Five Prisoners Released from Soviet Union in Exchange for Two Soviet Spies

On 20 May 1978, three Soviet foreign intelligence officers were arrested in New Jersey while collecting an agent's report from a secret cache.

One of them, the attaché of the Soviet mission to the United Nations Vladimir Zinyakin, had diplomatic immunity and was released. Two others, Rudolf Chernyaev and Valdik Enger, were employees of the UN secretariat who did not have such status and in October were sentenced to 50 years in prison each. After long negotiations, on 27 April 1979, they were exchanged for five Soviet political prisoners: Aleksandr Ginzburg, Eduard Kuznetsov, Mark Dymshits, Valentin Moroz, and Georgy Vins.

On the 26th of April, 1979 Vins was woken up in prison and told to change into his own clothes. Unaware of his imminent change of circumstances, he was flown to Moscow, where he spent the night in a center for vagrants. The following day he was issued with new clothes and informed that because of his anti-Soviet activity the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet had stripped him of his Soviet citizenship. He was being expelled. Vins protested in vain that his activity was not anti-Soviet, but had to bow to the inevitable. He was told to write down the names of his close relatives so that they could leave the country with him. Realizing that he would be unlikely to see them again otherwise, he listed his wife, children, mother and niece.