Kalnychenko's first transgresssion of Soviet law was his nonagreement to work for the KGB. He was approached in 1964 to act as an informant, but his unwillingness to do so caused him to be arrested by a fellow student in 1965. He was released without charge, and worked in Leningrad as an electrical engineer.
On January 12th, 1967, Kalynychenko was charged with "attempting to betray his homeland", and was sentenced to 10 years harsh regime labour camp.
Kalnychenko protested to his sentence on the grounds that he had not been sentenced for trying to cross a border illegally, but rather that he was a political prisoner. In 1974, he sent an open letter in that effect to the presidium of the USSR (with a copy going to the United Nations).
Between October 17th and 27th, 1977, Kalychenko went on a hunger strike, demanding to be allowed to emigrate from the USSR.
On October 23, 1977, Kalnychenko sent a letter to the Supreme Soviet denouncing Soviet citizenship, military ticket, and university degree.
On April 7, 1978, Kalnychenko was arrested for Hooliganism. At the time, "hooliganism" was an umbrella term used by authorities to chastise non-membership in the communist party.
Kalnychenko could not find work, and appealed to the authorities for assistance.
On May 16, 1980, the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Court ruled that Kalnychenko was a repeat offender and he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 5 years exile.