Defending Human Rights in Russia: Sergei Kovalyov, Dissident and Human Rights Commissioner, 1969-2003, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Defending Human Rights in Russia

Sergei Kovalyov, Dissident and Human Rights Commissioner, 1969-2003, 1st Edition

By Emma Gilligan


254 pages

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Sergei Kovalyov is a central figure in the struggle for human rights in Russia. He was a leading Soviet biology academic and, in the 1970s after becoming active in dissident circles, was arrested by the KGB, tried, imprisoned and subjected to internal exile. After his release, he continued to work for human rights, eventually becoming chairman of the Soviet Human Rights Committee and chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Commission, in which positions he was extremely influential in framing human rights provisions in post-Communist Russia. He subsequently took President Yeltsin to task for human rights failings, eventually resigning in protest. This book, by tracing Kovalyov's political career, shows how human rights developed in Russia in late Soviet and post Soviet times.


'Emma Gilligan, an Australian historian who spent five years in Moscow working for the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, has now published a gracefully written and carefully researched biography of Sergei Kovalev.' - The New York Review

Table of Contents

Part I: Dissidentstvo Part II: The Dissident Nomenklatura Part III: The Supreme Soviet Human Rights Committee Part IV: The Presidential Human Rights Commission Part V: The Chechen War 1994 - 1996 Part VI: Troubling Times

About the Author

Emma Gilligan received a Ph.D from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2002. She spent five years in Moscow, researching for this book and working for The Andrei Sakharov Foundation. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow with the History Department at the University of Chicago working on a book on human rights and Chechnya.

About the Series

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General