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Yelena Bonner, wife of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, leaves the United States after receiving medical treatment
Yelena Bonner, wife of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, waves goodbye as she passes an American flag at Boston’s Logan Airport on May 24, 1986. Bonner left the United States for Europe on May 24, 1986, after six months of medical treatment in the west. She will return to internal exile with her husband in the closed Soviet city of Gorky after meeting with French and British leaders in Europe over the next few days. (UPI Photo/Jim Bourg/Files)
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Yelena Georgevna Bonner (Russian: Елена Георгиевна Боннэр; born February 15, 1923) is a human rights activist in the former Soviet Union and widow of the late Andrei Sakharov.

Yelena Bonner (name at birth: Lusik Alikhanova) was born in Merv (now Mary), Turkmenistan, USSR. Her father was an Armenian Georgy (Gevork) Alikhanov, a prominent Communist and a secretary of the Comintern, mother Ruth Bonner, a Jewish Communist activist. She had a younger brother, Igor, who became a career naval officer.

Her parents were both arrested in 1937 during Stalin's Great Purge; her father was executed and her mother served eight years term at a forced labor camp near Karaganda, Kazakhstan, followed by internal exile. Elena's 41-year-old uncle, Ruth's brother Matvei Bonner, was also executed during the Purge, and his wife internally exiled. All four were exonerated, following Stalin's death in 1953.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Yelena Bonner."