Moscow Helsinki Group

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The Moscow Helsinki Group ( Russian Московская Хельсинкская группа ) is the oldest human rights organization still in existence in Moscow . In the times of the USSR it was systematically persecuted and opposed by the state institutions. The Moscow Helsinki Group was only able to continue its work in the wake of perestroika .



The “Public Group for the Promotion of the Helsinki Decisions” was founded on the initiative of Yuri Fyodorowitsch Orlov with the aim of “ promoting compliance with the humanitarian articles of the Helsinki Final Act ” in the Soviet Union . On May 12, 1976, shortly before midnight, the formation of the group was announced at a press conference convened in Andrei Sakharov's Moscow apartment .

Yuri Andropov , the then head of the KGB , reported to the Central Committee of the CPSU on November 15, 1976 that the State Security Committee was taking measures to compromise the members of the Helsinki Group and to end their hostile activities. On January 5 of the following year, Andropov reported that the KGB and the General Prosecutor's Office of the USSR were developing further measures to end group activities. The group members were shadowed by the KGB, prosecuted, were interned in psychiatric institutions or had to go into exile.

Finally, on September 6, 1982, the last three members of the group left free declared that they had ceased their activity within the Helsinki group.

Since 1989

It was not until the late 1980s that the group was able to re-establish itself as a result of Gorbachev's liberalization policy . Until her death in 2018, the founding member Lyudmila Mikhailovna Alexejewa was chairwoman.

In the years since 2012, the situation for the group as well as for other human rights groups in Russia has become increasingly difficult. The office was raided by Russian authorities. The group waives foreign funds in order not to be registered as a " foreign agent ". As a result, most programs can no longer be carried out.

Founding members

Lyudmila Alexeyeva; Founding member and former chairwoman of the group in 2011

The founding members, which consisted of Soviet dissidents and human rights activists , include, besides Yuri Orlov:

Web links

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b c State reactions to the activities of the Moscow Helsinki Group , in: The CSCE in the East-West Conflict: International Politics and Social Transformation 1975–1990 . Page 67; accessed on March 9, 2016
  2. a b On the establishment of the public group to promote the implementation of the Helsinki resolutions in the USSR "Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG)", May 12, 1976 page 2 (German). ; accessed on March 9, 2016
  3. History of the Moscow Helsinki Group ( Memento of the original from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on the website (Russian), accessed March 8, 2016 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Lyudmila Alexejewa passed away today on the group's website December 8, 2018; accessed on December 8, 2018 (Russian)
  5. There will be successes in Russia Interview with Lyudmila Alexejew, Deutsche Welle, May 30, 2016 (German)