Valeriya Novodvorskaya

Valeriya Novodvorskaya

ValeriyaNovodvorskaya - a Russianliberal politician, Soviet dissident, the founder and the chairwoman of the "Democratic Union" party, and a member of the editorial board of The New Times.Novodvorskaya has been active in the Soviet dissident movement since her youth, and first imprisoned by the Soviet authorities in 1969 for distributing leaflets that criticized the Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia. During 1970–1972 she was arrested and imprisoned at Soviet psychiatric hospital with diagnosis of sluggish schizophrenia and was forced to undergo medical treatment. In 1972 Valeria Novodvorskaya participated in the copying and distribution of underground press. From 1973 to 1975 she worked as a teacher in a health resort for children. After that, up to 1990, Novodvorskaya was a medical translator at the Second Moscow Medical Institute. During the entire period she continued her political activities.
In 1977-1978 Valeria Novodvorskaya made an attempt to organize an underground political party against the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). She was also one of the founders of the Free Inter-Professional Union of Workers, which was one of the first attempts at forming an independent trade union in the USSR. She was continually persecuted by the authorities: she was put into mental hospitals, was systematically interrogated and her flat was repeatedly checked. Three times, in 1978, 1985 and 1986 Valeria Novodvorskaya was tried for her dissident activity. During 1984-1986 she was associated with the pacifist movement "Trust".

From 1987-1991 Novodvorskaya was an organizer of unauthorized meetings and demonstrations in Moscow and as a result she was arrested by the police a total of 17 times. In 1988 Valeria Novodvorskaya took part in founding the Democratic Union Party and regularly expressed her political views in the underground newspaper SvobodnoyeSlovo (Free Word). A few years later the publishing arm of SvobodnoyeSlovo issued Novodvorskaya’s collection of articles. In 1990 the same newspaper published Novodvorskaya’s article entitled “Heil, Gorbachev!” During the same year she spoke at different meetings and, as a sign of protest, tore Mikhail Gorbachev’s portraits to pieces. After all these actions Valeria Novodvorskaya was charged with public insult of the honor and dignity of the USSR President and offending the national flag.

In 1992, after the collapse of the USSR, Georgian President ZviadGamsakhurdia allocated Novodvorskaya Georgian citizenship and appointed her as his Human Rights Advisor. By the end of that same year Valeria Novodvorskaya, together with other members of the Democratic Union, formed the Democratic Union of Russia. During the Constitutional crisis in Russia in 1992-1993, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin dissolved the Supreme Soviet (parliament) of the Russian Federation, Novodvorskaya was one of those who promptly supported this action. In 1994, she participated at the founding session of "Democratic Choice of Russia". During 1991-1995 several criminal cases were opened against the politician, but were soon closed due to a lack of substantial evidence.

For instance, in 1995 Russian General Prosecutor's Office brought criminal charges against the  article published in the newspaper "New View", but dropped the same year due to the absence of the elements of the crime. Novodvorskaya stood as a candidate for the radical liberal party Democratic Union in the 1993, but was not elected. In 1996, she became an assistant of Konstantin Borovoy, member of the State Duma. In 2008 she was awarded with Knight's Cross for the protection of Lithuanian interests. She was active in journalism and educational activities. Valeria was the author of the following books: "Over the abyss in (the) lie", "My Carthage Has the Duty of Being Destroyed," "Beyond Despair", and "Slav Woman's Farewell".

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