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That Soviet bloc countries will go to great lengths to 'recuperate' defectors and émigrés has been shown clearly throughout this study. Obviously the propaganda and publicity value, both for internal and external consumption, represent an enormous stake for the Soviet system which has been plagued continuously by large amounts of defections since its inception, acting on the communist regimes like a hemorrhage to a hemophiliac (125).

The methods and techniques used in order to cause defectors and émigrés to return to the homeland cover a wide range of possibilities and vary in intensity and sophistication. Usually there is a combination of several tools, the main rule being flexibility, imagination and playing on the usual tense feelings of

the defector.

Very often LETTERS –fake or written under supervision of family members in the Soviet Union are used in an attempt to bring about a psychological situ

ation that makes him / her doubt about the initial decision to defect. The re

cipient of the letters can be the defector himself, or, as in the case of Viktor

Belenko, the Soviet fighter pilot who flew his MiG-25 to Japan in September 1976

the authorities of the host countries (See exhibit #4). In the former case,

such letters can be delivered during a MEETING requested by Soviet bloc diplomat

who want to ascertain the motivations and feelings of the defector and at the

same time, see in such meetings an opportunity to 'Work" the defector's mind in

the hope to change his decision (126). It also occurs very often that the

defector is asked by Soviet diplomats, by phone or letter or through friends,

to come to the embassy or consulate in order to obtain the letter from the

family (127).


A letter with devastating effect was sent to Igor Ryhkov, a Soviet soldier

who defected in Afghanistan and lived in London with a fellow soldier-defector,

Oleg Khlan. The letter contained pleas from his close family, especially from his 3 year old daughter, asking for her daddy to come home. Several family pic

tures were enclosed, one of them showing his daughter sitting on a tricycle.

Ryhkov got into a state of emotional turmoil and in a very agitated condition

walked for about a day together with Khlan through the streets of London before

deciding to go to the Soviet embassy to review his status.

Three days later

both went back to the Soviet Union ( 128).

Arranged TELEPHONE CALLS to family members, especially in the Soviet Union,

and paid for by the embassy or the consulate are also used in an attempt to

bring about a psychological situation that would make returning inevitable (129).

Another technique used in order to entice the defector back - to intimi

date, dupe or ca jole the authorities of the host country into delivering him

is the PRESS CONFERENCE held in a Soviet bloc capital by family members with

the assistance of the authorities. The emotional scenes displayed by the fami

lics are astutely exploited by the authorities so as to produce the maximun

havoc within the defector if possible. At the same time it is another chance to influence the authorities or public opinion in the host country to pressure their authorities to solve this family drama by returning the defector. This

is well illustrated by the press conference held in Moscow by Viktor Belenko's

wife and mother on September 28, 1976 ( See exhibit #5 ).

And last, but not least, there is the PSYCHOLOGICAL PRESSURE or right out

BLACKMAIL applied in different shades depending on the individual defector involved. Yuri Stepanov, a ballet dancer who defected to the United States in 1980

but returned to Moscow less than three months later, said he came back only

because of reprisals against his wife, mother and brother (130).

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A sample out of Yelena Mitrokhina's meeting with 2 Soviet diplomats at the State Department is very indicative of the psychological pressure and blackmail applied by Soviet diplomats in certain meetings with defectors:

"As soon as Kavalerov ( one of the two Soviet diplomats ) started to
speak, I understood their game plan. He talked almost nonstop; in the
most fatherly manner he told me that nobody held a grudge against me;
that I probably had gotten upset over something, but whatever it was
it could be straightened out, and the embassy stood ready to help me
with any problems I may have had. (...)
Meanwhile, the younger man ( second Soviet diplomat ) leaned over the
table and, with an impassioned face talked directly to me. (...) in the
short ten minutes he had, he packed a big punch. 'Do you really think
you can get away with it?' he said. 'We'll find you anywhere, provided
you do not starve or end up on a street corner first. You think you
can spit on us, you spiteful little bitch? You're pathetic. Cold-blooded,
too don't you know what will happen to your parents? Remember, they are
still there, and will be there forever. We can do whatever we want with
them. And just remember -we never forgive traitors. Sooner or later you
will get what you deserve.' "(131)

Two other vivid encounters between a defector and Soviet diplomats are told

by respectively Arkady Shevchenko in his best-seller "Breaking with Moscow

and by Viktor Belenko in "MiG Pilot" written by John Barron (132).

Same defectors will refuse to expose themselves to this kind of pressure

and will decline any meeting with representatives of their Soviet bloc country.


Sometimes, Soviet bloc authorities are aware of certain personal problems

of individual defectors and after having exacerbated them try to induce the

person to retum. This happened to one Soviet soldier who had defected from

Afghanistan and was residing on the west coast. He had a difficult time ad justing to his new life. Part of the problem was also his depressed personality

and a well known drinking problem, common to many Soviet soldiers in Afghanis

tan. The Soviet authorities tried to exploit it. An agent contacted the defector and persuaded him to have a few drinks. Luckily for this Soviet defector,

he became too unruly even for the KGB so that the agent couldn't convince him


to come back to the consulate (134).

More subtle methods or techniques have been applied in order to create a favorable atmosphere for ( former or not ) Soviet bloc citizens to retum to

the Motherland.

After the state of war

in Poland was eased and later on abolished,

certain "regularization" measures were taken with the aim of facilitating the return of Polish citizens who had decided to stay abroad after the events of December 13, 1981. In an interview to ZOLNIERZ WOLNOSCI, the daily of the Polish armed forces, General Wladislaw Pozoga, vice-minister of intemal affairs declared in April 1984 that

"The overwhelming majority of Poles who, for this or that reason, have
extended their stays abroad or who have even sought asylum, have re-
mained loyal to the Fatherland, have not tamished themselves with
treason of the country and, in spite of the difficult situation in
which they sometimes find the elves, have not lost their dignity and
national conscience. Our relation to these people has been described,
in the Se jn, by the First Secretary of the PUWP, General Wojciech
Jaruzelski. I shall recall his words: 'Every person who has not delib-
erately sold his or her Polish-hood and his or her personal honesty to
foreign powers, will find the road ( back ) to the country open. Wan-
dering through foreign countries is not the fate of Poles; their fate
is the honest patriotic service to the nation here, in their own Father-
Those who are engaged in activities harmful to the Polish state camot,
of course, count on such an attitude of the Polish authorities. I am
talking here about the activists of the so-called foreign representations
of former 'Solidarity' and of other centers of foreign diversion headed
by foreign intelligence services. They have become a convenient basis
of the anti-Polish activities of the CIA and intelligence services of
other NATO countries. [...]" (135)

Another way of increasing the return of Polish citizens who traveled abroad and stayed ( overstayed ) there, contrary to what they had declared when applying for passport, was to change the passport issuance policy towards those people. Such persons would not return to Poland for fear they never again would receive a passport, since their overstay had infringed upon passport regulations. Colonel Romuald Popowski, deputy head of the Passport Office

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of the Ministry of Internal Affairs made the following statement to TRYBUNA LUDU, the official publication of the Polish Workers Party:

"The persons who at one time failed to return home will be able to re-
tum to Poland at any time without having to fear that they will never
be able to go abroad again. These changes, which have been primarily
prompted by humanitarian and social considerations, should put an end
to separations of the closest relatives and make it possible for all
those who at one time decided to look for success abroad to reexamine
their future prospects.
However, this change does not apply to the persons who have failed to
retum from an official trip and who continue to stay abroad. Nor does
it apply to a situation involving a crime. [...]" (136)

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