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The World

June 16, 1987

Freed dissident Andrei D. Sakharov, addressing a U.S. college graduation via videotape, called on the Soviet Union to pull out of Afghanistan immediately and release hundreds of "prisoners of conscience." In a message taped in Moscow and broadcast to graduating seniors at the College of Staten Island in New York, the Nobel laureate called the Afghan war "uncommonly cruel and distressing" and said, "The immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops is required so that the Afghan people can solve their own domestic problems."

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