Soviet Dissidents and Jimmy Carter

1977-1981 Documents from U.S. Archives – Published on The National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book No. 391, by  Svetlana Savranskaya, September 18, 2012.

  • The Transformation of Human Rights into An International Norm
  • International Memorial Society and National Security Archive Launch On-Line Dossier
  • Web Publication of Russian and U.S. Documents Marks 1970s Turning Point for U.S. Policy and for International Support of Dissent and Human Rights 

Moscow, Russian Federation, 18 September 2012 – The first-ever Web publication of previously secret U.S. documents on Soviet dissidents, matched with reports and letters by the dissidents themselves from the Memorial Society Archives in Moscow, illuminate the landmark turning point during Jimmy Carter’s presidency in the late 1970s when U.S. policy first elevated human rights concerns, and the dissidents led the international movement that discredited Soviet claims that attention to such issues was “interference in internal affairs.”

The rise of Soviet dissent in the 1960s and 1970s played a catalytic role in the transformation of human rights into an international norm of expected state behavior, according to the newly-published documents; and while Soviet repression succeeded in the short term in exiling or imprisoning most of the leading dissidents, the resulting legitimacy deficit contributed to the collapse of the Communist system at the end of the 1980s … //

… Veterans of the Soviet dissent movement will join representatives of Memorial and the National Security Archive for a public discussion and reception at the Memorial building in Moscow (Karetny Ryad, No. 5/10) at 6 p.m. on September 18 to mark the launch of the Web publication – which appears in Russian on the Memorial Web pages and in English and Russian on the National Security Archive Web pages.
(full text and Documents 1 to 50).

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