Yuri Fyodorovich Orlov 

Yuri Orlov
Source: Rob C. Croes, 1986

Yuri Fyodorovich Orlov was born on 13 August 1924 and was a physicist, human rights activist and Soviet dissident.

In 1952, he graduated from Moscow State University, began his postgraduate studies at the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics and obtained the title of Candidate in Science in 1958 and the title of Doctor of Science in 1963.

In May 1976, he organized the Moscow Helsinki Group and became its president, systematically documenting the Soviet human rights violations defined in the Helsinki agreements. Orlov ignored the KGB’s orders to dissolve the Group and was arrested in February 1977 and sentenced to seven years of forced labor and five years of internal exile for his work.

On 30 September 1986, the KGB proposed to expel Orlov from the Soviet Union and withdraw his Soviet citizenship, which was approved by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Only in 1990 Gorbachev restored Soviet citizenship to Orlov and 23 other prominent exiles and emigrants who lost their rights between 1966 and 1988.

In 1995, the American Physical Society awarded him the Nicholson Medal for Humanitarian Service. Orlov died in September 2020.


“Remembering Yuri Orlov” in https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/10/02/remembering-yuri-orlov

De Boer, S. P, Driessen, E. & Verhaar, H. (1982). Orlov, Jurij Fedorovič”. Biographical Dictionary of Dissidents in The Soviet Union: 1956–1975. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, pp. 405–406.

Orlov, Y. & Whitney, T. P. (1991). Dangerous Thoughts: Memoirs of a Russian Life Hardcover. New York: William Morrow & Co.