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Ex-refuseniks Abramovich, Prestin Arrive in Israel

March 17, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two longtime Moscow refuseniks, Pavel Abramovich and Vladimir Prestin, arrived Monday in Israel, on a direct flight from the Soviet Union via Bucharest.

Abramovich, who will be 49 on March 24, was accompanied by his wife, Marta; brother, Grigory; and Marta’s mother, Ida Mendelevna Balashinskaya, 84, according to the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.

They were greeted at the airport by their son, Felix, 23, who arrived in Israel in August and is now a student at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

Prestin, 53, who is Abramovich’s brother-in-law, arrived with his wife, Elena; and son, Mikhail, 23. Elena Prestina’s sister, Inna Levin Yakhot, lives in Beersheba.

Abramovich and Prestin are both electronics engineers, each refused since 1971 on the basis of “state secrets.” Prestin also has worked as a computer scientist and geophysicist.

Abramovich organized a seminar on “secrecy” in November that attracted more than 100 refuseniks and international journalists. He is the author of two journals of articles on the issue of “state secrets.”

Abramovich received permission to emigrate Dec. 3, on the eve of the summit meeting in Washington between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

But that permission was placed in doubt in January, when emigration authorities told him they were missing necessary documents for his mother-in-law. They also told Grigory, a six-year refusenik, that his invitation was no longer valid.

Abramovich staged a demonstration Jan. 20 in Moscow, and since then his family’s problems apparently have been reconciled.

(Reporter Susan Birnbaum in New York contributed to this story.)

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