Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
March 20, 2012
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Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
July 17, 1985
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000100060007-1.pdf72.51 KB
STET Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/03/20 :CIA-RDP90-009658000100060007-1 eft ~ fta;:~___i~ ~,~T~"~.~ APPEARED Mystery of vanished Soviet savant deepens By Ted Agres THE WASHINGTON TIMES What happened to renowned Soviet scientist Vladimir Alexan- drov? Did he defect to the West while attending a conference in Spain? ryas he killed or kidnapped by the Soviet intellieence aeencv t e B because he was about to defect? Did right-wing terrorists in Europe do him in? No one seems to know -not his wife in Moscow, nor his colleagues in Russia, California, London or' Stockholm. The Soviet authorities, if they know, aren't saying. They refer all questions to the International Red Cross, which doesn't have a clue. What is known is that Dr. Vladimir Alexandrov is an expert in computer modeling and climate studies. He is director of the Climate Modeling Center of the Computational Sci- ences Center of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow. As a prominent, trusted scientist, Dr. Alexandrov had been granted the unusual privilege of traveling abroad with his wife, Alya, and step- child. He did so extensively, spending more than six months at a time as a visiting scientist at Law- rence Livermore Laboratories in California and at various U.S. and European centers, for climate research. He participated in scientific meetings around the world on the "nuclear winter" theme. This is the theory that any major nuclear exchange would so disrupt the atmosphere that the earth's climate would be drastically altered. The result would be a permanent "win- ter" inwhich life as we know it would suffer catastrophic consequences. Although there is no consensus, many scientists in the United States and Europe agree with this hypoth- esis. Among themselves, some Soviet scientists dispute the theory, but the "official" party line, expressed by Boris Ponomarev in September's World Marxist Review, is that a 100-megaton exchange would virtually destroy the world. Yet Soviet leaders believe nuclear war is survivable, as evidenced by their massive, nationwide civil defense program. Their casualties would be great, the Soviets say, but probably no more than the losses they incurred during World War II. Some analysts have come to believe that the Soviets are using the nuclear winter hypothesis as part of a larger "peace campaign;' or "active measures" drive, to push the West further into unilateral disar- mament or at least to drive a wedge between the Western allies over mis- sile deployments. Dr. Alexandrov had been privvy to the debates over whether nuclear war was indeed survivable. But some of his colleagues in the West say he privately showed signs of dis- illusionment. While he had pub- lishedmany scientific articles on the dangers of nuclear winter, as far back as April 1983 he had criticized some of the approaches taken by Dr. Carl Sagan and others involved in the issue. Last March, Dr. Alexandrov was in Madrid to attend a meeting of the Scientific Committee on the Protec- tion of the Environment. He arrived about 10 days before the conference was to start. He checked into his hotel and is reported to have shown signs of acute gastric distress. He left his bags, passport and some airline tickets in his room and reportedly decided to take a walk. That was the last time he was seen. U.S. and British int ilia nc sources say he dtd not seek asylum. Reports from Moscow and from for- mer associates at Lawrence Livermore indicate that his wife called California from Moscow in mid-April in an effort to locate him. WASHINGTON TIMES 17 July 1985 Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/03/20 :CIA-RDP90-009658000100060007-1