USSR: Photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald in Minsk (BSSR) – 1959-1962

Lee Harvey Oswald and Fellow Minsk Workers

(Research and Translation by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

Translator’s Note: The Warren Commission made much of Oswald’s sojourn to the USSR just prior to the murder of JFK. The US Authorities tried to amass as much information about this stage in Oswald’s short life, as a means to fabricate ‘probable cause’. Bear in mind that Oswald never stood trial, and his guilt was never ascertained in a court of law. The reason the US Authorities were pursuing this line was because of the ‘witch-hunt’ pogrom initiated against all ‘Socialists’ and ‘Communists’ living in the US since the end of WWII. This pogrom had existed in a less intense form prior to WWII, but following the Soviet victory over fascism during the Second World War, the US Authorities embarked upon a fully comprehensive ‘disinformation’ campaign that re-wrote Soviet history to give the false impression that Soviet Communism was no different to German National Socialism, and that everyone who adhered to Marxist-Leninist ideology were morally repugnant and pursuing a political path of utmost ‘evil’. Rather illogically, and in no way acting inaccordance with established legal practice, the US Authorities declared that Oswald’s association with ‘Communism’ proved that he had the ‘motive’ to pull the trigger and incentive to murder President John F Kennedy. In fact, this approach means nothing from a legal perspective, and is defined as ‘hearsay’. In short, the assumption that Oswald killed Kennedy because he was a ‘Communist’ is inadmissible as evidence in Court, and yet it is this assumption that is used to ‘judge’ Oswald and a priori suggest that he is guilty. As a consequence, anyone who ‘questions’ this assumption is falsely presented as ‘supporting’ the murder of JFK, rather than questioning a faulty legal procedure. Although the recent release of a number of previously ‘secret’ JFK Files strongly deny Oswald’s involvement, there are still elements of the US Establishment who are keeping to script and trying to ‘sell’ the old and tired idea that ‘absence of evidence’ is indeed ‘proof of culpability’. The article below gives a different side to Oswald, and highlights his time in the Soviet Union. Interestingly, he did not partake in any shooting clubs, did not visit any firing ranges, and appears never to have owned a fire-arm of any sort whilst living in Minsk. There is no evidence within Russian language sources that Oswald was being ‘trained’ to assassinate JFK whilst visiting the USSR. This is important as the Warren Commission suggests that whilst acting alone and aiming from the Book Depository Building, Oswald managed to fire three of the best rifle-shots ever recorded at a moving vehicle that was not entirely clear in his sights. In summary, being a Communist does not imply ‘Criminal intent’. ACW (11.1.2018)

The recent release of the JFK Assassination Files in the US not only shed doubt on whether President John F Kennedy was shot by a lone gunman – but question whether Lee Harvey Oswald was involved at all. He was ‘set-up’ as a ‘patsy’ or fall-guy’ because he was known to be a Communist (this was true even when serving in the US Marine Corp). There is no logical reason why a Socialist like Oswald would murder one of the most progressive and potentially leftwing Presidents the US has ever known. It appears that the US Intelligence Services co-opted Oswald’s name in the fabrication of a cover-story to divert public attention away from the fact that the US Political System had conspired to kill its own democratically elected leader. Nptice also how Lee Harvey Oswald was treated for his visit to the USSR between 1959-1962 – compared to Bill Clinton who spent a week in the Soviet Union in 1969. The former was oppressed and murdered for his political views, whilst the latter became the ‘elected’ 42nd President of the United States!

Lee Harvey Oswald described his political views as being ‘Marxist-Leninist’, and stated on live US TV that he was being framed for the murder of President John F Kennedy, because he had lived in the Soviet Union. When only 19 years old, Oswald was discharged from the US Marine Corp, and travelled to the UK, and then on to Helsinki, where he obtained a five-day tourist visa from the Embassy of the USSR. The motivation for this journey was to develop his understanding further about Socialism, an interest he possessed even before joining the US Marines. He arrived in Moscow on October the 16th, 1959, and informed the tourist agent assigned to assist him, that he wanted to defect. Following an initial refusal, Oswald is said to have suffered a ‘breakdown’ and was briefly hospitalised in the USSR. Following this episode, the Soviet Authorities relented and he was granted Soviet Citizenship. It was made clear to him that as an ex-member of the US Military, he could not stay in Moscow or Leningrad for security reasons, but must relocate to ‘Minsk’. Russian language records state that Oswald did not know where Minsk was, and thought that it might be in Siberia (the Soviet Officials laughed).

