Thursday, June 23, 2011

In passing: Elena Bonner

'Until the party truly gives up all its wealth to the people who really earned it, everything, down to the last... rouble, Stalinism will still triumph and it will still triumph until we can establish the principle of sovereignty. Sovereignty of the individual, sovereignty of the family and home, sovereignty of every ethnic group and every state.'

So said Elena Bonner (above right), speaking about the Communist Party in 1991, the year of formal dissolution of the Soviet Union and its bloc of satellite republics, and 2 years after the death of her husband, Nobel Peace Prizewinner Andrei Sakharov.
A longtime human rights activist in her own right, Bonner died in Boston Saturday, 88 years after her birth in what is now Turkmenistan. She had continued her activism till the end, just last year lending her name to an online petition against Vladimir Putin, Russia's Prime Minister.

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