Andrei Sakharov

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Andrei Sakharov, 1943

Andrei Sakharov (May 21, 1921December 14, 1989) was an eminent Soviet-Russian nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist. Sakharov was an advocate of civil liberties and reforms in the Soviet Union and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.

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  • Both now and for always, I intend to hold fast to my belief in the hidden strength of the human spirit.
  • For me, the moral difficulties lie in the continual pressure brought to bear on my friends and immediate family, pressure which is not directed against me personally but which at the same time is all around me.
  • I am no professional politician-which is perhaps why I am continually obsessed by the question as to the purpose served by the work done by my friends and myself, as well as its final result.
  • I grew up in a large communal apartment where most of the rooms were occupied by my family and relations and only a few by outsiders. The house was pervaded by a strong traditional family spirit-a vital enthusiasm for work and respect for professional competence.
  • I worked under conditions of the highest security and under great pressure, first in Moscow and subsequently in a special secret research centre. At the time we were all convinced that this work was of vital significance for the balance of power in the world and we were fascinated by the grandeur of the task.
  • Our country, like every modern state, needs profound democratic reforms. It needs political and ideological pluralism, a mixed economy and protection of human rights and the opening up of society.
  • We must make demands of reason and create a life worthy of ourselves and of the goals we only dimly perceive.
  • My destiny was exceptional. Not because of false modesty but because of a wish to be accurate I note that my destiny has turned out to be larger than my personality. I've simply tried to live up to my destiny.[1]

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