On January 5th, 1960, Oswald received the relatively large amount of 5000 rubles from the Red Cross as a means to relieve hardship during his re-settlement. As a Soviet Citizen, Oswald arrived on January 7th, 1960, in Minsk (Belarus Soviet Socialist Republic – BSSR), and stayed for two months at the fashionable ‘Minsk’ Hotel (Room 453 – 4th Floor). Following this, Oswald would spend most of the next two and half years living in a flat in the vicinity Minsk Victory Square. On January 11th, 1960, Oswald visited the ‘Minks Lenin Radio Plant’ where he would be employed for the rest of his time in Minsk. He was paid 700 rubles a month, and on the 5th of every month, he received a further 700 rubles from the Red Cross. Oswald mentions that the factory floor was dominated by a large picture of Lenin which all employees had to stand and appraise from 11am – 11:10 am – a procedure Oswald did not favour. Two points of oddity exist here, which originate from within Oswald’s diary.

Firstly, there was no need for the Red Cross to grant sums of money to Oswald when the USSR possessed one of the most comprehensive Welfare Systems in the world. The Constitution of the USSR guaranteed all people living within the USSSR – whether ‘foreigner’ or ‘Citizen’, the right of full access to the Welfare System. Oswald received ‘free’ medical care and was given benefit payments whilst being re-settled. He was allocated a ‘flat’ in a modern (post-WWII reconstructed) part of Minsk, for which he was charged a nominal rent only after he started working full-time. Furthermore, the USSR had full employment and everyone was given a job suited to their abilities and needs. There was no competition for jobs as is the case in the capitalist West. Secondly, as a Marxist-Leninist, who had presumably read at least some work related to Marx and Lenin, Oswald would have appreciated the need for political education amongst the people. Standing to attention for ten minutes during a mid-morning break is the minimum a Soviet Citizen could do as a means to ‘appreciate’ and ‘remember’ where all the material benefits they enjoyed, had historically originated. Prior to the rise of revisionist Khrushchev, Lenin’s portrait may well have rested alongside that of Joseph Stalin. Whatever the case, Imbuing a sense of innate respect for the Soviet State was an important part of Soviet identity. Oswald was young, of course, and there is no guarantee that his diary was not ‘altered’ or ‘adjusted’ to give a negative impression of the USSR – the very country Oswald had given-up his US Citizenship to enter.

On January 8th, Oswald recorded in his diary about a meeting he had with the ‘Mayor of the City’ Sharapov (Шараповым), who promised him a free apartment and separately warned of ‘uncultured people who sometimes offend foreigners.’ Lee did not have any special conflicts, however, with local residents, but he was given the promised apartment quite quickly. Already by March 16th, 1960, Oswald recorded in the ‘Diary’:

‘I’m getting a small one-room apartment with a kitchen and a bathroom. Near the Plant (8 minutes walk). Beautiful view from two balconies to the river. Almost free of charge (60 rubles per month). This is a dream for Russians.’

A separate, albeit ‘small’ apartment was considered very highly by most of the Minsk citizens, who appreciated everything the Soviet State provided. In addition, the American guest was placed in an excellent post-war home, almost on the main avenue of the city, with a view not only of the river, but also of the headquarters of the Red Banner Belarusian Military District. Oswald’s new address was – Ul. Kalinin, 4, ap. 24. A year later, ‘ul. Kalinin’ is renamed the ‘Communist’ (Коммунистическую), under this name it continues to exist today. The photo of this apartment house, apparently made by Oswald, is contained in the materials of the Warren Commission. During his ime i Minsk, Oswald would marry ‘Marina’ and have a child before decding to return to the USA during May, 1962.

Oswald and his New Apartment



Oswald (far-left) and Alexander Sieger [Александр Зигер] (far-right)
Oswald and his Wife (Russian) Marina




Marina Oswald (nee: Prusakova) [ Марина Николаевна Прусакова]
Russian Language Source:

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