Saturday 8 December 2018
Almost half a century at the service of human rights: with Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russia loses one of the country's best-known activists. Even President Putin could not help paying tribute to the Kremlin critic.
The famous Russian human rights activist and Kremlin critic Lyudmila Alexeyeva is dead, she died after a serious illness in Moscow at the age of 91, said the Russian President's Human Rights Council. "This is a terrible loss for the entire Russian human rights movement," said Prime Minister Mikhail Fedotov, according to the statement.
Alexeyeva was one of the most famous civil rights activists in Russia. She was considered the Grande Dame of the human rights movement in her native land. It was international and much appreciated also in Russia. During her 90th birthday, the head of the Kremlin Vladimir Putin personally congratulated her and visited her in her Moscow apartment.
Together with the Nobel Peace Prize, Andrei Sakharov founded the Moscow Helsinki Group in 1976, committed to respecting human rights. For this he had to go into exile. He has been a member of the Human Rights Council since 2004.
The activist has openly criticized the growing repression against the Russian opposition. Again and again he joined a strong word in the discussions and did not hesitate to criticize the Kremlin's politics. She was also arrested during a demonstration some years ago.
"One" was coming to an end "
Until just before his death, he had campaigned for activist Lev Ponomarev, who was convicted of having requested unauthorized protests. He talked to his assistant just before his death on how to help other people, they said. "She remained a human rights activist until the end," wrote Fedotov. He dedicated his life to this work.
"An 'era was coming to an end," said Valery Borschjow from the Interfax agency of the Helsinki group in Moscow. Alexeyeva has always been faithful to her values and traditions. "He continued the human rights movement of the Soviet era." The group will continue its work.
The death of Alexeyeva was a sad event for all of Russia, said Russian Commissioner for Human Rights Tatiana Moskalkova. "It was and remains a symbol of honesty and uncompromising struggle for people and justice," said the politician. Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin wrote on Twitter: "Lyudmila Alexeyeva was a wonderful person, a true model of behavior".