John Feffer (re Stankevich), 1993

John Feffer in Prague.
Interviewer — Metta Spencer

Feffer: About three years ago there was a Soviet delegation that came for an exchange and there was the usual bunch of hacks, with a couple of notable exceptions.

Spencer: To Britain?

Feffer: No, to the States somewhere. Connecticut or somewhere. And Bruce Birchard, Joanne Landy, and some other “dissidents” went along and made sure there were going to be some Eastern Europeans there, and so they got hold of a Czech and during one of the discussions, one of the Czechs started asking: Do you support the 1968 invasion of our country and if you had to do it again, would you support that? The head of the Soviet delegation stood up and made some preposterous justification: The Westerners there expected it. One guy stood up — Sergei Stankevich, (who at that time was unknown, but who is now one of the best-known persons in the Soviet Union. He ran against Popov for Mayor of Moscow. He withdrew because he was young.) Two years ago he was just as psychologist, academic. He said “Well, I have to disagree with my Soviet colleague. I think the Soviet Union should not have invaded in 1968, I think it was a terrible thing.” He sat down. People were shocked (at that time 3 years ago). Bruce went and talked with him in the hall and they became friends. Bruce went to Moscow and met him there and they had long discussions. Only recently did we find out that Sergei had become such a leading figure. It’s absolutely impossible to get in touch with him now. He’s the Vice President of Moscow Supreme Soviet. This is an indication of his early traits.

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books