EXILE TO GORKY
In December 1979, the USSR invaded Afghanistan. Sakharov voiced his disapproval of this invasion through western press, an act that further aggravated the USSRís grudge against Sakharov.
On January 8, 1980, the Supreme Soviet issued a decree that deprived Sakharov of all his governmental awards. On January 22, 1980, Sakharov was exiled to Gorky, a place off limit to foreigner, in order to keep his foreign contact to a minimum.
During his exile, Sakharov never lost his spirit. He kept on fighting for human rights, although he himself was persecuted due to activities advocating human rights. Sakharov went on several hunger strikes, but was forcefully fed, an action that severely damaged his health. Sakharov wrote his Memoirs. However, it was repeatedly confiscated by the KGB on sudden searches. Thus, Andrei Sakharov had to rewrite his Memoirs from memory several times.
Despite Andreiís relative isolation, Elena Bonner was still allowed to live with Sakharov and go beyond the confines of Gorky, and thus Sakharov could publish his articles on foreign press with the help of Bonner and other foreign friends.
Human rights activists, both domestic and abroad, fought for the release of Sakharov. This international pressure probably accounted for the fact that the KGB never did anything worse (such as torture) to Sakharov.