Topic: Yelena Bonner

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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.

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