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Russian dissident dies at 88

Sunday, June 19, 2011 - 01:48

June 19 - Outspoken Russian human rights and democracy advocate Yelena Bonner dies in the US. Lindsey Parietti reports

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The woman who stood up to several Russian and Soviet presidents is dead at the age of 88. Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner, wife of Nobel Peace laureate Andre Sakharov, died Saturday in the US. The democracy and human rights advocate was born in Soviet Turkmenistan in 1923. She worked as a World War Two nurse but was later ejected from medical school during a campaign against Jews. Bonner spoke out against the1980 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, followed her husband into exile and later quit a human rights post in protest of President Boris Yeltsin's decision to fight Chechnyan separatists. Her husband's death in 1989, just two years before the Soviet Union fell apart, was mourned by thousands. Bonner also recently called for the resignation of Prime Minister Vladmir Putin. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT GALINA DOMBROVSKAYA, SAYING: "Life is always hard for the person who has some individual point of view. And it is especially hard in our country, because the totalitarian regime suppressed everyone and when a woman stands side by side with such a person (Andrei Sakharov) and confronts the power of state - that is always scary. And it deserves respect and admiration." A statement on the website of her late husband's foundation did not give a cause of death. Her memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday in Brookline, Massachusetts. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters

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Russian dissident dies at 88

Sunday, June 19, 2011 - 01:48