Santa Cruz Instructor Loses Soviet Citizenship

 

SANTA CRUZ (AP) - A University of California Russian instructor says he has become the fifth person in recent times to be stripped of Soviet citizenship by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.

Victor Sokolov, 29, said Friday that he was told of the action in a letter from the Russian consul's office in San Francisco after he wrote to request information on having relatives in Russia visit him in the United States. Famed dissident author Alexander Solzhenitsyn lost his Russian citizenship in a similar government action.

His American wife, Barbara, said the letter said the visit would be impossible since he was no longer a Soviet citizen because of "activities discrediting the ranks of a Soviet citizen."

Sokolov, who has written articles critical of the Soviet Union both while inside the country and since his departure, was forced to leave Russia one year ago after his June 1975 wedding. Mrs. Sokolov, an American, met Sokolov while working for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

"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," Sokolov said in a statement read by his wife. "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."

Mrs. Sokolov said the action was taken Sept. 7, but they did not hear about it until the letter arrived this week. She said that her husband plans to apply for U.S. citizenship when he becomes eligible.

Peninsula Herald, Monterey, CA., November 20, 1976