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Soviets deny Sakharov is on a hunger strike

Tass, the official Soviet news agency, has claimed that Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov is not on hunger strike, Monitor correspondent Gary Thatcher writes.

''Sakharov feels well, takes regular meals, and lives an active way of life, '' Tass said. Tass did not say where Sakharov is now living.

Reports reaching the West have indicated that Mr. Sakharov has been on hunger strike since May 2 in protest over Soviet authorities' refusal to allow his wife , Yelena Bonner, to seek medical treatment in the West. Tass claimed that ''Bonner, according to a conclusion made by experienced doctors, does not need services of any foreign specialists.''

Sakharov, a prominent physicist and Nobel Peace Prize-winner, is in internal exile in the city of Gorky, which is off limits to foreign journalists and diplomats. Consequently, there has been no way to verify reports concerning him.

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