To Yelena Bonner on her 85th birthday


Dear Yelena Georgievna,

Your birthday is a very special day for all members of the human rights movement in independent Ukraine.

You and Andrei Dmitrievich (Sakharov) were among the first Soviet free-thinking democrats.  You were never cowered by the repressions and torrents of lies of the totalitarian system.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to you and Andrei Dmitrievich for your uncompromising work in creating an effective system for opposing totalitarianism – the human rights movement which led to the creation of new democratic states.

Ukraine still has a huge number of human rights problems, however your example and that of your husband, continue to inspire us.

With very best wishes and profound respect,

All the members of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Kharkiv “Memorial”

Yelena Bonner’s biography can easily be found on Wikipedia.  The enormous work she continues to do for human beings in need cannot be expressed in one or two pages. 

Her unwavering efforts and unstinting willingness to help others indeed provide inspiration – and hope when so much seems senseless. 

We were deeply moved when she responded immediately to our appeal to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with regard to Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine. )

No surprise that she was also the very first person to offer assistance when, after the latest  DDOS attack on human rights and civic networks, we called for an SOS network – Voices carry: )

Your very life provides a wonderful example of commitment and total solidarity with those oppressed.  In the countries of the former Soviet Union a desperate amount still needs to be done, and your example is one we must all follow. 

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