NEW YORK (May. 22)
Twenty-three more Soviet Jewish activists–20 in Wilna and three in Kharkov–have been warned by the authorities not to go to Moscow during President Nixon’s stay, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry reported today. The SSSJ also reported that two more Jews, Valentine Prussakov and Vladimir Prestin–making a total of at least eight–have been arrested and sentenced to 10-day jail terms in Moscow for “anti-social” activities.
Meanwhile, in Washington, State Department spokesman Charles Bray said today that the State Department has not yet received any concrete indications of Jewish dissident activity in the Soviet Union in connection with President Nixon’s summit visit to Moscow which began today. Bray said at today’s news briefing, however, that there were reports that a substantial number of Soviet Jews signed a letter to be presented to Nixon, presumably through the US Embassy in Moscow. He said he had no knowledge as to whether it has been delivered. He did not make it clear whether be meant delivery to the Embassy or to the President.
On Friday, Jewish sources in New York reported that 300 Soviet Jewish families in 12 Russian cities sent to the US Embassy in Moscow an appeal to Nixon to help them leave the Soviet Union. All have been refused exit visas the sources reported. Among the signers of this appeal were the eight activists arrested over the weekend.