On May 19, young Russians from schools in Moscow and the surrounding area attended a screening and discussion of two episodes from a VOA documentary series on the Soviet dissident movement called “Parallels, Events, People.” The screening took place at a venue named in honor of one of the most famous dissidents in the former Soviet Union, the Andrei Sakharov Center in Moscow.
The two episodes shown were about the Prague Spring in 1968 and Western support for imprisoned Soviet political prisoners. Series producer Natella Boltyanskaya, along with Russian human rights leaders Ludmila Alexeeva, Pavel Litvinov and Sergei Sharov-Deloney, then spoke with the students about the legacy of the Soviet dissidents and the relevance of their ideas of human rights, freedom and democracy for modern Russia.
Inna Dubinsky, development officer with the BBG’s Office of Strategy and Development, joined via Skype from Washington to provide an introduction to the screening and to speak about U.S. international media. “Parallels, Events, People” is produced with support from the Andrei Sakharov Foundation and the Oak Foundation, which commits its resources to social and environmental issues. VOA broadcasts the documentary series in Russian on Internet and mobile platforms. The series is being versioned into English, and will soon be aired via satellite worldwide.
Andrei Sakharov died in 1989 at the age of 68. The May 19th screening at the Sakharov Center took place two days before what would have been his 94th birthday.