Miroslav Medved


On October 24,  1985 Miroslav Medved, the Ukrainian sailor twice jumped the Soviet Unionís Marshall Koniev ship in the New Orleans harbor to seek  political asylum in the United States.

He swam to shore, thinking he would find freedom there, but was taken into custody by the Border Patrol. After his first swim for freedom, Border Patrol put Medved on a skiff back to his ship. From the skiff, Medved jumped again, and again was captured and sent back to the ship.

After an outcry, the Reagan administration ordered the ship held. Medved was taken from the ship and reinterviewed by U.S. officials, who declared that he wanted to go home.

Fifteen year later Medved said that his escape effort was long planned. He had joined the merchant marine for that purpose, keeping his intentions secret for more than a year.

He explained that he jumped near New Orleans because it was the first American port his ship pulled into.

Once his ship departed, it sailed into the Atlantic, where Medved was transferred to another ship that took him to the Baltics.

After his return to Ukrain, Medved was placed in a mental hospital where criminals were shackled to their beds. The KGB tried to drug him, but a sympathetic nurse merely pricked his finger with the needle after injecting the drug into a mattress. 

Medved endured electric shock treatments at the hospital and after further interrogation, he was sent home to his parents.

For the next four years, KGB agents regularly interrogated Medved.

On Dec. 30, 1990, he became a priest.

Sixteen years later, Myroslav Medved came back to the US  to tell his story to his supporters in the U.S. Congress.

On January 30, 2001, Rev. Myroslav Medvid (since 1990, Rev. Myroslav Medvid was ordained a priest in the Ukrainian Catholic Church) met with several Members of Congress who played an instrumental role in defense of his desire to seek political asylum and stay in the United States.

At the time, Senator Helms did what he could to keep Miroslav Medvid, then 24, on U.S. soil, but under circumstances that have never been fully explained, he was returned to his ship.

Medved said he did not know about any support on his behalf in 1885 untill his trip to the US.



Also see: Simas Kudirka


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