Menu JTA Search

Judy Flies to Moscow Without Visa; Ousted by Soviet Authorities State Dept. Discloses Surprise Trip

Judy Silver Shapiro landed at Moscow Airport this morning without a visa, was denied entry by Soviet authorities and was placed on a return flight to London, State Department sources disclosed today. Mrs. Shapiro’s surprise flight to Russia was apparently a desperate bid to visit her husband Gavriel who is scheduled to go on trial in Moscow Thursday. She had been trying without success to obtain a Soviet visa since June.

The State Department sources said Mrs. Shapiro boarded a Soviet Aeroflot jet at New York last night and apparently made the flight alone. When she arrived in Moscow, airport officials refused to allow her to leave the terminal and ordered her on the next plane to London. The State Department may have been aware of her flight. The sources said an American Consular official directed to meet her at the airport was unable to communicate with her. State Department officials said they were awaiting details from the US Embassy in Moscow.

Mrs. Shapiro, a Cincinnati social worker, was married to Jewish activist Gavriel Shapiro in a religious ceremony at his Moscow home last June 8 but had to leave Russia on June 12 when her visa expired. Soviet authorities refused to extend her visa at the time. She applied for a new visa at the Soviet Consulate in Washington June 28 but was never issued one.

Mrs. Shapiro, who has spoken to her husband frequently by telephone from Moscow, said last week that he told her it was essential that she be present at his trial. Shapiro has been charged with evasion of military duty under Art. 198 of the Soviet penal code although he had completed his required military service as an officer in the Red Army reserve. Shapiro applied for and was granted Israeli citizenship in absentia last year. He is seeking an emigration visa.

NEXT STORY