50 Soviets Quit U.S., Arrive Home
Fifty Soviet emigres who decided to abandon life in America arrived home today in what Radio Moscow portrayed as the first wave of hundreds of returnees from the West.
The Aeroflot Ilyushin-86 jumbo jetliner carrying the group from New York touched down at Sheremetyevo Airport at 7:40 p.m.
The passengers, some of whom left Kennedy Airport with videocassette recorders and many other goods scarce in the Soviet Union, had to clear passport control and customs before being reunited with friends and family.
Soviet officials have said the group was the largest single one to return from the United States.
Radio Moscow carried a report on the Soviets’ return as its lead item, saying they had decided to come back because they were disillusioned with America’s “ruthless competition, the spirit of moneymaking, crime and drug addiction.”
The radio said most of the returnees are Jews, and some had acquired U.S. citizenship. “But that is not an obstacle to getting permission for residence in the U.S.S.R.,” the radio said.
“If for some reason they decide to leave the Soviet Union, they’ll be able to do that,” it said.
Radio Moscow said hundreds of other Soviets in the United States also want to return, and dozens have tickets on flights to Moscow.
The Soviet publicity given the returnees coincided with articles in the state-run press on the difficulties faced by Soviet citizens when they emigrate.
Uncertain Future Faced
At the New York airport, the returnees said they had various reasons for leaving and acknowledged they faced an uncertain future.
“I felt guilty for leaving” the Soviet Union 8 1/2 years ago, said Taras Kordonsky, who was returning to his wife, Ludmilla, and 16-year-old son, Timofei.
He said he was prepared for harsh treatment from some who may resent his actions, but added: “The Russian people can forgive.”
“America for Americans, Russia for Russians,” said Vladimir Troshinsky, who lived in New York for eight years and worked as an auto mechanic and taxi driver. “My mother is waiting for me, my land, my people.”
Departure, Page 10.