In memory of Boris Pavlovich Pustyntsev

posted 10 Mar 2014, 09:21 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 10 Mar 2014, 09:26 ]
4 March 2014 

Source: (info
Boris Pustyntsev, human rights defender, chair of the St Petersburg civil society organisation Citizen’s Watch, a Soviet era dissident and political prisoner, passed away in St. Petersburg on 4 March 2014. 

Boris Pustyntsev was born on 2 June 1935 in Vladivostok. His father, Pavel Petrovich Pustyntsev, was a submarine engineer. In 1951, after the appointment of his father as chair of the Central Constructors’ Bureau-18, the family moved to Leningrad. 

In 1954 he entered the first Leningrad Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages. 

To view these photographs of Boris Pustyntsev, click HERE

He participated in the activities of the underground youth circle Union of Communist-Lenininsts, which was set up in the autumn of 1956 in Leningrad. The circle’s participants were V.I. Trofimov, B.P. Pustyntsev, A.A. Golikov, V.A. Malykhin, I.S. Potapov and V.B. Petrov. 

The circle set itself the task to 'fight for real socialism'. Author of the group’s principles and programme was V.I. Trofimov. In November 1956 members of the Union distributed leaflets at Leningrad State University and A.I. Herzen Pedagogical Institute, entitled: 'Citizen students!’ ‘Soon it will be the day of the Constitution!’ and ‘Stalinism continues to exist!' 

They also distributed flyers to protest the suppression of the uprising in Hungary in 1956 by the Soviet military. 

In the summer of 1956, the students E.Osipov, V.Kh. Khaibulin and V.I. Trofimov developed in Moscow the programme for the group 'Union of Revolutionary Leninists'. At the beginning of 1957, both groups came together to discuss their programmes. The start of the unification of the groups was interrupted by the arrests of the participants in May 1957. 

At the trial, which took place in September 1957 in Leningrad, members of both groups were treated as representatives of a single organisation. All members were sentenced prison terms of between three and 10 years in prison. 

In 1957 Boris Pustyntsev was arrested by the KGB together with other members of the group. He was convicted Under Article 58, parts 10 and 11, of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR. He was in the camps for political prisoners until 1962. 

After his release he worked as a bibliographer, a translator of technical literature, a literary editor, the author of subtitles for films, and director of dubbing. In 1966 he graduated from the evening department of the Herzen Pedagogical Institute (as a teacher of English). 

Between 1960 and 1980 he took part in the dissident movement of the USSR. 

In 1984 he was fired from the Lenfilm cinema studios. It became known that 'the KGB objected to him working on films. Boris Pustyntsev remembered that this happened after a KGB officer who had worked on the case of their youth group was appointed to a high position at Lenfilm. 

Between 1984 and 1989, Boris Pavlovich Pustyntsev worked at the Tallinfilm and Estellefilm studios. 

In 1989 he was allowed to return to Lenfilm. 

Boris Pustyntsev was an active participant in the democratic movement during the years of Perestroika. 

In 1993 he was a candidate in the elections for the Russian State Duma – as part of the Russia’s Choice bloc. In 1994 he was a deputy in the Legislative assembly of St. Petersburg representing the Democratic Unity bloc. 

Between 1993 and 1995 he worked as an assistant of the State Duma deputy Mikhail Molostvov. 

In the years 1994 – 1997 he was deputy chair of the St. Petersburg organization of the political party Democratic Choice of Russia. 

Between 1991 and 1996 he was co-chair of the St. Petersburg branch of the historical and human rights society, Memorial. 

In 1993, Boris Pavlovich Pustyntsev was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Republic of Hungary. 

He was co-founder and chair of the human rights organisation Citizen's Watch, and author of numerous publications on issues relating to human rights and civil freedoms. 

Between 2004 and 2012 he was a member of the Presidential Human Rights Council. 

* * * 
– Boris Pustyntsev turns 75 
– Boris Pustyntsev: Resistance on Nevsky Prospect
– Boris Pustyntsev: What do we remember about Hungary in 1956?
– Boris Pustyntsev: ‘In Russia the imperial way of thinking returns in so many ways’
– Boris Pustyntsev – chair of the Citizens’ Watch human rights organization
– Boris Pustyntsev: At 15 years of age I was already an anti-communist
– Boris Pustyntsev: Every day we are in dialogue with the authorities
– Boris Pustyntsev on the work of the Presidential Human Rights Council
– Pustyntsev, Boris Pavlovich. Wikipedia