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United States, so I had some teaching experience. I already mentioned that I have also taught at an American college here. Yet, I have heard about difficulties of assimilating in the American academic community. Also, I wanted to break with the tradition. I decided that I would not follow the so-called "mission." I decided that I would do it the American way.
I went to a business school, and I started my own business. I stayed out of the field of Soviet research for five years. Well, one of the things that happened to me is that no matter how hard you try to reject that mission, it is in you.
When people start asking me questions about this and that, what is going on in the Soviet Union, and when you see how much ignorance and, at the same time, interest to know there is in this country, you can't help it. I have been drawn into this missionary work, into Soviet affairs almost against my will.
The fact that I went on television in connection with the Yurchenco case, and the fact that I wrote the book, of course, contributed to that. But the point is that I enjoy it immensely. I enjoy lecturing. I enjoy talking to students. I enjoy giving them knowledge about the Soviet system, the knowledge that, I think, is sorely needed in this country.
However, with over 90 radio and television shows in one year, with two lectures broadcast for two years in a row on C-Span nationwide, after going to campuses and writing articles, I have not heard anything from the academia. Nobody contacted me. There has been no question of getting together and maybe ciscussing some possibilities. There was nothing like that.
To tell the truth, this work has affected me adversely in the financial sense. In order to be current on Soviet affairs, and I am self-employed, I had to take time away from my work, and my business suffered. But I didn't have any choice. I couldn't go out there and sound like an incompetent, and I didn't want to give up this thing.
If Soviet research became my job again, those things would be compatible. But trying to run a computer business and at the same time to keep up with the literature and the press that is coming out on the Soviet Union is almost impossible. Last week, I was looking at my bills, and I simply faced the situation that I can't pay them.
The ideal thing would be probably to take a part-time job teaching maybe at the local college. I am sure that there should be some interest in that. I found another solution, temporarily, hopefully, in the old, time-honored American tradition. I applied to deliver pizzas in the evenings. It is okay, and it will pay the bills.
I had a pretty bad experience applying for a government job several years ago, when I was turned down because I was a Russian, not because I was a woman, by the House Information Services. I was the only candidate for the position, to design the computer system there. It went for approval to whatever House Committee, I think the Appropriations Committee.
I was told that I was as good as hired, but the reply came back that "we can't hire a Russian in an election year. Come back after the election.” Of course, by the time the election took place, the appropriation ran out. So they had to put another ad in the newspaper. I have not tried to get a job with the government since, because I am scared.
I have not tried to find a teaching job because I have listened to what Mr. Levchenko told me about his efforts, and I really can't afford to take time to go into a fruitless search. I would rather deliver a pizza, that is a certain bet.
Going to Mr. Levchenko's situation, his experience in this country in trying to establish himself as an expert in Soviet affairs was even more disappointing. Because his area of expertise has been and still is Soviet disinformation and active measures, from the very beginning he did not try to go into any other area of work.
His expertise has been eagerly sought by many people, such as members of academia, writers, journalists, representatives of thinktanks. Being rather naive about business relationships in this country and eager to show his gratitude for being accepted here, he gladly shared his knowledge as a service to the American public, only to find out that the result was mostly of benefit to private individuals who had used his knowledge for personal gain.
Not only was he deprived of potential income, because what he was doing should justifiably have been paid for on a consulting basis, but he was also deprived of credit for the work that otherwise could serve as a basis for his academic credentials.
A good example is the book "Disinformatsia." It is a fairly wellknown book, to which he contributed hours and hours of interviews and his in-depth knowledge of disinformation, only to find out that his name was not even mentioned in the acknowledgements. This is just one example.
So when we are facing the problem of credentials and academic background, how can we get that background? It is changing now, but for three or four years, Mr. Levchenko spent an innumerable number of times and hours giving away his knowledge, and as a result he has nothing to show in his academic credentials.
