Soviet dissidents
Soviet dissidents were citizens of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 who disagreed with the policies and actions of their government and actively protested against these actions through either violent
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 or non-violent means. Through such protests, Soviet dissidents incurred harassment, persecution, imprisonment or death by the KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

, or other Soviet government agencies.

From the mid-1970s
File:1970s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: US President Richard Nixon doing the V for Victory sign after his resignation from office after the Watergate scandal in 1974; Refugees aboard a US naval boat after the Fall of Saigon, leading to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975; The 1973 oil...

, the term was first used in the Western propaganda and subsequently, with derision, by the Soviet media. Human rights activists in the USSR then adopted this term.

While dissent with Soviet policies and persecution for this dissent existed since the times of the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 and the establishment of the Soviet power, the term is most commonly applied to the dissidents of the post-Stalin era.

See also

  • Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Andrei Sakharov
    Andrei Sakharov
    Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov was a Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist. He earned renown as the designer of the Soviet Union's Third Idea, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. Sakharov was an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the...

  • Chronicle of Current Events (samizdat)
  • Committee on Human Rights in the USSR
    Committee on Human Rights in the USSR
    The Committee on Human Rights in the USSR was founded in 1970 by Andrei Sakharov together with Andrei Tverdokhlebov and Valery Chalidze . Andrei Sakharov was an eminent Soviet nuclear physicist who had publicly opposed the Soviet plans for atmospheric nuclear tests. In 1968, Sakharov had published...

  • Gulag
    The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

  • Moscow Helsinki Group
    Moscow Helsinki Group
    The Moscow Helsinki Group is an influential human rights monitoring non-governmental organization, originally established in what was then the Soviet Union; it still operates in Russia....

  • Samizdat
    Samizdat was a key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader...

  • Yelena Bonner
    Yelena Bonner
    Yelena Bonner was a human rights activist in the former Soviet Union and wife of the noted physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. During her decades as a dissident, Bonner was noted for her characteristic blunt honesty and courage.-Youth:...

Further reading

  • Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev, Piero Ostellino (1980) On Soviet Dissent, ISBN 0231048122
  • Robert Horvath (2005) The Legacy of Soviet Dissent: Dissidents, Democratisation and Radical Nationalism in Russia, ISBN 0415333202
  • Dissenters, Soviet Union on Google Books
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