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it as a kind of cybernetic information system where I think they are probably extraordinarily effective and efficient.
In fact, I am one of those who believes that the Soviet military is neither a giant nor a pigmy, and what you have to do is go in and look at each element, case by case. But what you will be struck by is two things. One, the extraordinary degree of rigor that they go about studying things military. Second, the way that they try to actualize what they need to in terms of the conclusions based those studies within their military machine to make it effective. It might not be pretty, but it works.
Mr. TOUMANOFF. I think that before we finish this topic, I should point out, in all fairness to the paper, and to Professor Zimmerman, that this is a rather general measure that he is working with. Everything that you have suggested, and Bruce Menning, is not inconsistent.
If I didn't say so at the start, I should say that the data support strongly this kind of a conclusion, but that it warrants a good deal more investigation, and I think that this is exactly what Professor Zimmerman would say if he were here.
Senator SASSER. I have one final question, Mr. Chairman.
In the effort to assimilate Soviet defectors into our culture and our economy, would these defectors be able to "test out" with regard to proficiency? In other words, if you had a Soviet physician, would he be proficient enough to perform effectively in our society? Are they accomplished enough to perform the job, given that their language skills are adequate?
Mr. TOUMANOFF. It would vary, obviously, from individual to individual, and profession to profession. I think that there is a general point, however, which applies pretty widely across-the-board, which is a cultural difference. There is a cultural difference in the form of their educational system. There is a cultural difference in their approach to research.
One of the difficulties that they have in being assimilated into the academic community, for example, is that the philosophy of research is a little different in the Western academic culture from that which most of the emigres bring with them.
In a sense, there is almost a kind of aculturation process, which has to be gone through, in almost any profession, which is familiarization with the modes and vocabulary, and intellectual style of the Western profession or a comparable profession as practiced and trained for in the Soviet Union.
Dr. MENNING. Sir, this is an issue that I addressed at some length in the materials which accompany my testimony. But, basically, what I pointed to, I think, is some of the Israeli experience, which they are much more rigorous about the idea of networking, that is, taking a Soviet emigre by profession and identifying that person's professional interest, and putting that person with someone in the same profession.
This is one of the areas that I think that possibly we can assist some of the emigres defectors; it is not only with the idea of the clearinghouse, but that is the idea of-I am not sure how to do this-creating a set of incentives that makes it worthwhile both for them and for American or Western professionals of various stripes
to sit down and actually take in an interest in these people as they become acultured.
Mr. TOUMANOFF. Some form of assistance might be appropriate in what you might call a work-study combination, an apprenticeship. I think that this is what the Israeli experience was.
Senator SASSER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Nunn. Mr. Toumanoff and Dr. Menning, we appreciate very much your assistance, and your testimony. We will be making some recommendations later, and your testimony will be helpful. We urge you to continue to stay in touch with the subcommittee if you have any further thoughts or recommendations.
Thank you both for being here.
Senator Nunn. We next have a panel of four individuals, and I suppose we really have five individuals that I will call up and introduce each one.
As I said to all of our witnesses, we would like to spend several more hours on this subject, but we really have less than an hour. I have to be at another meeting at 12:30, but perhaps Senator Cohen will be able to stay a little while longer. We are going to have to ask each of our next witnesses to summarize so that we will have time for some questions.
The first witness is Dr. Vladimir Sakharov, who defected from the Soviet Union and took up residence in the United States in 1971. Prior to 1971, Dr. Sakharov served as attaché and Secretary to the Soviet Consulate General in Alexandria, Egypt.
Prior to that time, Dr. Sakharov served as a Soviet Consular officer in North Yemen, and from 1965 to 1967, he was a broadcast controller at the Department of Broadcasting for Middle Eastern Affairs at Moscow's Institute for International Relations of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dr. Sakharov's father was a diplomatic courier, and his mother was a physician specializing in the treatment of alcoholism. Dr. Sakharov has written a book called “High Treason,” and remains one of the definitive works on the rearing, educating, and the value system system of the children of the people in the Communist Party and the KGB.
After coming to the United States, Dr. Sakharov received his Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Southern California, and he has written on a number of subjects. His dissertation was titled "Soviet/Arab Intermesh: Historical, Cultural, and Socio-Political Dimensions.'
We also have Dr. Dmitry Mikheyev, who was born in the Soviet Union in 1941, received his Ph.D. in physics from the prestigious Moscow State University in 1970. Shortly after he completed his doctoral dissertation on the subject of lasers, he attempted to flee the Soviet Union for political reasons.
Arrested by the KGB, he was formally charged with treason and sentenced to a hard labor camp. After serving six years of his sentence, he was released from prison, in part due to the activities of Western human rights groups. Dr. Mikheyev was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1979, and subsequently emigrated to the United States.
Since coming here, he has not only continued his interest in physics, but also embarked upon a thorough study of Soviet mentality. His views on the subject of mentality and its relationship to defector resettlement as well as his personal experience and observations from the Soviet Gulag, where he met a number of defectors who had returned and been imprisoned, will be an important addition to our subcommittee study of the defector issue.
Then we will also have Ms. Ludmilla Thorne, and she will be accompanied by a Soviet soldier, who was in Afghanistan, Mr. Movchan. This is a related, but not directly related issue, that certainly is interesting to the subcommittee, and we will hear from them.
Ms. Thorne is a Sovietologist for Freedom House, a non-profit organization which, for over 45 years, has been a worldwide advocate for human rights. Ms. Thorne is currently involved in championing the plight of Soviet soldier/defectors. She has traveled to Afghanistan on several occasions, and has personally interviewed many of the defectors there.
