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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

THE SAKHAROV-BONNER CASE. FOLDER 44. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY.

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    In this folder Mitrokhin provides a detailed history of Andrei Sakharov and Yelena Bonner’s anti-socialist activities in the Soviet Union as well as their achievements and failures.
    "The Sakharov-Bonner Case. Folder 44. The Chekist Anthology.," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110345
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[Translation unavailable. See original. Detailed summary below.]

In this folder Mitrokhin provides a detailed history of Andrei Sakharov and Yelena Bonner's anti-socialist activities in the Soviet Union as well as their achievements and failures.

Mitrokhin states that in 1966 Sakharov stopped his scientific studies and became very involved in the dissident movement. At the end of 1970 he, along with other activists, organized the Committee of Human Rights in the Soviet Union. Sakharov gained much influence in the Soviet Union and used it to influence dissidents' trials.

Toward the end of 1974 the KGB discovered that Sakharov had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The KGB residency in Oslo began to take steps to prevent Sakharov from receiving the prize. Mitrokhin states that the residency did not have strong connections with Nobel Prize officials, which led to Sakharov receiving the prize in 1975. Soviet Union officials did not let him travel to receive the prize, so his wife Yelena Bonner accepted it on his behalf.

According to Mitrokhin, in 1977 Sakharov limited his activities in the dissident movement in the Soviet Union. Some people said that he was mentally tired of having conflicts with the authorities, but others stated that he did not have leadership skills as a person. Mitrokhin also states that he no longer pretended to be "a father of Russian democracy." Mitrokhin includes two controversial articles about Sakharov that were published in the socialist countries which analyzed his personality. These articles stated that Sakharov was a weak individual and coincidence was the only reason that he became a leader of the dissident movement in the U.S.S.R.

According to Mitrokhin, at the beginning of the 1980 he was exiled to Gorkiy-town without trial. The West felt very sympathetic for Sakharov, yet Soviet officials could no longer tolerate his anti-soviet activities. Mitrokhin points out the fact that Sakharov's role in the Soviet nuclear program played a big role in his case. KGB officials interpreted it as Sakharov's attempt to destroy his Motherland.

According to Mitrokhin, the West was concerned about Sakharov's fate and in 1986 Oslo officials were preparing an anti-soviet film about Sakharov's role in promoting human rights in the U.S.S.R. Maximov, who prepared the plot of the documentary, also planned to include scenes from the Nobel Prize award ceremony.

Mitrokhin based this entry on the copies of KGB documents that he provides in the end of this folder. Sakharov's code-name was "Akset," and his wife, Yelena Bonner, was named "Lisa."



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