Letter of Forty-Two
The Letter of Forty-Two was an open letter
Open letter
An open letter is a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally....

 signed by forty-two well-known Russian literati
An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.- Terminology and endeavours :"Intellectual" can denote four types of persons:...

, aimed at Russian society, the president and government, in reaction to the events of September – October 1993. It was published in the newspaper Izvestiya
Izvestia is a long-running high-circulation daily newspaper in Russia. The word "izvestiya" in Russian means "delivered messages", derived from the verb izveshchat . In the context of newspapers it is usually translated as "news" or "reports".-Origin:The newspaper began as the News of the...

 on 5 October 1993 under the title “Writers demand decisive actions of the government.”
The letter contains the following seven demands:


Communist Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

 reacted by publishing a letter of three renowned Soviet dissidents - Andrey Sinyavsky, Vladimir Maksimov
Vladimir Maksimov
Vladimir Salmanovich Maksimov is a former Soviet/Russian handball player. After his retirement as an active field player, he was chosen as a coach for the national team, with which he won all three major titles in handball...

 and Pyotr Abovin-Yegides — calling for Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

's immediate resignation. It said among other things:
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Nezavisimaya Gazeta is a Russian daily newspaper. Published since December 21, 1990.Information ranging from a wide variety of sources, such as reporters, political scientists, historians, art historians, as well as critics are published in the newspaper...

s 2nd editor-in-chief Victoria Shokhina, mentioning Vasily Aksyonov
Vasily Aksyonov
Vasily Pavlovich Aksyonov was a Soviet and Russian novelist. He is known in the West as the author of The Burn and Generations of Winter , a family saga depicting three generations of the Gradov family between 1925 and 1953.-Early life:Vasily Aksyonov was...

's statement ("It was right those bastards had been bombarded. Should I've been in Moscow, I'd have signed too"), on October 3, 2004, wandered how "all of those 'democratic' writers who were preaching humanism and denouncing capital punishment" all of a sudden "came to applaud mass execution without trial". According to Shokhina, writer Anatoly Rybakov
Anatoly Rybakov
Anatoly Naumovich Rybakov was a Soviet and Russian writer, the author of the anti-Stalinist Children of the Arbat tetralogy, novel Heavy Sand, and many popular children books including Adventures of Krosh, Dirk, Bronze Bird, etc...

, when asked, 'would have he', harshly replied: "By no means. A writer can not endorse bloodshed". "But people like Rybakov are few and far between in our 'democratic' camp, and such people there are being disliked", Shokhina remarked.


  1. Ales Adamovich
    Ales Adamovich
    Ales Adamovich was a Soviet writer and a critic, Professor and Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Doctor of Philosophy in philology, Doctorate in 1962 ; the people's deputy...

  2. Anatoly Ananyev
  3. Viktor Astafiyev
    Viktor Astafiyev
    Viktor Petrovich Astafyev also spelled Astafiev or Astaf'ev , was a Soviet and Russian writer of short stories and novels.-Biography:...

  4. Аrtyom Anfinogenov
  5. Bella Akhmadulina
  6. Grigory Baklanov
    Grigory Baklanov
    Grigory Yakovlevich Baklanov was a Russian novelist and editor, well known for his novels about World War II and as the editor of the literary monthly Znamya during the time of Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms.-Biography:Baklanov was born Grigory Yakovlevich Friedman in Voronezh...

  7. Zori Balayan
    Zori Balayan
    Zori Balayan born February 10, 1935 in Stepanakert is an Armenian novelist, journalist, sports doctor, traveler and sports expert. He awarded by the "Renowned master of the Arts" Armenian official title.-Biography:...

  8. Tatyana Bek
  9. Alexander Borshchagovsky
  10. Vasil Bykaŭ
  11. Boris Vasilyev
    Boris Vasilyev
    Boris Vasilyev is a Soviet writer. He was a member of the jury at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival.In October 1993, he signed the Letter of Forty-Two.-Selected filmography:* The Dawns Here Are Quiet...

  12. Alexander Gelman
    Alexander Isaakovich Gelman
    Alexander Isaakovich Gelman , original given name Shunya , is a Bessarabian-born Soviet and Russian playwright, writer, and screenwriter....

  13. Daniil Granin
    Daniil Granin
    Daniil Alexandrovich Granin is an author born in the former Soviet Union. He started writing in the 1930s when he was still an engineering student at the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute...

  14. Yuri Davydov
  15. Daniil Danin
  16. Andrei Dementyev
  17. Mikhail Dudin
  18. Аlexander Ivanov
  19. Edmund Iodkovsky
  20. Rimma Kazakova
    Rimma Kazakova
    Rimma Fyodorovna Kazakova was a Soviet/Russian poet. She was known as an author of many popular songs of the Soviet era.She graduated from the history department of Leningrad State University. She worked as a lecturer in Khabarovsk....

  21. Sergey Kaledin
  22. Yury Karyakin
  23. Yakov Kostyukovsky
  24. Tatyana Kuzovlyova
  25. Alexander Kushner
    Alexander Kushner
    Alexander Semenovich Kushner is a prominent Russian living poet from Saint Petersburg.- Biography :Kushner was born in Leningrad into a Russian-Jewish family; his father was a military engineer. He graduated from Herzen University, and later, between 1959 and 1969, taught Russian literature....

  26. Yuri Levitansky
  27. Dmitry Likhachov
  28. Yuri Nagibin
    Yuri Nagibin
    Yuri Markovich Nagibin was a Soviet writer, screenwriter and novelist.He is best known for his screenplays, but he also has written several novels and novellas, and many short stories. He is known for his novel The Red Tent that he later adapted for the screenplay for the film of the same name...

  29. Andrey Nuykin
  30. Bulat Okudzhava
    Bulat Okudzhava
    Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava was a Soviet and Russian poet, writer, musician, novelist, and singer-songwriter. He was one of the founders of the Russian genre called "author song"...

  31. Valentin Oskotsky
  32. Grigory Pozhenyan
  33. Anatoly Pristavkin
    Anatoly Pristavkin
    Anatoly Ignatovich Pristavkin was a Russian writer.His mother died when he was nine and his father died in World War II, leaving Anatoly orphan. Anatoly Pristavkin had to start working from the age of 14 onwards, and had various jobs. Nevertheless, he started a career as a writer in 1961 and...

  34. Lev Razgon
    Lev Razgon
    Lev Emmanuilovich Razgon was a Soviet and Russian writer, detainee of the Gulag, human rights activist....

  35. Alexander Rekemchuk
  36. Robert Rozhdestvensky
    Robert Rozhdestvensky
    Robert Ivanovich Rozhdestvensky was a Soviet poet who in the broke with the Social Realism in 1950s–1960s and, along with such poets as Andrey Voznesensky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and Bella Akhmadulina, pioneered a newer, fresher, and freer poetry in the Soviet Union.-Life:Robert Rozhdestvensky...

  37. Vladimir Savelyev
  38. Vasily Selyunin
  39. Yuri Chernichenko
  40. Andrey Chernov
  41. Marietta Chudakova
  42. Mikhail Chulaki
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