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Soviet Teen-Ager Hijacks Plane After Fight With Parents

June 9, 1990

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ A Soviet runaway said Saturday he hijacked an Aeroflot airliner to Sweden because he was upset about a quarrel with his father over a broken moped. No one was hurt.

The plane, carrying a crew of seven and 114 passengers, was on a domestic flight from the Byelorussian capital of Minsk to the Soviet Arctic port of Murmansk when the youth threatened the crew with a fake grenade, authorities said.

The incident ended peacefully when Dimitry Semionov, 17, surrendered to police an hour after the Tupolev 154 jetliner landed at Stockholm’s international airport.

″He just said he wanted to stay in Sweden,″ said police inspector Barry Ivarsson.

None of the passengers knew the plane had been hijacked until it landed early Saturday at Arlanda airport, 25 miles north of Stockholm, one said.

″Everything was peaceful and quiet,″ passenger Marya Yeryomenko told a television interviewer before the flight returned to the Soviet Union. ″The stewardess only told us after we had landed that we were in Stockholm.″

Semionov, a high school student from Minsk, said his father had told him to get out of the house after their quarrel.

″My parents drove me away, my father did. I didn’t have anywhere to stay,″ he said in a radio interview, speaking through an interpreter. ″I didn’t wish to harm anyone, but I saw no other method. ... Everything got worse and worse and I was very disappointed.″

The plane was searched for explosives before it returned to the Soviet Union Saturday morning with its passengers.

Semionov’s lawyer, Birger Ohlson, said his client was in Stockholm’s Kronoberg prison and would be arraigned Sunday.

″He had quarreled with his father about something as trivial as a broken moped,″ Ohlson said in a television interview. ″His father reprimanded him for not having mended it properly, so the boy got angry and sold the moped. His father wanted the money, and when he didn’t get it he took the keys and drove him out.″

The lawyer said Semionov told him he had not planned the hijack, but ″got the idea on the plane.″

Semionov faced up to four years in a prison in Sweden but would be subject to much harsher punishment in the Soviet Union, the lawyer said.

″According to what has been said, he could face very grave consequences, even the death penalty,″ Ohlson said.

Ohlson said Soviet authorities had not requested the youth’s extradition. Semionov was expected to seek asylum.

″It may sound unpatriotic, but I know that the society here is freer and the change in our country is too slow,″ the teen-ager said in the radio interview.

After the plane was commandeered, Finnish authorities initially refused it permission to fly through their airspace, but then relented.

Alexander Krasilnikov, a spokesman for the Soviet ministry of civil aviation in Moscow, confirmed that the plane had returned safely and there were no injuries among the passengers and crew.