Human rights advocate Igor Toporkov has appealed to Alexei Russkikh, the acting governor of Ulyanovsk Oblast, with a request to memorize academician and dissident, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Andrei Sakharov. He suggested declaring a house in Ulyanovsk where the scientist lived during the Great Patriotic War a monument of regional significance. His video message is published in social networks.
"On May 21, the 100th anniversary of Academician Sakharov’s birth will be celebrated, there is an order from Putin to mark the centenary of the outstanding scientist and human rights advocate’s birth," Igor Toporkov explained. "Sakharov's name is connected with Ulyanovsk, too. Andrei Dmitrievich lived in this city for three years - between 1942 and 1945. He had very happy memories associated with this city. He got married for the first time here, his eldest daughter Tatiana was born here, he left to go to graduate school from here. His relatives live here. And although a festival is held in Nizhny Novgorod, where he served his exile, we, unfortunately, do not hold any commemorative events."
The human rights advocate believes that the house where Sakharov lived should be declared a monument of regional significance.
"This has not been done [before] for various bureaucratic reasons. And if possible, buying the house from the current owners and leaving it as a monument to the stay of one of the greatest humanists of the 20th century [would be the best variant]," he concluded.
As Toporkov explained, in 2000, he and several other activists installed a memorial plaque on the house on Telman Street, 27, where Sakharov lived. They used to lay flowers to it on the day of the scientist's birth and death every year. But in 2020, they had to remove the plaque.
"The house’s previous owner just warned me that the house was for sale and the new owners were against it. So we took it off, and I keep it at home since then," Igor Toporkov told 7x7.
Andrei Sakharov was a Soviet theoretical physicist, member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, one of the creators of the first Soviet hydrogen bomb. Social activist, dissident and human rights advocate, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.
Sakharov was stripped of all Soviet awards after making statements that condemned the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and in January 1980, he and his wife Elena Bonner were exiled from Moscow to Gorky. He was allowed to return from exile to Moscow only at the end of 1986.
The Sakharov Center* and the Redis Company have created a virtual museum to mark the centenary of scientist and human rights advocate Andrei Sakharov’s birth. This is the first online project of this scale dedicated to his life, scientific and human rights activities.
In addition, a traveling exhibition "Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, the man of the age", dedicated to the centenary of Academician Sakharov’s birth, has been traveling to Russia's regions since January. It is organized by the Academician Sakharov Archive and Memorial Apartment.