Prominent Soviet dissident Sergei Grigoryants dies aged 82

Sergei Grigoryants, a leading dissident in the Soviet Union and Russian human rights activist, has died aged 82, his family said Tuesday.

“My father passed away today,” Grigoryants’ daughter Anna Grigoryants wrote on Facebook, without specifying the cause of his death. “Eternal memory.”

Grigoryants, an Armenian-Ukrainian national born in Kiev in 1941, spent nine years in Soviet labor camps and prisons for anti-Soviet propaganda in the 1970s and 1980s.

He founded the first openly published independent newspaper in the Soviet Union, Glasnost, after its liberation in 1987.

He continued to be a scathing critic of the authorities after the fall of communism, attacking Russia’s conduct of two wars in Chechnya and complaining that President Vladimir Putin wanted to restore a Soviet-style police state.

As head of the Glasnost Foundation, Grigoryants has regularly spoken out against Russia’s human rights record.

Gregoryants deposit a complaint to the International Criminal Court in 2015 to investigate Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine as cases of aggression and war crimes.

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