Mr. Movchan was an army sergeant with the Soviet troops occupying Afghanistan, where he defected in 1983 to the Afghan Resistance. For the next 13 months, he stayed with the Freedom Fighters until granted asylum in the United States in July of 1984.
We heard, of course, from Senator Humphrey on this subject. He is very interested in it. Senator Humphrey has been following this issue with a great deal of interest.
We also will hear from Eugene Demchenko. Last week, we introduced into the hearing record a statement from Mr. Demchenko. Mr. Demchenko was an official in the Ukranian Communist Party before defecting in 1972. Senator Cohen made a particular request that we have Mr. Demchenko here today, and we are pleased to do SO.
As I mentioned, we will ask all of our witnesses to try to summarize as we have approximately a ten-minute limit on each one, I will not be absolutely rigid with that, so that we can then have some time for questions.
If we could have all of our witnesses come forward, we will give the oath, as we always do. If you would remain standing until we have sworn each of you in.
Please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give before the subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?
Mr. SAKHAROV. I do.
Mr. Sakharov, we will hear from you first. We don't want to rush anyone, on the other hand, we hope to hear from every one of our witnesses, and we hope to have some time for questions. So if each of you could try to summarize your statement, we would appreciate it very much.
TESTIMONY OF VLADIMIR NIKOLAVEICH SAKHAROV, FORMER
SOVIET DIPLOMAT 1 Mr. SAKHAROV. Mr. Chairman, it is an honor for me to appear before the committee. I was looking forward to this hearing, be cause I think it presents a great deal of importance.
I will skip my bio, basically, because it is part of my testimony. However, I must say one thing. We talk about defectors' motivation, their motivation to come to this country. They are all different. Some of them are political, and some are ideological. I do believe that most of them are personal, however. They are personal reasons.
For example, one of the reasons for my wanting to come to the United States was created very early in my life, when I went to see the American Industrial Exhibition during the time of the Nixon "kitchen" debates.
I went to see that exhibition. I saw American Cadillac cars there. I went to see an American fashion show, I stayed at that fashion show for about two hours, comparing those models with other Russian housewives of the period. The thought occurred to me, how do you set up to defect, then. So defection set in, in my life, very early.
Another reason for my defection was that I was one of the first to originate jazz in the Soviet Union, having become a good jazz musician. At that time, jazz was illegal, and it was a very great deal of pride for me to do something illegal and fight that system in my own way.
Later on that dream was fulfilled, finally, I was able to come to the United States.
When I was in Kuwait, working as attaché over at the embassy, there was the possibility to establish a relationship with the United States Government, which was very helpful in my coming to the United States.
I can tell you, from my personal example, that debriefings are not a very pleasant experience. However, it might be looked at at another angle: a person who is being debriefed by the United States Government also feels that he gives something important to the United States Government.
A person who comes to the United States at first has no analytical, academic, or political knowledge about the United States. He assumes that the United States knows nothing about the Soviet Union, which is not true, during lengthy debriefing procedures, as I found and as it was confirmed to me on many occasions.
A person under debriefing has a tendency to puff his own importance. He has a tendency to puff or exaggerate facts, provided that the atmosphere of debriefing is fairly pressing. On top of that, when a person has no assurances as to what his future life is going to be in the United States, he tries puff some more to sort of raise his own price. That is only human, I believe, and I believe that this is where we have to start, because that must be avoided, because this puffing very often leads to cases such as the case with Nosenko, or some other defectors.
See p. 351 for Dr. Sakharov's prepared statement.
There are ways to avoid it, and one of the ways to avoid it is to have a program of assurances by which a person will be able to at least see into his future. I have some suggestions as to how to do it.
While addressing the subject of defectors during these hearings there were various definitions of defectors. I would like to bring my definition of defector on record, and later on probably it would be introduced. It is in accordance with Articles 64 (a) and (b), 65, 70, 72, and 75 of the special part of the URFSR Criminal Code. The defector definition is here.
This is according to the Soviet definition of defector. However, we might want to utilize it, if needed, or at least look at how the Soviets identify what a defector or a traitor is. I don't like the word "defector," and I wish there was another word for it, but for the lack of that, we do say so.
Like some newcomers to the United States, and I have been here for 16 years, I went through a program of resettlement by the CIA. I do believe that in my case the program worked very well. At first, I had my qualms and criticisms of the program. It was not due to the program itself, it was just due to the people who administered this program, because we do deal with different individuals.
Even in the United States Government there are different personalities. In my case, I went through eight, nine, or even ten case officers. Some of them were great guys, and some of them were not so great guys. Sometimes you take a personality, and by one personality you tend to judge the whole United States Government and say, "screw them.
I found, in the long run, as I look at it right now, that the program which the Central Intelligence Agency has had for many years as far as defector resettlement, as defined in my testimony has been adequate from one particular standpoint. There has always been a guiding light in that personality of the case officer, and there will always be some imaginative ways to handle troublesome defectors.
I consider myself, as any newcomer, a troublesome defector, because a defector, when he comes to this country, he anticipates way too much from the United States. Every Russian thinks that all Americans are rich. So a defector comes here and he thinks, “I want to have a house in Beverly Hills. I want to have that big Cadillac. I want to have that big, marvelous job."
I believe a defector shouldn't have that sort of design. The defector might not be necessarily an educated man, might not know the environment of the United States, might not know that that Cadillac and house in Beverly Hills is earned through mail order catalogue business, or something like that. The defector doesn't know it. So the point is education from the very beginning of the defector's coming.
I have worked in this country, lately especially, with a number of organizations that help emigres. One of the most marvellous organizations, I consider, is the United Jewish Fund, who provides a great deal of assistance not only to Jews in Israel and worldwide, but also to Jewish emigres in the United States. There is a hotline and a redline that you call if you have trouble, and it is a great support network.