Elena Bonner, the widow of Andrei Sakharov, is a longtime human rights activist and the Chair of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation in Moscow. (March 2001)

IN THE REVIEW

The Remains of Totalitarianism

The following is based on Elena Bonner’s speech accepting the 2000 Hannah Arendt Award, given jointly by the city of Bremen, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and the Hannah Arendt Association. I was educated in Soviet schools, where social studies and courses in the history of the CPSU were obligatory. Later …

Yeltsin and Russia: Two Views

Radio Liberty and the Voice of America recently acquainted Russian listeners with Peter Reddaway’s article, “Russia on the Brink?” [NYR, January 28]. The eschatological title and its general tone are not appropriate to the real situation in the country. The author knows Russia very well, but he has experienced the …

My Secret Past: The KGB File

In early August 1991 a man who introduced himself as Andrei Stanislavovich Pshezhedomsky telephoned, saying he was assistant to Chairman Ivanenko of the Russian Republic KGB. His chief, he said, wanted to meet with me. Out of old dissident habit, I replied that I didn’t pay calls on the KGB and if they wanted to see me they should send an official warrant. The man quickly assured me that I had misunderstood, that “they” had great respect for me and simply wanted to meet me. At the time the independent KGB of the Russian Federal Republic was in its infancy. I had no idea what it would become, but expected nothing good. Still, I was curious.

On Sakharov’s Memoirs

The following was written for the Japanese edition of Andrei Sakharov’s Memoirs. It is difficult for me to write about Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov’s Memoirs. I do not have the proper distance from the book, almost no distance at all. Nor do I have the strength to try to look at …

The Shame of Armenia

“I gaze at the photograph….” —Bulát Okudzháva For two and a half years the Trans-Caucasus has been burning and bleeding. Six million Azerbaijanis living in a territory of 86,000 square kilometers, and three million Armenians in a territory of 30,000 square kilometers, have forgotten peace. Why has this …

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Moscow: Once again the country has been watching a congress on TV. Not everyone was watching this time, and not as intensely as they had been watching the Second Congress of People’s Deputies in June of last year, when hope still prevailed over distrust. But both then and today most …