An Incident at Krechetovka Station

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An Incident at Krechetovka Station
Cover We Never Make Mistakes.jpg
Cover of the 1972 Sphere Books English translation of the novella and Matryona's Place
Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Original title Случай на станции Кочетовка
Translator Paul Blackstock (1963)
Country U.S.S.R.
Language Russian
Genre Literary fiction
Publisher Novy Mir (in Russian), University of South Carolina Press (in English)
Publication date
OCLC 250817

An Incident at Krechetovka Station (Russian: Случай на станции Кречетовка) is a novella written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and published in the Soviet literary magazine Novyi Mir (New World) in 1963. It is one of the few works of prose written by the author that are set in World War II and is said to have been based upon real life events witnessed by the author.

The novella's original title was "Случай на станции Кочетовка" (An Incident at Kochetovka Station), but a change was forced upon Solzhenitsyn by the Novyi Mir editorial board due to its allegorical association with the name of Vsevolod Kochetov, then editor-in-chief of the conservative Soviet literary magazine Oktiabr' (October).[1] In later editions, the author restored the name of the station back to "Kochetovka".[2]


The action of the novella takes place only over three or four hours[3] and is written from the viewpoint of a short-sighted character called Lieutenant Vasili Zotov, who is the second in command of the station.[2] The brief incident described involves a soldier and actor, Tveritinov, who has lost his military unit. Zotov is impressed by the actor's persona and is moved when shown photographs of the actor's family. But when Tveritinov asks what was the previous name of Stalingrad, Zotov suspects that he is a spy and has him arrested.

Later, Zotov twice asks about the actor only to be told that he "has been taken care of" and "we never make mistakes" – leaving the reader to guess Tveritinov's fate. Solzhenitsyn uses Zotov's short sight as a symbol of Soviet ideology, but Zotov is one of Solzhenitsyn's more sympathetically written characters who is loyal to Joseph Stalin, and who has qualities that the author admires.[4]


In 1964 a short film based on the novella was shot by Nikolai Rasheyev and Gleb Panfilov as a school project when at the High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors.[5] The Soviet film studio Lenfilm approached Solzhenitsyn, but he rejected the proposal, explaining later that he didn't want see the story distorted.[6] In 1970 a TV film was shot in Sweden (titled Ett möte på Kretjetovkastationen);[7] the script was written by Solzhenitsyn and Christian Berling played Zotov and Ulf Johanson as Tveritinov.[8]


  1. ^ Александр Минкин, Письма президентам, p. 202
  2. ^ a b Klimoff, Alexis; Ericson, Edward E. Jr (2008). The Soul and Barbed Wire: An Introduction to Solzhenitsyn. Lanham, MD: Intercollegiate Studies Institute. ISBN 1-933859-57-1. 
  3. ^ Moody, Christopher J. (1973). Solzhenitsyn. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. pp. 70–3. ISBN 0-05-002600-3. 
  4. ^ Moody, Christopher J. (1973). Solzhenitsyn. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. p. 75. ISBN 0-05-002600-3. 
  5. ^ An interview with N. Rasheyev
  6. ^ Александр Солженицын. Бодался телёнок с дубом. — М.: Согласие, 1996. — С. 54
  7. ^ Ett möte på Kretjetovkastationen on Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ "Экранизации произведений Солженицына" Archived November 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.