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Report Brother Testified Against Jew Convicted in Sverdlovsk

July 13, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The older brother of Valeriy Kukui testified against him at his trial last month, Jewish sources disclosed here today. Valeriy Kukui was tried on June 15 and 16 in Sverdlovsk and was sentenced on June 21 to three years in prison for anti-Soviet “slander” involving the distribution of petitions criticizing the trials of Soviet Jews. Kukui is 33 and has a 31-year-old wife and a 6-year-old daughter. The brother’s name was not immediately available, but he was said by the sources to be a Communist Party member who was convinced that Valerly’s activities constituted anti-Soviet slander. The brother did not actually attend the trial, because of illness, but submitted a statement. Their mother, on the other hand, defended Valeriy against the charges leveled at him. At the trial, the sources added, two persons disavowed statements they had signed that were critical of Valeriy Kukui’s activities, Lev Blank said he had signed under duress, and Mrs. Sophie Movshovich said she had signed out of fear. The convicted Jew will appeal his three-year sentence to the Supreme Court in Moscow in a few days, the sources said. They identified his attorney as Leonid Popov.

Jewish sources here reported that Hillel Zalmanovich Shur, the Soviet Jewish engineer recently sentenced in Kishinev to two years in labor camp for alleged anti-Soviet activities, is suffering from heart disease and an ulcer. They said the ailments may have been aggravated by the hunger strike Shur staged while awaiting trial. The 35-year-old prisoner was arrested last Aug. 5, and his sentence ends Aug. 5, 1972. In other developments, a traveler who recently returned from the Soviet Union reported here that the amateur Yiddish theater of Wilna, Lithuania, has voluntarily disbanded because its members thought it would be hypocritical to continue under the authorities’ restrictions. Forty members of the 100-member group withdrew for this reason, the traveler said, and 30 emigrated, and the remaining 30 deemed the troupe dead.

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