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Stalin's daughter refuses to talk to press

By Gary ThatcherStaff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / November 16, 1984



Moscow

Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, surfaced again in Moscow for her longest encounter yet with the foreign press. It was an involuntary meeting. Mrs. Alliluyeva was spotted leaving the Sovietskaya Hotel here, where she is apparently living. The hotel is operated by the government and is often used for official guests. A burly man with her appeared to be a plainclothes security official.

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The man's attempt to keep reporters away was unsuccessful. Mrs. Alliluyeva nevertheless had very little to say and refused to explain why she returned to Moscow 17 years after defecting to the West.

''I am not going to talk with you. Not one word,'' she said.

''I'm living in a society where private publicity is not done. And I am going to obey the rules. Leave me alone. If there will be a place to talk with you, it will be a special place provided - not on the street.''

Alliluyeva brought her teen-age daughter, Olga, to Moscow with her. Olga's father, American architect William Peters (to whom Alliluyeva was married for three years) has questioned whether Olga came against her will and whether she was forced to surrender United States citizenship.

The US Embassy has formally raised the question with the Soviet government. But Alliluyeva was clearly in no mood to shed light on the matter. When asked about Olga, she declared that the matter was ''none of your . . . business.'' She berated Western reporters for seeking comments from her, saying they were ''uncivilized'' and ''savages.''

Quizzically, Alliluyeva said she was going to visit her ''brother.'' She is thought, however, to be the sole surviving child of Stalin. Russians sometimes use the word ''brother'' to refer to a cousin, but Alliluyeva spoke in English. The meaning of her comment remains unclear.