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The Inconvenient JournalistA Memoir$
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Dusko Doder and Louise Branson

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501759093

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501759093.001.0001

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Evading the KGB to Make Contacts

Evading the KGB to Make Contacts

(p.33) 3 Evading the KGB to Make Contacts
The Inconvenient Journalist

Dusko Doder

Louise Branson

Cornell University Press

This chapter evaluates the challenge and danger of making contact with foreign correspondents. One day, Henry Kamm of the New York Times and the author met with the former World War II troop commander Piotr Grigorenko. Despite the pressure and the certainty of surveillance, Grigorenko wanted to talk. Dissent for him, as for others, was directly linked to the suppression of the liberal Czech regime. The Soviet intervention had been followed by massive repression within the Soviet Union. As the two journalists left Grigorenko's apartment, several plainclothes KGB men pushed them roughly aside. Within minutes, they were manhandling Grigorenko past the two, his head pushed down so that he could make no contact. The episode underscored an uncomfortable truth: every time dissidents reached out to foreign journalists, they risked everything, and foreign journalists, by contrast, risked almost nothing. Soviet authorities knew that if they revoked an American journalist's visa, the US would almost certainly retaliate with the expulsion of a Soviet journalist. Besides dissidents, another group that provided unauthorized access into the Soviet was Soviet Jews.

Keywords:   foreign journalists, Russian dissidents, Piotr Grigorenko, liberal Czech regime, Soviet intervention, Soviet Union, KGB, Soviet authorities, Soviet Jews

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