Benjamin and Tanye Bogomolny, a Jewish couple from Moscow, have confirmed that they have received exit visas and expect to leave the Soviet Union within the next two weeks, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned Tuesday.
Tanye Bogomolny, 47, has breast cancer and sought permission to undergo treatment in the West, accompanied by her husband. His past military service had been cited as a reason why exit visas were denied. Dr. Gerald Batist, a Montreal cancer specialist who is president of the International Cancer Patients Solidarity Committee, spoke to the Bogomolnys by telephone Monday.
He told the JTA that “they were called to the OVIR (visa office) last Friday and were informed that previous restrictions were lifted. On Monday they received documents and were told to pack and buy tickets to Vienna.”
Batist is one of a group of Western physicians who have appealed to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to allow cancer patients who desire treatment in the West to leave the Soviet Union on compassionate grounds. It was reported at a meeting of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jewry in Washington Monday that exit visas have been granted or promised to the Bogomolnys, to Inna Meiman, another cancer victim, and to her husband, Naum, and to Benjamin Charney who also has cancer.
That report, based on information from Jewish sources in the USSR, has been confirmed so far only in the case of the Bogomolnys. Tanye Bogomolny has a sister in Montreal, Batsheva Lape. But is not clear whether she will come to Canada for treatment. Her husband reportedly wants to go to Israel.
Meanwhile, an official of the External Affairs Ministry said Tuesday that family reunification will be on the agenda of the talks in Ottawa this week between External Affairs Minister Joe Clark and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze. Clark has a list of 140 families in the Soviet Union, Jewish and non-Jewish, seeking to reunite with relatives in Canada.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.