7 February 2021
Vyacheslav Bakhmin has lived a remarkable life: a dissident, a diplomat and a human rights defender. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bakhmin was arrested three times, and in the 1990s the former political prisoner became a high-ranking diplomat and represented Russia at the United Nations. Vyacheslav Bakhmin speaks about his experience of freedom, the founding of the Moscow Helsinki Group and the role of the academician Andrei Sakharov. He also talks about his impressions of Boris Yeltsin, the relations between dissidents with the authorities, the prospects that opened up in the new Russia and how the Russian Foreign Ministry in the early 1990s began to protect human rights. He reflects about what is more common in modern Russia, fear or fearlessness, as well as how a window of opportunity appears after the most difficult and apparently hopeless times.
01:30 First arrest at the age of 22
04:40 10 months in Lefortovo
08:10 How dissidents lived
11:00 The investigation of punitive psychiatry
17:40 Is it better or worse now?
23:20 Did the dissidents expect the end of the USSR?
25:50 The role of Gorbachev
28:00 How the mindset develops
31:05 On freedom in a country that is not free
33:20 What was good in the USSR
38:00 Why did dissidents not go into politics?
42: 40 What are the merits of Academician Sakharov
48: 30 How a dissident became a diplomat
51: 30 Were Russian diplomats respected in the 1990s?
56: 05 What kind of politician was Yeltsin
59: 20 Getting to know Soros
1:03: 35 Why is everything foreign restricted?
1: 10: 20 “It is impossible to return to the 1937.”
Translated by Ecaterina Hughes