Passport Denied: The New 'Refusniks' Even after Communism's End in Russia, Several Thousand People Are Still Rejected When They Apply to Emigrate Abroad

By Edith Coron, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 4, 1995 | Go to article overview

Passport Denied: The New 'Refusniks' Even after Communism's End in Russia, Several Thousand People Are Still Rejected When They Apply to Emigrate Abroad


Edith Coron, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


DMITRI KINKULHIN is busy preparing for a long-awaited trip to Jerusalem. But until recently he was not sure that he would be able to leave Russia. Since his brother and his family emigrated five years ago, Mr. Kinkulhin has dreamed of this reunion. But his requests were at first denied and he was a "refusnik." One might have assumed that this old-fashioned Soviet bureaucratic entity, a classic of totalitarian human rights abuses, had disappeared from the Russian lexicon with the end of communism. Instead, several thousand people are currently denied passports. Though the Iron Curtain has folded, they are still trapped inside Russia. Kinkulhin, a radio-electrical engineer, once worked for a satellite communication company tied to the Soviet defense industry. "But I was exclusively involved in computer programming and had no access to military or intelligence data," he explains. His passport application, however, was turned down on the ground that he was still the bearer of "state secrets." "The only secret was the age of my computer," he scoffs and recalls that "a compassionate lady at the passport office" advised him to appeal his passport refusal "to a governmental commission I had never heard of. I eventually found it, appealed, and finally won." In the 1970s, when the plight of many refusniks became an international issue, there was neither appeal nor commission. The refusniks were Jews denied the right to emigrate to Israel allegedly because they knew "state secrets." They were at the forefront of the human rights struggle in the Soviet Union. The Jackson-Vanik amendment made them pawns in US-Soviet relations. (The 1974 US law linked trade benefits to the former Soviet Union to an easing of restrictions on the emigration of Soviet Jews.) "Nowadays, fewer than 300 people are denied the right to emigrate," says Leonid Paperno, who heads the Public Council of Refusniks on Secrecy. "But as many as 8,000 people are simply not allowed to travel abroad. The figure could be much higher, but many people don't even bother to apply for a passport, assuming they'll be turned down," he says. Different passports are issued for internal use, emigration, or foreign travel. In 1991, under Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, a new law allowing freedom of movement for Soviet citizens was enacted. "But there were many 'buts,' " says Henry Lapin, the executive secretary of the appeal commission. Extension of quarantine A quarantine of five years could be applied to people who had worked with important state secrets, and a footnote in the law provided for the extension of the quarantine if the secrets were of "special importance." "At that time, despite its limitations, it was quite good. At least it was a law," Mr. Lapin says. In 1991, the new sovereign Russia adopted the existing Soviet law. In 1993, Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin created the interdepartmental appeal commission, a mechanism welcomed by local and international human rights monitors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Passport Denied: The New 'Refusniks' Even after Communism's End in Russia, Several Thousand People Are Still Rejected When They Apply to Emigrate Abroad
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.