Russian Dissident Yelena Bonner Dies

Russian media have reported that prominent Soviet-era Russian dissident Yelena Bonner passed away on June 18 at the age of 88.

Bonner, a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Group rights monitor in 1976, was a vocal critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and longtime defender of democracy in Russia.

Her daughter, Tatiana Yankelevich, said her mother died at her home in Boston, Massachusetts, but did not give the cause of death.

Bonner was born in Soviet Turkmenistan in 1923. Her parents were persecuted by Soviet leader Josef Stalin, and she worked as a nurse during World War II.

In 1972, she married famed nuclear physicist and human rights champion Andrei Sakharov.

Bonner was jailed in 1984 on charges of anti-Soviet activity and exiled to Gorki. She was allowed to travel to the United States in 1985.

Sakharov was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. He died in 1989.

compiled from agency reports

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