cases in the Soviet Union.

In 1970, two Lithuanians, father and son Brazinskas, hijacked a Batumi-Sukhumi passenger plane and landed on it in Turkey. During the hijacking, a flight attendant was killed. Turkey did not extradite the terrorists, and they served two years in prison in this country, and the rest of their lives sought refuge in other states. The Brazinskas often justified their action by the fact that it was allegedly an action for the liberation of Lithuania from the Soviet occupation.

On the left is Algirdas Brazinskas (son), on the right - Pranas Brazinskas (father)

In the same 1970, three more attempts to hijack aircraft were recorded. For example, near Leningrad, at the Pulkovo airport, a group of Jewish citizens tried to fly to Israel in this way, but they were able to be detained even on the airfield.

Three years later, one of the passengers on the Moscow-Chita flight, threatening with firearms and a bomb, tried to direct the plane towards China. The police officer on board decided to neutralize the criminal, but he detonated the bomb. The exploded plane killed 81 people.

In total, there are about 20 known cases of successful and unsuccessful attempts to hijack aircraft to escape from the USSR. Often, criminals threatened to blow up the plane. As a rule, if the arrest of terrorists took place abroad, then the plane together with the passengers returned home safely, and the criminals were sent to prison in the country where they landed.

Assassination attempt on Brezhnev

Leonid Brezhnev

In January 1969, Junior Lieutenant Viktor Ilyin from Leningrad tried to assassinate the head of state, Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev. He stole two pistols from the military unit where he served and left the city without permission.

His uncle, a former police officer, lived in Moscow. Ilyin took from him a police overcoat with a sergeant's shoulder straps, and thanks to his uniform, he was freely allowed into the Kremlin, where he imperceptibly stood in a cordon at the Borovitsky Gate. Brezhnev was supposed to meet with Soviet cosmonauts that day. It was at the car with them that Ilyin began to shoot, confusing the cosmonaut Georgy Beregovoy with Brezhnev.

Beregovoy from a distance could really be mistaken for a general secretary

As a result of the assassination attempt, the driver of the car was killed, and Beregovoy was wounded by shards of glass. The investigation found Ilyin mentally deranged, for 20 years he was imprisoned in psychiatric hospitals. Since 1990, Ilyin has been free and is still alive.

And the continuation of the story of life in the USSR, the story of why the Soviet government did not like Jews.

Popular by topic