President Reagan, who has made human rights questions a focus of his first trip to Moscow, was getting a chance Monday to talk with some of the Soviet Union's most prominent dissidents and refuseniks.
U.S. officials kept secret the identity and even the number of the guests expected to meet Reagan, apparently fearful that Soviet authorities would interefere with dissidents invited to the president's Moscow residence.At least one guest, Roald "Alec" Zelichonok, a Leningrad Jew refused permission to emigrate for more than 10 years, reported last week that Soviet security police had warned him not to travel to Moscow to meet with Reagan.
Moscow refuseniks have not reported any similar warnings, but U.S. Embassy officials said they had made arrangements to pick the guests up at a city meeting point and drive them together to Spaso House, the U.S. Ambassador's residence where Reagan is staying.
On Sunday, Reagan considered making a private visit to a re-fusenik family, the Ziemans, but U.S. officials scrubbed the trip after the Soviets indicated it could damage the family's chance to emigrate after 11 years of waiting for an exit visa.