The Department of State to the Embassy of the Soviet Union


The United States Government has given the most careful consideration to the request of the Soviet Government that Victor Andreevich Kravchenko be turned over to the Soviet authorities for prosecution for desertion and has explored every possibility of finding a solution of this matter satisfactory to the Soviet Government and at the same time consistent with the laws of the United States. The Department of Justice, which is the Department of the United States Government charged with the responsibility of determining the applicability of United States laws, informed the Department of State as follows:

“It is appreciated that as a matter of Soviet domestic laws the Soviet Government may have viewed Kravchenko’s status in the United States as a military one. In view of the capacity, however, in which he applied for a visa and came to the United States as an engineer and not as a member of the Red Army, he must be dealt with under United States law as a civilian. In this capacity, as I have stated previously, he may be deported from this country only as the result of a regular statutory deportation proceeding in which he is entitled to obtain permission to depart from the United States voluntarily to a country of his choice.”

In view of the foregoing opinion of the Attorney General of the United States, there would appear to be no legal basis upon which the United States Government could turn Kravchenko over to the Soviet authorities for prosecution.28

  1. By Private Law 365, “An Act for the Relief of Viktor A. Kravchenko,” approved on February 14, 1950 (64 Stat. (pt. 2) A8), the Attorney General (James Howard McGrath) was directed to record the admission of Kravchenko into the United States at Niagara Falls, New York, on August 18, 1943, as a lawful admission for permanent residence. If otherwise eligible, Kravchenko could become naturalized as an American citizen. The Act further provided that upon its enactment the Secretary of State (Dean Acheson) should reduce by one number the quota of the alien’s nationality for the fiscal year then current or next following.