SOVIET UNION: A Sailor's Fate

For six months after he was brutally beaten, gagged and dragged from a U.S. Coast Guard cutter by six burly Russians, little was heard of Lithuanian Sailor Simas Kudirka. Last November Kudirka, 32, sought asylum when his ship, the Sovietskaya Litva, tied up alongside the cutter Vigilant in U.S. territorial waters off Cape Cod to discuss North Atlantic fishing rights. Ten hours after Kudirka jumped aboard the Vigilant and pleaded for sanctuary, Coast Guard headquarters in Boston ordered the Vigilant to allow Soviet sailors to take him back. The incident so outraged the country and incensed President Nixon that...

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