Read the text about Andrei Sakharov.
Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, an outstanding scientist and public figure, was born on the 21st of May, 1921, into the family of teachers. He graduated from Moscow University in 1942. In 1947 he defended his thesis for the degree of Candidate of Science. In 1953 he defended his Doctorate thesis and was elected member of the Academy of Sciences.
When he was a graduate student Sakharov began to work on the Soviet nuclear weapons programme and soon he suggested a totally new idea for a hydrogen bomb design. But he was getting more and more worried about the consequences of his work. He understood better than anybody else what nuclear weapons meant and he thought about his own responsibility and about the responsibility of the states which possessed such weapons.
In 1968 he wrote an article attacking Soviet political system. He wrote that people needed a democratic society, free of dogmatism.
Sakharov is often called the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, but he became more known as a champion for human rights and freedom. For this work the Nobel Committee awarded him the Peace Prize in 1975. The Committee called him "the conscience of mankind". The Soviet authorities, however, did not allow him to go to Norway to receive the award.
In 1966 he took part in his first human rights demonstration, a one-minute silent protest in Pushkin Square. A year later, he wrote a letter to Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev defending imprisoned dissidents.
His international repute as a scientist kept him out of jail, but in 1980 when he protested against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, he was deprived of all his titles and orders and exiled to the city of Gorky. In 1986 Michail Gorbachev invited Sahkarov to return to Moscow. He was given back all his titles and orders.
Andrei Sakharov died in 1989. He is remembered by everybody as an outstanding humanist, who could teach and inspire and who foresaw the changes that are taking place now.
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