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Peace Couple Plan to Settle in U.S.

February 25, 1986

VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Two Soviet peace activists, who said they left Moscow rather than face imprisonment, hope to settle in the United States.

Alexei Lusnikov, who arrived in Vienna Friday with his wife Olga, said the couple had been planning a demonstration to coincide with the 27th Soviet Communist Party congress, which begins Tuesday.

He said Friday and again Monday that the KGB secret police warned them to accept exit visas or face imprisonment. The two have been active in the Group to Establish Trust Between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A.

Lusnikov, a 32-year-old physicist, said he had received an offer to teach at the American University in Washington D.C. about a year ago, ″but I don’t know whether this offer is still valid.″ There was no immediate word from American University.

Peter Murphy of the London-based European Nuclear Disarmament group said Lusnikov and his 28-year-old wife arrived here on an exit visa for Israel. But they are not Jewish and are unwilling to go to Israel, he said.

″They plan to meet friends of European peace groups at least in London and Amsterdam″ and hope to obtain documents soon to emigrate to the United States, Murphy said in a telephone interview.

Lusnikov said the group sent a message to Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev in time for the party congress.

″The message said that real detente is impossible without people-to-people contact,″ he said.

Lusnikov said four members of his group have been sent to psychiatric hospitals, and some were beaten by the KGB and regular police. Detention in psychiatric hospitals is often used against dissidents, according to international human rights groups and Soviet dissidents.

Lusnikov identified the four as Irina Pankratova and Annetta Fadeeva, both 17 years old, and painters Viktor Smirnov and Nina Kovalyenko. He said two other actists, Aleksander Shatravko and Vladimir Brodskiy, were in prison camps.

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