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Lynn Teacher Files for Annulment From Soviet Husband

March 8, 1989

LYNN, Mass. (AP) _ A woman who fought for nine years to win the release of her Russian fiance from the Soviet Union has filed for annulment less than nine months after marrying him.

Elizabeth Condon, a high school language teacher, is seeking an annulment from Viktor M. Novikov, alleging he used her for passage to the United States, The Daily Evening Item of Lynn reported in today’s editions.

The couple made headlines a year ago when they were reunited after nearly 10 years apart because Novikov was unable to leave the Soviet Union. The reunion, after years of persistent lobbying by Condon, came on the eve of the Reagan-Gorbachev superpower summit.

Condon, 45, met Novikov, 56, in 1967 while leading a study tour in the Soviet Union. She returned to visit him and they made plans to marry but Soviet officials refused to let Novikov leave. In 1979, Condon began lobbying for his release by writing letters and contacting politicians.

They were married May 28.

Condon filed a complaint Feb. 3 in Essex Probate Court in Salem, alleging Novikov encouraged her love and attention because he wanted to leave the Soviet Union, the Item reported. The complaint also said the marriage was never consummated.

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