Welcome to New York, Mr. Chen

The Chen affair worked out better than I expectedChen is in New York.


Chen GuangCheng affair

Nikolay Khokhlov was a young Soviet intelligence officer during World War II and after it. He and his wife became disillusioned with the Soviet regime. When Khokhlov was assigned a mission to assassinate a leader of a Russian emigrant group in West Germany, he and his wife decided that they will not let this happen. Khokhlov travelled to Germany as he was instructed and turned himself in to US authorities. They accepted him and promised to help rescue his wife from USSR. They told him the plan: he tells everything in a press conference, while at the same time US diplomats and journalists go their apartment in Moscow and ask his wife, Yana, whether she’d like to request assylum – then take her to US embassy.

Khokhlov did as agreed. Nobody in US mission in Moscow lifted a finger. Soviet authorities came to senses next day and arrested her. She was sentenced to exile based on the words of her husband. He would spend the rest of his life trying to get her out of the USSR. He couldn’t go there because he would be executed for treason. Yana would only be allowed to leave some 38 years later, after USSR was no more. They both would be in their late 70s then.

This is an amazingly sad story of 2 lives of suffering, made possible by US giving cold shoulder to a vulnerable person who asked US for help. Khokhlov brought real value to US by his defection. Chen only created trouble for US diplomats. Gauge his chances.