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Wife of Sakharov in Moscow to Prepare for Journey Abroad

Associated Press

Yelena Bonner, wife of dissident Andrei D. Sakharov, returned to Moscow today to prepare to go abroad for medical treatment after 19 months of internal exile with her husband in the closed city of Gorky.

Police guarded her apartment and barred reporters seeking to meet with her.

Bonner, 62, suffers from eye and heart problems. After Sakharov conducted at least three hunger strikes, Soviet authorities said they would permit her to seek medical treatment in Italy and the United States.

Word that she will be allowed to spend three months abroad came before the summit in Geneva last week between Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev and President Reagan. It was seen as a gesture on human rights.

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In two rarely permitted telephone calls last week, Bonner told relatives in the United States that she plans to be in Italy for treatment of her eyes Dec. 2, then will go to the United States for heart surgery.

She said that as a condition for permission to leave, she had agreed not to talk to foreign journalists. Bonner also received medical treatment abroad in 1975, 1977 and 1979.

Two Soviet friends of the Sakharovs were seen leaving her Moscow apartment today, and they said Bonner traveled here by train today on her first trip to the capital since April, 1984. Voices could be heard through the apartment door, indicating that other people also had been allowed in.


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