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Soviet Deserter Gets 12-Year Term, Rights Group Says

September 20, 1986|Associated Press

FRANKFURT, West Germany — A human rights group said Friday that a young Soviet soldier who deserted in Afghanistan and later left the United States to return home has been sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp.

The International Assn. for Human Rights, a Frankfurt-based group which has contacts with Soviet emigres, said 22-year-old Nikolai Ryzhkov was convicted of high treason and sentenced several months ago.

He is serving his term in a camp for political prisoners in Barashevo, in the Soviet republic of Moldavia, they said.

Ryzhkov deserted in June, 1983, and went to the United States. He asked to return home in January, 1985, and the Soviet news agency Tass said at the time Ryzhkov was going back voluntarily.

The human rights group said Anatoly F. Dobrynin, then the Soviet ambassador in Washington and now a top foreign policy official for the Communist Party, personally guaranteed Ryzhkov he would not be prosecuted.

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