RUSSIAN DISSIDENT WRITER STRIPPED OF SOVIET CITIZENSHIP

 

On September 7, 1976, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR decreed that Victor Sokolov be deprived of his Soviet citizenship for "activities discrediting the rank (title) of a Soviet citizen." Victor Sokolov is a dissident writer who has regularly published articles critical of the Soviet Union since he was able to leave the USSR in Nov. 1975. In recent times, only four other persons have been stripped of their Soviet citizenship by such edicts of the Supreme Soviet: Valery Chalidze, Zhores Medvedev, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Vladimir Maximov.

 

Mr. Sokolov received news of the Supreme Soviet edict from the San Francisco consulate on Nov. 17th. In a written statement he says, "The rash decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, stripping me of Soviet citizenship, I accept as a high honor, in that this act of the Soviet government places me on one plane with such people as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Vladimir Maximov, Valery Chalidze, and Zhores Medvedev. I call this action of the Supreme Soviet rash because it is evident that I do not merit such a high honor. But I will strive to."

 

Inside of Russia, Victor Sokolov had been heavily involved in the dissident movement, writing critical articles for samizdat, the underground press. Several of his articles made their way out of the Soviet Union and were published in the Russian press in the west or broadcast over Radio Liberty. He was also a member of Amnesty International in Moscow.

 

In 1975, Sokolov met and married an American working for the U.S. Embassy. As the spouse of an American, Victor Sokolov was able to apply and receive permission to leave the USSR. He is now living with his wife in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he is teaching advanced Russian at the University of California and continues to write for various Russian language publications.