19-year-old Jewish Soldier in Soviet Army Demands Discharge, Right to Emigrate

A 19-year-old Jewish soldier in the Soviet Army has demanded a discharge and the right to go to Israel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today. According to reliable sources, Leonid Kolchinsky, formerly of Kharkov, submitted his demand to his commanding officer and sent a copy to Gen. Lepishev, the chief political commissar for the Soviet Army. The sources said that Kolchinsky was drafted last Dec. 29 after trying unsuccessfully for more than a year to obtain an exit visa. Last May he wrote the Supreme Soviet saying he was voluntarily giving up his Soviet citizenship. Last October he was jailed for 20 days after an argument with a notary public in Kharkov named Boyteva who refused to notarize documents authorizing a friend to act on his behalf to secure a visa. He contracted pneumonia in jail and was not fully recovered when he was drafted, The sources said. Kolchinsky’s demand for emigration rights apparently reached high Soviet authorities. Last Nov. he was officially informed by Gregory Nazarenko, a Foreign Ministry representative, that his visa request was denied, According to the sources, the young man wants his case brought before world opinion even though it could seriously jeopardize him as a member of the Soviet armed forces.

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