Alekseeva, Ludmila

Ludmila Alekseeva lives in Moscow and is chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group. A historian and human rights defender, after initially training as a nurse during the Second World War, she graduated from the history faculty of Moscow State University in 1950. She later went on to work as an editor for the Nauka publishing house before becoming a researcher at the Institute of Scientific Information on the Social Sciences (INION) of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. From the 1950s she became involved in the production and dissemination of samizdat and in other human rights activities. In 1968 she was expelled from the Communist Party (which she had joined in 1952) and dismissed from her job. From 1968 she was a leading participant in the preparation of the samizdat publication Chronicle of Current Events. She became a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Group in 1976, acting as editor and holder of the group’s documents. After she was forced to emigrate to the US in 1977, she became chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group, based outside the USSR. Ludmila Alekseeva returned to the Russian Federation in 1993. Since 1996 she has been chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group. In 1998-2004 she was president of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights. She is a member of the Presidential Council on Civil Society & Human Rights.