Week-ending 21 May 2021
This week Moscow City authorities refused to allow an exhibition entitled ‘Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov: Anxiety and Hope,’ marking the centenary of the birth of the physicist and human rights activist organised by the Sakharov Centre, to go ahead. The exhibition was planned to open on 17 May, four days before the centenary of Andrei Sakharov’s birth on 21 May. Sergei Lukashevsky, director of the Sakharov Centre, told The Moscow Times: “Sakharov’s anniversary is a significant event that was planned and agreed upon with the authorities a year in advance, only to be canceled last minute. The Moscow Culture Department told us that it was because the contents of the exhibition were not agreed upon internally, without any further explanation.”
The Sakharov Centre is a museum and cultural centre established in Moscow in 1996 devoted to the protection of human rights and preserving the legacy of the physicist and Nobel Prize winning human rights activist Andrei Sakharov, the centenary of whose birth falls on 21 May 2021.
RFE/RL, 17 May 2021: City authorities have refused to approve a public exhibition marking the centenary of the late Russian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov. Proposed by the Moscow Sakharov Center, the exhibition was titled Andrei Dmitriyevich Sakharov: Anxiety and Hope. It was planned to open on May 17, four days ahead of Sakharov’s 100th birthday, as a series of street displays in Moscow. The proposed exhibition was meant to include photographs of Sakharov taken by Soviet and Russian photographers, as well as quotes from his memoirs, articles, and speeches.
The Moscow Times, 18 May 2021: Moscow authorities have canceled an exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Soviet Nobel laureate and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov. The Sakharov Center had planned to exhibit photographs of the dissident nuclear physicist and quotes from his articles and speeches on central Moscow streets on May 17. “Sakharov’s anniversary is a significant event that was planned and agreed upon with the authorities a year in advance, only to be canceled last minute,” Sergei Lukashevsky, the director of the Sakharov Center told The Moscow Times. “The Moscow Culture Department told us that it was because the contents of the exhibition were not agreed upon internally, without any further explanation,” he added.
RFE/RL, 20 May 2021: Andrei Sakharov is best remembered today as one of the foremost human rights advocates of the 20th century, winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his outspoken opposition to the Soviet Union’s darkest totalitarian impulses. But he was also the conflicted “father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb” and helped accelerate an arms race that left humanity on the brink of annihilation. Here is a pictorial look, using photographs from the Sakharov Archives and other sources, at how this brilliant and loyal physicist of the U.S.S.R. ultimately became its strongest and most celebrated voice of moral dissent.
RFE/RL, 20 May 2021: After Moscow city authorities blocked a planned exhibition about the late Soviet dissident and rights activist Andrei Sakharov, RFE/RL’s Russian Service obtained the materials that were to be used from the Sakharov Center. The photographs and quotes were planned to be put on display ahead of Sakharov’s 100th birth anniversary on May 21. Organizers say they were first told the exhibition was “unacceptable” by local authorities, then that the displays needed were being used for another presentation. An excerpt from the exhibition, titled Alarm And Hope, is published below: […]
RFE/RL, 21 May 2021: Born a century ago, atomic bomb designer and dissident Andrei Sakharov died two years before the Soviet Union’s collapse, cutting short his struggle for “pluralism, freedom, and respect for the individual.” What would he think of Russia today?