Alexander G. Barmine, 88, a former general in the Soviet Army who fled the purges of the Stalin era and escaped to the United States where he served in the Army during World War II and became a government official, died Dec. 25 at the Potomac Valley Nursing home of complications after a stroke.
Mr. Barmine participated as a young man in the civil wars that followed the Russian Revolution, and while rising to the rank of brigadier general was detailed by the Soviet army to service as a diplomat, intelligence officer and trade representative. He was known as one of the earliest high-ranking Soviet defectors.
A book he published in 1945 based on his experiences in the Soviet Union, titled "One Who Survived," was translated into 23 languages and was lauded in The New Yorker by Edmund Wilson as illuminating, "unique and indispensable."
"For a foreigner who wants really to learn what has been happening of recent years in Russia -- as distinguished from demanding support either for faith or for hostile prejudice -- this is probably the one book that ought to be read," Wilson wrote.
A native of Mogilev in Byelorussia, Mr. Barmine was educated in Kiev, and in Moscow at the Frunze General Staff College and at the Oriental Languages Institute.
Mr. Barmine had been a protege of Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, a leading Soviet military figure, who was arrested and shot during the purges of the late 1930s. When it appeared that a similar fate was in store for Mr. Barmine, he fled from Athens where he was charge d'affaires.
In 1940 he went to New York and in 1942 joined an Army antiaircraft unit as a private. Later he worked for the Office of Strategic Services.
After a period of magazine writing, he joined the Voice of America in 1948, serving for 16 years as chief of its Russian branch. From 1964 to 1972 he served as senior adviser on Soviet affairs at the U.S. Information Agency. Mr. Barmine, who became a U.S. citizen in 1943, won three awards for outstanding service while in government.
A resident of Chevy Chase, Mr. Barmine is survived by his wife, Halyna, three daughters, Margot R. Hornblower, of New York; Tatiana Maksimovich of Kensington, and Olga Barmine of Mogliano Veneto, Italy. He is also survived by a son, Gregory Barmine of Silver Spring and three grandchildren.
WILLIAM ROBERT ARNOLD,
71, a retired Air Force colonel and a former secretary-treasurer of the Airline Industrial Relations Conference, a labor-management group in Washington, died of cancer Dec. 25 at his home in Gloucester, Va. He also maintained a home in Falls Church.
Col. Arnold, who had lived in the Washington area since 1965, was a native of Kansas City, Mo. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois and its law school. He retired from the Air Force in 1969, after 26 years duty. His last assignment was as Air Forces chief of claims.
He had served on the board of Central Fairfax Services Inc., a nonprofit organization in Annandale that deals with issues concerning the mentally ill. He was a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Falls Church, the Federal Bar Association, the Knights of Columbus, and the Rotary.
His wife, Virginia S. Arnold, died in August. His survivors include two sons, Air Force Col. William R. Jr., of Seoul, and Dr. Fredrick S., of Gloucester, and four grandchildren.
PETER N. MEEHAN,
73, a clerk with the Government Printing Office since moving here about 1950 who had done volunteer work at the Veterans Administration Hospital here from the mid-1960s to 1985, died of cancer Dec. 25 at his home in Hyattsville.
Mr. Meehan served with the Army Air Forces in Europe during World War II. He worked for the old Post Office Department in his native New York City before moving here.
He was a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Washington and had been active in the Catholic War Veterans at the VA Hospital. He also was a past commander of an area American Legion Post and had done volunteer work with the Knights of Columbus.
Survivors include a brother, Michael, of California, and two sisters, Elizabeth Dunlap of Delaware, and Catherian Edan of New York City.