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Two ‘state-secret’ Refuseniks Get Permission to Leave USSR

February 7, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two refuseniks denied emigration rights for years because of their alleged knowledge of state secrets have finally received permission from the Foreign Ministry to leave the Soviet Union, according to Lynn Singer, executive director of the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry.

Singer announced Wednesday that she learned the good news about Anatoly Genis and Lev Milman by telephone from Moscow.

In Washington, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry could not immediately confirm that the men had received permission to emigrate.

The organization told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, however, that it had recently received assurances from top officials at the Soviet Foreign Ministry that the two men’s cases would be resolved quickly.

A delegation from the National Conference met with the head of the ministry’s division of humanitarian affairs, Dr. Yuri Reshetov, in Moscow on Jan. 22.

Reshetov told them at the time that Genis would be allowed to emigrate shortly and that Milman would no longer be prevented from leaving on the basis of access to “state secrets.”

According to the National Conference, there are still about 200 refuseniks in the Soviet Union.

Genis, 53, holds a doctorate in mathematics but was allowed only to do menial labor after applying for an exit visa in 1977. If permitted to leave, he would be joining his wife, Galya, and his sons Peter, Seva and Stephen, who came to the United States in May 1990.

Milman, 78, a World War II veteran, and his wife, Lia, 69, have a daughter, Maria, and a son, Alexander, in the United States.

Milman, who retired in 1979, applied for an exit visa in 1987 and was refused. His wife was a member of Jewish Women Against Refusal.

Both families suffered serious illnesses and the ordeals of poverty during their years of waiting, according to Americans who visited them.

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