Soviet Nuclear Scientist, Dissident and Human Rights Activist

1047 Words Jun 23rd, 2018 5 Pages
Soviet Nuclear Scientist, Dissident and Human Rights Activist
Dr. Andrei Sakharov was a leading developer of Soviet nuclear weapons. As he progressed through life he began working towards international peace and basic human freedoms for the people of the Soviet Union. In recognition of this work, Dr. Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Dr. Sakharov’s contributions to the Soviet weapons program and his public communications of the dangers of nuclear weapons helped to prevent nuclear war between the US and Soviet super powers.
Andrei Sakharov was born in Moscow on May twenty-first, 1921 to a well-educated Russian family. His father was a physics teacher and Andrei was home schooled until the equivalent of the seventh grade.
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The 1963 Test-Ban Treaty signed in Moscow by the US, the USSR, and the United Kingdom, banned all nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and underwater, but allowed the tests to continue underground.
Sakharov spoke out and wrote letters in support of Soviet activists. “In 1970 Sakharov, with Soviet dissidents Valery Chalidze and Andrei Tverdokhlebov, founded the Moscow Human Rights Committee” (Gorelik, The Human Rights Movement). Sakharov called for amnesty for political prisoners, freedom for Soviet Jews to migrate to Israel and autonomy for the Ukraine. Sakharov pushed for reconciliation between socialist and capitalist nations and advocated democratic freedoms in the Soviet Union. He attended political trials and staged protests outside. During one protest he met his second wife Elena Bonner. Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975, the first Russian to get this honor. Sakharov spoke out publicly against the Soviet interference in the Afghanistan civil war and in 1980, he was stripped of his decorations and awards as a Soviet and detained and along with his wife Elena Bonner. He was exiled to Gorky for almost seven years during which he went on a hunger strike and isolated from any contact with the outside world for 200 days. While at Gorky he wrote his memoirs three times as they were taken by the KGB the first two times (Gorelik, Exile in Gorky). On May eighteenth, 1983, President Ronald Reagan issued
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