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Kuznetsov and Zalmanson to Divorce

Eduard Kuznetsov and Sylva Zalmanson, two of the better-known Russian refusniks who came to Israel after years spent in Soviet prisons, have come to an amicable agreement to divorce. The Tel Aviv rabbinical court granted a formal “get” (bill of divorcement) to the couple who made world headlines through Sylva’s efforts to secure her husband’s release from a Soviet jail.

They said they would remain friends, but the incompatibility of their temperaments made it impossible for them to live together. Sylva retains custody of their 18-month-old daughter and is continuing to live in their Holon apartment, while Eduard has moved into a friend’s apartment in Ramat Gan.

The couple were together for only five months before trial and imprisonment for their part in the Leningrad hijack attempt to flee to Israel in 1970. Sylva was released after a few years and came to Israel, from where she continued to campaign for her husband’s release. She paid many visits to the U.S. and Europe to persuade world leaders to help her.

Kuznetsov was finally released nearly three years ago and came straight to Israel. But the years apart did not help their marriage and they have now decided to part as friends, Sylva told her acquaintances.

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