Russia's most veteran human rights defender and former Soviet dissident, Ludmila Alexeyeva, died today aged 91 in Moscow, the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights reported.
"The oldest human rights activist in Russia, Ludmila Alexeyeva, a member of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights and head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, died in Moscow at the age of 91," the institution said. a statement.
The president of the Council, Mikhail Fedotov, said that the human rights defender died in a Moscow hospital after having been admitted to the center during the last weeks.
"The doctors did everything they could to provide appropriate treatment and care, but unfortunately his heart could not resist any more," he told Interfax news agency.
"It is a terrible loss, not only for the Council, but for the entire human rights community, it is an utterly irreparable loss, and everyone who loves Ludmila will continue their cause," Fedotov stressed.
Upon hearing the news of the activist's death, the Russian People's Defender, Tatiana Moskalkova, said that Alexeyeva will always be a symbol of the struggle for human rights and justice.
Alexeyeva was a prominent Soviet dissident and one of the founding members of the Moscow Helsinki Group, created to oversee the fulfillment of the Soviet Union with the 1975 Helsinki Accords.
In the Helsinki Final Act or Declaration of Helsinki, 35 states signed a document committing themselves to improving relations between the West and the communist countries.
Winner in 2009 of the Sakharov Prize along with other Russian activists and twice nominated (2012 and 2013) for the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as awarded in 2015 with the Václav Havel Human Rights Award, Alexéyeva made her fame in the 60s .
He wrote several petitions in defense of the political prisoners and in protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968), which cost him the expulsion from the party.
He then expressed his disagreement with the imperialist doctrine of "limited sovereignty" applied by Moscow in relation to the countries that at that time were members of the Warsaw Pact.
Before the threat of detention, he had to emigrate in 1977 to the United States, from where he returned in 1993, two years after the fall of the USSR.
In an interview with Efe in 2015, Alexeyeva, eternal candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, considered that Russia will not be a democracy until it overcomes "the imperial syndrome".
He said it a year after the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula by Russia.
Alexeyeva, who was born on July 20, 1927 in the Crimea, said in that interview that she considered the democratic involution since the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin in 2012 and the persecution of non-governmental organizations qualified as "foreign agents" suffocating.