Soviet Jew, Underground for Months, is Arrested by Soviet Authorities

Boris Chernobilsky, a Soviet Jew who successfully eluded Russian authorities for four months, was arrested in Moscow on Thanksgiving Day, according to Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-L, Manhattan).

“I am greatly saddened by the news of his arrest,” said Gottfried, who learned of Chernobilsky’s capture late yesterday. “Yet Mr. Chernobilsky’s heroic and unprecedented success at evading Soviet authorities for so long stands as an inspiration of freedom-loving people everywhere. I shall be renewing my efforts on his behalf, demanding that Chernobilsky be released from prison and allowed to emigrate with his family.”

Chernobilsky went underground in late July, on the eve of his scheduled trial before a Moscow court. He had been charged with “resisting a representative of authority” when Soviet police broke up a gathering of Jews in a forest outside Moscow in May.

Gottfried had been asked by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry to “adopt” Chernobilsky, who is a radio engineer by profession. Chernobilsky’s supporters have sought to aid his struggle through telegrams to the Soviet ambassador and demonstrations at the Soviet Mission in New York.

Chernobilsky, his wife, and two young daughters have been refused an exit visa since 1975, on grounds of “state secrecy.” Before going underground Chernobilskyled public demonstrations of Jewish activists, and served a 15-day sentence in 1976 for “malicious hooliganism.” He was released after supporters engaged in a worldwide campaign to secure the engineer’s release.

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