Official: Russian human rights pioneer dies at 91
MOSCOW — Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a human rights pioneer and dissident who challenged the Soviet and Russian regimes for decades, demanding that they free political prisoners and establish democratic rights, died Saturday in a Moscow hospital, a Russian official said. She was 91.
The activist was born under dictator Josef Stalin’s regime. She risked her own freedom to protest the plight of political prisoners in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s and cofounded the Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia’s oldest human rights organization, in 1976.
Alexeyeva was forced into exile in 1977.
She returned to Russia in 1993 after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and continued her work, but suspicion of non-governmental organizations under President Vladimir Putin’s rule increasingly impeded her activities.