There are many reasons why Soviet defectors are not welcome in the academic community. I will name only three. One is fear of competition. There are some excellent scholars in the field of Soviet research in this country, probably the best in the world. There are many who are mediocre, and there are many, many more who are simply no good. We are a threat to them, because we know from personal experience what it is there in the Soviet Union.
I have been told several times, more than once, at least: How can you say that you can stay current? You can't go back there. That is true; at least, not on a round trip, on a one-way trip, yes.
I can't go back there, but I can assure this subcommittee that even reading Soviet press and watching Soviet television programs, I can read more between the lines there than those so-called Sovietologists who go there on a short trip once a year for two weeks to see what the Soviets want to show them, and claim to know and understand how the Soviet mentality works.
So we do present that unfair competition and there is quite a lot or resistance. Another problem with academia is that may professors in colleges still live, in their mind, in the radical campuses of the 1960s. They seem not to notice that their students live in the 1980s.
When Mr. Levchenko and I lecture at universities, it is not the students who debate with us, it is their professors who accuse us of going too hard on the Soviets. The students don't disagree. It is the students who invite us, because usually the decision is that of a student board. If it were up to the school boards, we probably wouldn't have had so many invitations.
This is an experience that we have had on many campuses. Of course, he travels more than I do, but there is no question that this attitude exists. Unfortunately, it is the professors who decide whom to hire. They are members of the school boards.
The third thing that I want to note—and that is not not just in academia, but also it the government–is that there is a certain mistrust. We are considered to be biased, and we are also considered to be an embarrassment.
I would like to bring up a specific point that was mentioned in the U.S. News and World Report that during the Chautauqua meeting there was an attempt to ask for an asylum by some members of the Soviet Delegation, and the person or persons were discouraged from doing so by the State Department officials because it was an inopportune time.
I have little reason to doubt a report from such a respectable publication, so I tend to think that is is true. I also tend to think that it is true knowing the State Department mentality.
I think that it is about time that we stop worrying about offending the Soviets. If they want to negotiate with us, they will do that whether we aggravate them or not. Turning away potential defectors-and the people who came to Chautauqua were not ordinary citizens, they were high level officials—not hiring defectors for government jobs because if, God forbid, the Soviets will see that we employ defectors, we will be embarrassed or maybe they will get angry at us, it is a wrong policy. We should not worry about that, but unfortunately, it is an impediment to employment for many defectors.
I don't have any solutions. I know that you have been asking for constructive suggestions. I don't have any solutions. I think the government can provide some employment as long as it is not a handout. I don't think that any of us wants to be on welfare. We do not want handouts. But we also have to realistic that in this country, unlike in the Soviet Union, the government does not order university boards to change their hiring policies.
If the prejudice exists, there is no way to legislate it out. You can legislate the equal opportunity for Blacks, but the prejudice still exists. You can pass ERA, but there is still inequality. We will always find that the prejudice exists. No matter what the legislation, it will be there. So there must be some other ways of doing that.
There could be some effort with some enlightened universities. They are working with some people, and their boards are interested in that. There could be something that the government could set up because, as I indicated in the very beginning, I do think that it is in the interest of this country to have us go out there and talk to the American people, and there must be some way of doing it. The point is that right now not very much is being done. It is an uncoordinated effort. It is an effort by separate organizations that are under-funded, under-staffed. I hope that it can be changed somehow.
Senator Nunn. Thank very much, Ms. Costa, for very enlightening testimony, very helpful testimony. We will come back for questions, but at this point, we will turn to Dr. Ushakov for his fascinating story.
Dr. Ushakov, you proceed however you would choose to. If you would like to read your statement that will be fine, or you would like to summarize it, that will be fine. We will let you proceed as
TESTIMONY OF ALEKSANDR A. USHAKOV, PH.D., SOVIET
DEFECTOR 1 Dr. USHAKOV. Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to be here today to discuss with you the problems faced by defectors from the Soviet Union and other Communist controlled countries as well as the unique information about the functioning of Marxist dictatorships these defectors can provide to this country. I have a rather detailed statement that I would like to summarize for the sake of expedienсу.
