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Soviet Dissident, Former RFE/RL Director Dies

Yury Handler (undated)

Yury Handler (undated)

LAKE RONKONKOMA, United States -- Former Soviet dissident and longtime journalist Yury Handler has died in New York after a lengthy illness, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Handler, the former director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, died in the town of Lake Ronkonkoma, on Long Island, New York, on January 17. He was 74 years old.

Handler was a Soviet dissident who was arrested by the KGB in 1968. He spent four years in the gulag for "anti-Soviet activities." He left the Soviet Union in 1973 and settled in New York.

Handler began his career at RFE/RL in 1974. He was named chief editor of RFE/RL's Russian Service bureau in New York City in 1988. He was director of the Russian Service from 1992-1998, first in Munich and later in Prague.

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