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Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era," Lyudmila Alexeyeva points out that there is no good Russian word for "dissident".In 1976, 20 years after Nikita Khrushchev's "secret speech" denouncing Stalin's crimes, Alexeyeva was among the founders of the Moscow Helsinki Group, focused on monitoring Soviet compliance with the Helsinki Accords, which had been concluded the previous year by 35 governments from Europe and North America.That is how Alexeyeva and her fellow disidenty noticed the human rights provisions of the agreement. So they established the Moscow Helsinki Group to monitor the Soviet government's compliance and report violations.Of course, the Kremlin did not take the Moscow Helsinki Group's actions lightly.At that time, a couple of colleagues and I responded to the imprisonment of the Moscow Helsinki Group's members, as well as other disidenty, by establishing Helsinki Watch, a U.S.-based organization focused on freeing them. Since then, the organization has done battle with the Russian government time and again, including standing up to the evermore despotic Vladimir Putin.
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