I come to you today as someone who was forced to leave his homeland due to the policies of the Soviet government, but who is now proud to be an active member of this great country's society. My reasons for defecting as well as the problems faced once I came here may be similar to others who have defected, and by proceeding from it, I will define the problem of defectors as it is generally, on the whole.
The problem of defectors from the Soviet Union and other Communist controlled countries has existed for 70 years, ever since 1917 revolution in Russia. During these 70 years, its character has changed repeatedly and, in order to form an adequate reaction to this problem, we have to define its invariable components together with the changes taking place in the Soviet Union right now.
At the present time, some changes are taking place in the USSR. By that I mean a certain democratization of social life, a certain indulgence in the field of economics, and the gradual erosion of governmental atheism. This is the beginning of the great process. One can define these changes as a disintegration of Marxism.
This is good. However, in spite of it, three basic factors of Marxist dictatorship still remain immutable in the Soviet Union, namely, the one-party political system, various restrictions on the private initiative, and hermetically sealed borders. As long as those basic factors remain as immutable as before, the problem of Soviet and Communist Bloc defectors on the whole will inevitably take place in the future and, because of it, there is a question: How to react to it?
To clarify this question, I am suggesting we begin from the viewpoint of defectors themselves. In using the term "defector," one must first define this concept. Several people tried to define it, and I appreciate it, yesterday and today, but maybe it would be inter
See p. 310 for Dr. Ushakov's prepared statement.
esting to look at the defector's point of view. By that I mean that all those who come from Communist Bloc countries belong to one of the following two categories: Emigres and defectors, and there is a difference between the emigre and the defector.
For instance, the emigrant from the Soviet Union is permitted by the Soviet authorities, the KGB included, to leave the country, I mean by that the Soviet Union, whereas the defector is not permitted to leave. The paradox is that the emigres will receive visas from the KGB to leave the Soviet Union, and receive considerable assistance in the West, while the defectors who took their visas from God, so to speak, remain in the West without any support.
Taking into consideration that emigres here in America number some 100,000, but the defectors number approximately 100, yet at the same time they receive no support, one might add that such a dismissive attitude to the defector's problem can hardly be justified. If you have some doubts about it, let me show you the reasons and price of the average defection, and particularly of mine.
The primary motive for my coming to the West was the political repression in the USSR. In March of 1984, I was criminally charged, according to Article No. 70, for “writing, keeping and spreading anti-Communist literature." I was to be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Considering that in Soviet concentration camps, one's incarceration might be extended indefinitely, I decided to hike to the West across the Soviet-Turkish border, that is, across the Caucasian mountains.
As I did not belong to any group in the USSR which is allowed to emigrate, there was no other alternative for me, not before my arrest in 1984 or after it. I escapted the trap of the agents of the KGB between the first and the second arrests and then, when I achieved it, I still had a hard trial ahead of me.
Right now, I would like to stress that I had worked irreproachably in the USSR for 20 years. Yesterday, one of the speakers said that immigrants are legal persons. They leave the Soviet Union legally. Defectors are illegal persons. I don't like this word “illegal," because it has a negative meaning.
I want to stress that I had worked irreproachably in the USSR for 20 years at plants and factories, and then in institutes and universities, and I had served in the army. I had never committed a crime. I had never been sentenced. I had two small children, a boy and a girl.
Prior to my arrest, from 1979 to 1984, I taught Marxism-Leninism and psychology of management as an associate professor at the Odessa Naval Academy. In the Department of Philosophy, I also directed research on the social and psychological bases of selection, placement and maintenance of naval command personnel.
Simply stated, I researched and taught in the area of naval personnel management. In this position, I held the rank which was equal to the naval rank of commander here in the United States or the equivalent of an army lieutenant colonel. I had published 17 professional articles in the official press plus my dissertation on socio-economic forecasting for my Ph.D. degree from Leningrad University.
Then why was I arrested? That is the question. For my other books. I wrote four books and many articles about the coming