Desperation for would-be exiles
A Russian woman who is eight months pregnant said Monday she will begin a hunger strike here because her exit visa was revoked as she and her husband were about to leave the Soviet Union. Nadezhda Zakharova said she was acting out of desperation because Soviet officials "are going on torturing us, trying to keep us here for no reason."Skip to next paragraph
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Mrs. Zakharova, who kept her maiden name, and her Jewish husband, Andrei Reznitsky, were turned back from customs here March 13, allegedly because Soviet authorities received a note from her sister claiming she owed her 8,000 rubles -- more than $12,000, a claim Mrs. Zakharova denies.
After the incident, Mrs. Zakharova and her husband were left with nothing. They surrendered their Soviet citizenship to receive their exit visas. Now, without visas, they have no official documents of any kind. Without Soviet documents, they cannot get medical care for Nadezhda, or an apartment. They spent all but $277 of their money on plane tickets out of the Soviet Union. But without money, they cannot hope to pay even a portion of the 8,000-ruble claim, even though they contend the claim is false.