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Soviet Soldier, 19, Tells His Troubles to U.S. Embassy

Associated Press

A 19-year-old Soviet soldier on guard duty near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, slipped into the U.S. compound today and said he wanted his superiors to send him home to the Soviet Union, the State Department told some members of Congress today.

John Gersuk, an aide to Rep. Daniel A. Mica (D-Fla.), said State Department officials told the congressmen that the soldier is refusing to speak to Soviet officers.

“He doesn’t want to defect,” Gersuk said. “He appears to be homesick and wants to go home.”

The aide said that about 300 Soviet and Afghan troops had gathered near the embassy but that U.S. officials in Kabul did not believe the incident would escalate.

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Gersuk said the soldier was described as being “extremely distraught.”

“It is not clear what he was thinking,” Gersuk said. “Clearly, our embassy is in no position to punch his ticket home.”


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