Innokentii Volodin, a diplomat, makes a telephone call he feels obliged by conscience to make, even though he knows he could be arrested. His call was taped and the NKVD seek to identify who made the call.
The sharashka prisoners or zeks, work on technical projects to assist state security agencies and generally pander to Stalin’s increasing paranoia. While most are aware of how much better off they are than “regular” gulag prisoners (some of them having come from gulags themselves), some are also conscious of the overwhelming moral dilemma of working to aid a system that is the cause of so much suffering. As Lev Rubin is given the task of identifying the voice in the recorded phone call, he examines printed spectrographs of the voice and compares them with recordings of Volodin and five other suspects…
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