Tag Archives: Russia

Andrei Sakharov


One of the three founding members of the Moscow Human Rights Committee, 1970 (Dr. Sakharov and Andrei Tverdokhlebov). Were given exit permits to give lectures in the United States but then not allowed back to Russia.

He was an unlikely activist. Born in Moscow in 1921, Sakharov was groomed less for political protest than for scholarly solitude. He taught himself to read at four, and his father often demonstrated physics experiments — “miracles I could understand” — to him as a child. At Moscow University in the 1940s, Sakharov was tabbed as one of the U.S.S.R.’s brightest young minds. After earning his doctorate, he was sent to a top-secret installation to spearhead the development of the hydrogen bomb. By 1953 the Soviets had detonated one. It was “the most terrible weapon in human history,” Sakharov later wrote. Yet he felt that by building the H-bomb, “I was working for peace, that my work would help foster a balance of power.”

Continue reading Andrei Sakharov

Alexander Ginzburg

Alexander Ginzburg and the Resistance to Totalitarian Evil, Then and Now
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | August 6, 2002

Alexander Ginzburg, 65, a former leading Soviet dissident, died on July 19, 2002 in his adopted city of Paris. Ginzburg fought for human rights during the Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras and was frequently jailed for his outspoken promotion of freedom. After serving a total of eight years in prisons and labor camps, Ginzburg and four others were flown to the United States in 1979 in exchange for two convicted spies.

The editors of Frontpage have invited a distinguished panel of three former Soviet dissidents to discuss the life of Alexander Ginzburg, who he was as a human being, and what he represented. The three are Vladimir Bukovsky, who spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals for his fight for freedom, and whose works include To Build a Castle and Judgement in Moscow; Yuri Yarim-Agaev, who, despite ongoing KGB harassment and detention, actively participated in dissident activities, including the campaigns in defense of Sharansky, Orlov, Sakharov and other dissidents; and Eduard Kuznetsov, who spent most of the 1960s and 1970s in Soviet prisons for writing forbidden prose. In June 1970, he was arrested for “treason” after attempting to highjack a Soviet plane to Israel

Continue reading Alexander Ginzburg

Zhores Medvedev


Zhores Aleksandrovich Medvedev
born Nov. 14, 1925, Tbilisi, Georgia, U.S.S.R. [now in Georgia]

Soviet biologist who became an important dissident historian in the second half of the 20th century.
For a full exposition of the possibilities of behaviouralist psychiatry as means of social and political control we have to look to the Soviet Union. The biologist Zhores Medvedev, a prominent dissident, was confined to a mental hospital. He was diagnosed as having ‘incipient schizophrenia accompanied by paranoid delusions of reforming society’! In any society which assumes total ideological uniformity to be ideologically different is without question deviant behaviour. Medvedev had influential friends in and out of the Soviet Union and was rapidly released. Many others have not been so lucky.

The forced unanimity of thought is not restricted to democracies. In “The Rise and Fall of T.D. Lysenko”, Russian historian Zhores Medvedev describes the rise to power of an autocratic Soviet pseudoscientist, who over a period of decades corrupted and nearly destroyed Soviet biology and agriculture. Medvedev concludes that “monopoly in science by one or another false doctrine, or even by one scientific trend, is an external symptom of some deep-seated sickness of a society.” The general acceptance of Lysenko’s perverted scientific theories—designed to undermine Western science, primarily Darwinism—was heavily promoted by the government-supported media. “The peculiarities of [the Soviet] press,” Medvedev writes, “made possible popular support for one or another scientific trend selected by the political leadership, and complete suppression of the opposition.”

Zhores Medvedev was detained in a mental hospital, provoking protests at home and abroad until he was freed.

He turned historian and dissident who was stripped of his Soviet citizenship in 1973.

Vladimir Maximov


On November 27th the well-known Russian dissident writer of the 1970s and 80s Vladimir Maksimov would have turned 70.
A sad joke illustrates the gloomy atmosphere of those times: “Don’t think. If you think, don’t write. If you think and write, don’t sign. If you think, write and sign – don’t be surprised!” Defying the warning, Maksimov thought, wrote and signed. Says expert in modern Russian literature Professor Vladimir Agenosov: “Maksimov was among those dissidents who formed a democratic opposition to the Soviet regime and whose literary activities accelerated the advent of democracy.

