NEW YORK (Dec. 14)
The Soviet Union’s most prominent remaining refusenik received permission Wednesday to emigrate.
Yuli Kosharovsky, a Moscow Jewish activist who waited 17 years to emigrate, was notified in writing that he could leave.
Kosharovsky, 47, plans to be in Israel before the end of January, accompanied by wife, Inna, and three sons, Mikhail, Eliezer and Matityahu.
Four other refuseniks, long prevented from emigrating because of their alleged knowledge of “state secrets,” were also notified they could leave.
They are Vladimir Kislik, Yuri Cherniak and Moisey Rosenblit, all of Moscow, and Evgeny Lein of Leningrad.
Kosharovsky gave his news to Joyce Simpson of the London 35s, a British women’s group that has been in the forefront of the international Soviet Jewry movement.
Simpson passed on the information to the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry, a member of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.
Lynn Singer, executive director of the Long Island Committee, confirmed the information with Inna Kosharovsky.
The National Conference on Soviet Jews and the Coalition to Free Soviet Jews in New York also reported the information.
A native of Sverdlovsk, in the Ural Mountains, Kosharovsky left his job as a radio electronics engineer there in 1968 in anticipation of his visa application, and moved to Moscow.
He applied to emigrate in 1971 and was refused shortly after applying, based on his purported knowledge of “state secrets.”
GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL
In 1981, the grounds for his refusal were officially changed to “insufficient kinship” in Israel.
A few weeks ago, he was told again that the “secrecy” ban would not be used to prevent him from emigrating.
The Kosharovskys were married in 1975, in a religious ceremony performed by a visiting rabbi from the West.
They taught Hebrew, which they learned in underground ulpanim. In 1975, Yuli began a seminar for unemployed engineers, was threatened by the KGB and told to discontinue the seminars. He refused.
Soviet authorities ransacked their apartment on more than one occasion, confiscating learning materials, The couple have been under house arrest several times, and their telephone has been disconnected.
Kosharovsky was a friend of Natan Sharansky, then known as Anatoly, in the early days of the refusenik movement.
The refusenik community chose Kosharovsky to speak to President Reagan when he visited Moscow last May and held a reception for dissidents at the U.S. ambassador’s residence. Members of Congress have spoken on his behalf.
He was refused emigration after the May summit meeting between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
U.S. OFFICIAL THANKED
Kosharovsky asked Singer of the Long Island Committee to personally thank the entire community for its help. He singled out Richard Schifter, U.S. assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs.
“I know I was a stone on his back,” Kosharovsky told her.
Among the other Soviet Jews who received permission this week were Kislik, 53, a 14-year refusenik and former prisoner of conscience.
Cherniak, 44, is a theoretical physicist who had been refused for 11 years. Rosenblit, 49, is a computer programmer who had been waiting eight years and received permission Friday.
Lein, 50, a mathematician, had been waiting 10 years. His wife, Irina, is a biochemist. Together with their son, Alexei, they will go to Israel, where their daughter Alexandra and her husband, Mark Levinov, have lived since July 1987.