Medical and psychiatric reports released by the State Department yesterday indicate that Soviet sailor Miroslav Medvid was heavily drugged by the Soviets during the time between being returned to his ship by U.S. authorities and being removed for questioning by the State Department.
In addition, the psychiatric report said he probably was confronted by his Soviet superiors over a period of 24 to 48 hours "with several issues, including his parents' lives and welfare," and promises that he would become a "hero" by renouncing his defection attempt.
Medvid also was "rather likely coached by the Soviets on what to say and what not to say, including that he fell from the ship and suffered amnesia . . . avoiding . . . having to explain . . . his earlier desire to defect," the report said. It added that a Soviet ship's doctor said Medvid had attempted suicide by slitting his left wrist.
The report concluded, however, that Medvid genuinely and competently decided he did not want to defect.
The report was based on observations made by an unidentified American psychiatrist while Medvid was in U.S. custody after his removal from the freighter on Oct. 28. The examination was hindered by Medvid's unwillingness to cooperate, U.S. officials have said.
Although Medvid had carefully protected his watch and personal documents in a glass jar he carried as he swam ashore Oct. 24, the psychiatric report said he jumped "impulsively" into the Mississippi River, "grabbing for the glitter and gusto" of life in the United States, "rather than acting on any deep-rooted political or moral beliefs."
The psychiatric evaluation said that after his return to the ship on Friday, Oct. 25, but before he was taken off for questioning by the State Department the following Monday, Medvid inflicted a two-inch slash on his left wrist, requiring stitches.
The ship's doctor told American officials "that after being returned to his vessel, Medvid became depressed, withdrawn, would not speak, and would not eat." The Soviet doctor said Medvid was treated with major tranquilizers similar to the American drugs Thorazine, Mellaril, Stelazine and Haldol.
The report said Medvid "appeared heavily sedated for a period of time during part of the weekend back on the ship." But it added that Medvid "did not appear to be under the sedative effects of any medications" while he was questioned by State Department officials.
The psychiatric report indicated that Medvid went through a rapid mood change during his interview aboard the Coast Guard vessel. Early in the process, it said, Medvid was anxious and "looking slightly sick and complaining of nausea, requesting to leave the room and go on deck for fresh air several times."
After he informed authorities that he wanted to go home to his parents, the report said, Medvid became "hypomanic," speaking rapidly and sometimes giddily. "He began to rather actively devalue American products, such as cars, cigarettes, etc."
There was no indication from the reports that any blood testing or urinalysis was done to detect the presence of drugs.