Soviet Dissidents and Jimmy Carter

The Transformation of Human Rights into An International Norm – Published on The National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book No. 391, by Malcolm Byrne / Svetlana Savranskaya, and by Arsenii Roginsky / Gennadii Kuzovkin / Natalya Petrova, September 18, 2012.

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 – 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 documents published today include highest-level memoranda to President Carter from his top advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Cyrus Vance, CIA assessments of the dissident movement and the Soviet government’s reactions, and U.S. National Security Council discussions of the issue. The Memorial documents include contemporaneous reports written by dissidents such as Moscow Helsinki Group co-founder Lyudmila Alexeyeva about specific arrests, trials, and repressions – often in the form of personally-addressed letters to President Carter requesting U.S. attention to the issues.

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 Docs from U.S. Archives 1 to 50).

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