Sergei Kovalev, a biologist and former political prisoner, is a leading candidate on the Yabloko Party list for the December election to the Russian State Duma. He is President of the Institute for Human Rights and Chairman of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation in Moscow. (November 2007)

IN THE REVIEW

Why Putin Wins

I should begin by saying that I find the current president of Russia and his policies extremely offensive. I believe that Vladimir Putin is the most sinister figure in contemporary Russian history. From the very beginning of his rule he has directed—and almost completed—a broad antidemocratic counterrevolution in Russia. He …

The Putin Put-On

In August 1999, an unremarkable, previously unknown KGB lieutenant colonel named Vladimir Putin shot out of the shadows like an imp out of a snuffbox and landed in the center of the stage of Russian politics. His extraordinary ascent to the highest rung of state power took only six months, …

Putin’s War

In 1997 I published an article in these pages in which I tried to draw some conclusions about the Chechen war of 1994-1996. In Moscow, the presidents of Russia and Chechnya had just signed a pact that rejected the use or threat of force and postponed a final resolution of …

Russia After Chechnya

And so, it has finally come to pass. In Moscow this May, Boris Yeltsin and Aslan Maskhadov, the recently elected President of Chechnya, signed an agreement “On Peace and the Principles of Relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.” The High Contracting Parties—this is how they …

On the New Russia

Editors’ Note: Sergei Kovalev is Russia’s leading human rights activist. A biologist and former dissident, he was imprisoned and then condemned to internal exile between 1974 and 1984. In 1990 he was elected to the Supreme Soviet and, later, to the Russian Duma. He was appointed chairman of President Yeltsin’s …

A Letter of Resignation

Sergei Kovalev sent the following letter to President Boris Yeltsin resigning as chairman of the President’s Human Rights Commission, an office he has held since October 1993. The letter was published in Izvestia on January 24, 1996. January 23, 1996 To B.N. Yeltsin    President of the Russian Federation …

Death in Chechnya

Nothing is more important in Russia right now than to stop the war in Chechnya, to halt the killing and suffering. When I visited Chechnya with colleagues from the Human Rights Commission, along with monitors from the Russian State Duma and the Memorial Society, we soon found that there was …

An Appeal to The UN Committee for Human Rights

(Translated from the Russian by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation) We, the signers of this letter, deeply disturbed by the unceasing political persecutions in the Soviet Union, perceiving in this a return to the Stalin era when our entire country was gripped by terror, appeal to the United Nations Committee …