Koryagin in Zurich: 'Free at Last'

From Times Wire Services

Anatoly Koryagin, who spent six years in labor camps for accusing Soviet authorities of sending sane dissidents to mental hospitals, said Friday that he feels "euphoria. . . . Free at last."

The 48-year-old dissident psychiatrist, released two months ago, arrived on a Swissair flight with his wife, Galena, three sons and 74-year-old mother. He had said in Moscow that he felt sad about leaving his homeland but did so because of "what has happened to me and my family."

He told a news conference that repression in the Soviet Union continues and that Kremlin leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's pronouncements about reform and democracy are "only words."

"Not a single dissident who was confined to a psychiatric hospital has been released," Koryagin told reporters. "The so-called Gorbachev reconstruction has not touched them at all."

Koryagin, who intends eventually to practice as a psychiatrist in Switzerland, said he would continue to speak out against what he called "the Bolshevik terror" of the Soviet regime.

The official Soviet news agency Tass announced Thursday that Koryagin had permission to emigrate. It was believed to be the first public announcement of a dissident's departure.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World