Pre-Nuclear Period
Nuclear Period
Dissent Period
Presecution by Soviet
Return of Sakharov

Bolshevik Revolution
Stalin's Rule
Leaders after Stalin
Russia: Democracy
Nuclear Weapons
Russia: Today

Thermonuclear War
Primary Problems
The Four Stage Plan


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IMPACT     No one in this world can predict what Russian would be like today, if Sakharov were not born. For history is never the making of one person, but of mass effort. Thus, Sakharov’s impact should rather represent the impact of all the dissidents, who contributed their energy, liberty, and even life, to make the world a better place.     The Russian dissidents at Sakharov’s time faced one of the most repressive regimes in human history. The slightest rebellion against the state would mean years of toil in labor camps. As a result, most people shut their mouth tightly, and were on the watch all the time lest a forbidden word should escape them. However, there were people that could not be silenced—the dissidents. They marched, they protested, they wrote petitions to the government, they openly criticized the regime on foreign press, all to little avail. The government closed its eyes to the need of the people, and battled for international power, which did not translate into better life for its populace. To make matters worse, the government crushed opposition voices relentlessly. Nevertheless, the dissidents continued to fight. Little by little, their efforts attracted worldwide attention to the state of human rights in Russia, and also awakened the Russian people to what they could have under a different regime. The opinion of the public, once strong enough, could not be overlooked. Thus, the transition to a democratic regime was finally made, which inherited many problems of the regimes before, but which at least offered its people the basic right of intellectual freedom.     That is the power of the public opinion. That is the impact of the dissidents.
2003 Seevak [Andrei Sakharov].