Vladimir Maksimov is a pen-name. His real name was Lev Samsonov. He was born in Moscow into the family of a worker. Three years later his father was arrested and the boy was sent to a children’s home and then to a labor camp for juvenile law-offenders. Later he worked at construction sites and collective farms in various parts of the Soviet Union. The young man knew that the door to higher education was closed to him – his personal particulars made him an unsuitable applicant. But he wrote poems, the first selection of which was published in 1954 and immediately destroyed for ideological reasons. Paradoxically, the incident spurred Maksimov on to prose.

His first novel The Seven Days Of Creation (1971) is a story about a peasant family. Maksimov lynches the Soviet ideology for uprooting respect and responsibility for themselves and for the land they cultivate from the hearts and minds of peasants. The novel was published abroad and brought its author worldwide recognition. One of the critics described it as “profoundly antirevolutionary”.

Maksimov’s second novel, Quarantine, brings us a tale about two lovers who found themselves alone amid a vast plane isolated from the rest of the world due to a cholera epidemic. The novel ends in their rejection of the Soviet way of life. Needless to say that it wasn’t published, but its hand-written or typed copies traveled secretly among the readers. Meanwhile, Maksimov was excluded from the Writers’ Union, a professional association of Soviet writers, and was forced to undergo psychiatric treatment at a mental hospital – a measure frequently applied to dissidents in the Soviet Union.

In 1974 Maksimov emigrated to France. In Paris he founded the Continent – a socio-political magazine with Nobel prize winners, poet Iosif Brodsky and scientist Andrei Sakharov among its editors. In emigration Maximov wrote several books, including the autobiographical two-part novel A Farewell From Nowhere. The first part tells about his childhood and youth, the second contains sketches of Soviet literary life in the 60s-80s.

Paying tribute to Vladimir Maksimov on his 70th birthday, we must thank him for an opportunity to read and discuss his novels, which would’ve been absolutely impossible in former times” .

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was becoming a dissident against the U.S.S.R. and the restricting communist government after he was arrested for the first time. He, through his entire life, was willing to sacrifice everything he had in order to point out that censorship was wrong and people should be able to speak their mind.


About his book “The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956 “:
Drawing on his own incarceration and exile, as well as on evidence from more than 200 fellow prisoners and Soviet archives, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn reveals the entire apparatus of Soviet repression — the state within the state that ruled all-powerfully.

Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims — men, women, and children — we encounter secret police operations, labor camps and prisons; the uprooting or extermination of whole populations, the “welcome” that awaited Russian soldiers who had been German prisoners of war. Yet we also witness the astounding moral courage of the incorruptible, who, defenseless, endured great brutality and degradation. The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 — a grisly indictment of a regime, fashioned here into a veritable literary miracle — has now been updated with a new introduction that includes the fall of the Soviet Union and Solzhenitsyn’s move back to Russia.

Continue reading Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Victor Sokolov


On September 7, 1976, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR decreed that Victor Sokolov be deprived of his Soviet citizenship for “activities discrediting the rank (title) of a Soviet citizen.” Victor Sokolov is a dissident writer who has regularly published articles critical of the Soviet Union since he was able to leave the USSR in Nov. 1975. In recent times, only four other persons have been stripped of their Soviet citizenship by such edicts of the Supreme Soviet: Valery Chalidze, Zhores Medvedev, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Vladimir Maximov.

Mr. Sokolov received news of the Supreme Soviet edict from the San Francisco consulate on Nov. 17th. In a written statement he says, “The rash decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, stripping me of Soviet citizenship, I accept as a high honor, in that this act of the Soviet government places me on one plane with such people as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Vladimir Maximov, Valery Chalidze, and Zhores Medvedev. I call this action of the Supreme Soviet rash because it is evident that I do not merit such a high honor. But I will strive to.

Inside of Russia, Victor Sokolov had been heavily involved in the dissident movement, writing critical articles for samizdat, the underground press. Several of his articles made their way out of the Soviet Union and were published in the Russian press in the west or broadcast over Radio Liberty. He was also a member of Amnesty International in Moscow.

In 1975, Sokolov met and married an American working for the U.S. Embassy. As the spouse of an American, Victor Sokolov was able to apply and receive permission to leave the USSR. He is now living with his wife in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he is teaching advanced Russian at the University of California and continues to write for various Russian language publications.


It is reported from his His son, Dn. Kirill Sokolov, that his father; Victor Sokolov has fallen asleep in the Lord after a long bout with lung cancer.  You can read more at http://www.holy-trinity.org.