The KGB File of Andrei Sakharov contains 146 reports by the Soviet secret police to the leadership of the Communist Party about the activities of Academician Andrei Sakharov (1921-1989). Sakharov, a brilliant physicist and the principal designer of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, later became a human rights activist and – as a result – a source of profound irritation to the Kremlin. This book publishes for the first time ever KGB files on Sakharov that became available during Boris Yeltsin’s presidency. The documents reveal the untold story of KGB surveillance of Sakharov from 1968 until his death in 1989 and of the regime’s efforts to intimidate and silence him and his wife, Elena Bonner. The disturbing archival materials show the KGB to have had a profound lack of understanding of the spiritual and moral nature of the human rights movement and of Sakharov’s role as one of its leading figures. Drawing on their research into the history of the Soviet human rights movement, Joshua Rubenstein and his co-editor Alexander Gribanov, provide a running commentary on the KGB files, explaining how they distort what Sakharov and his fellow dissidents were actually doing when they challenged the regime to live up to Soviet and international legal standards. In his introduction, Rubenstein explores how the human rights movement affected the policies of Mikhail Gorbachev when Gorbachev, determined to initiate democratic reform of Soviet society, implemented his policies of glasnost and perestroika. (Published by Yale University Press in 2005 as part of its Annals of Communism Series) Click here for a full set of documents in Russian and English.

“These documents are skillfully put into a larger context by an extensive and useful introduction by Joshua Rubenstein. . . . This book provides yet another extraordinary insight into the awful post-Stalinist heritage.”

– Robert Conquest, The New Republic

“It is fascinating and inspiring to read these documents and witness how the Soviet security apparatus with all its spies and bugging devices was unable to break the will of one indomitably courageous man.”

– Richard Pipes, Baird Professor of History, Emeritus, Harvard University