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USSR / Sakharov and Bonner #91329

ABC Evening News for Thursday, Aug 23, 1984
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(Studio) International concern over fate of USSR dissident Andrei Sakharov and wife Yelena Bonner since they began a hunger strike several months ago noted.
REPORTER: Peter Jennings

(London, England) Recent videotape of couple in Gorky examined; indications that film is Soviet government propaganda taken by KGB and designed to counter world criticism of Sakharovs noted. Background to their conflict with government reviewed. ABC News reported obtaining videotape through West Germany newspaper "Bild"; Bild's contact thought to be Soviet journalist Victor Louis, past source of photos and possibly KGB agent. Louis recalled predicting USSR boycott of Olympics before boycott was announced. Videotape's indications that Sakharov and Bonner are kept apart and that he's confined to hospital described, shown. [Voice of NARRATOR - extols Sakharov's daily life.] [Son-in-law Efrem YANKELEVICH - is grateful USSR released photos.] [Human rights activist Alyona KOJEVNIKOV - isn't reassured.] Possibility that Sakharov has been heavily drugged cited. Pol. implications of videotape explained.
REPORTER: Barrie Dunsmore

(Studio) High ranking USSR and State Department officials reported viewing tape today. [Assistant Secretary of State Richard BURT - cites lack of evidence that Sakarov is still alive, not drugged or in contact with Bonner; considers Soviet motives; discusses implications of film; acknowledges unconfirmed reports that Bonner has been sentenced to several years in exile for anti-Soviet behavior.]
REPORTER: Peter Jennings

Dunsmore, Barrie;
Jennings, Peter

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