Vladimir Ponomariov has died


Vladimir Ponomariov, one of the oldest members of the Kharkov group for human rights protection, has died. If he lived 40 days more, he would be 65…

Vladimir was a very modest, companionable, kind and honest man, he was a typical “child of the 20th party congress”. Today everybody, who knew him, in Moscow, Israel, America and, of course, Kharkov, is deeply upset with this bereavement.

In the end of the 60s Vladimir got to the maelstrom of events: on the one side, the idea of the “socialism with human face” appeared, and on the other side, Brezhnev’s camarilla intensified the struggle with those, who had such face. The struggle was very severe both inside the country (cases of Siniavski, Daniel, Ginzburg, Orlov, Nekipelov, Chornovil and many others) and outside (Czechoslovakia).

Vladimir Ponomariov was one of the first distributors of samizdat in Kharkov. The punishment was inevitable…

Vladimir was fired from the Ukrainian Physico-technical Institute, where he worked. Later there were shadowing, arrest, unjust court and three years in concentration camps. His wife was dismissed from the post of university lecturer, and his son was prohibited to attend the military department of the Kharkov Institute of radio electronics. After the release Ponomariov worked as a fitter.

Of course, the independent Ukraine rehabilitated V. Ponomariov, and, at last, he could live a full life. Unfortunately, the fate decreed otherwise, and that is bitter and grievous…

Genrikh Altunian

The Kharkov group for human rights protection

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