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3,965 Soviet Jews Emigrate in June as Surge Continues

From Associated Press

Nearly 4,000 Jews left the Soviet Union in June, a new rise in emigration that makes the exodus in the first six months of 1989 bigger than that in all of 1988, a resettlement agency said Tuesday.

This year, 20,162 Soviet Jews have been allowed to leave the country, the Intergovernmental Committee for Migration said, compared to a 1988 total of 20,082--the highest outflow since 1980.

In June, 3,965 emigres arrived in Vienna, the second-highest total this year after April. Of these, 89 decided to go to Israel, committee spokeswoman Regina Boucault said.

Only 613 emigrants--3% of the total--have chosen to resettle in Israel this year, she said. Most are going to the United States.

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Emigration has soared to twice last year’s rate, a move seen partly as a Soviet effort to improve ties with Israel and the United States.

About 300,000 Soviet Jews have emigrated since the resettlement program began in 1971. The largest official exodus, 51,328, was recorded in 1979, before the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan chilled East-West relations.


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