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Freedom Of Movement in the Thought of Sakharov and The Russian-Speaking Diaspora

In the social activities of A.D. Sakharov, a very significant, perhaps one of the main places was occupied by the issue of freedom of movement. As early as March 1971, in his “Memorandum” to Leonid Brezhnev, in the section of proposals on “urgent issues,” he called for the adoption of “laws that ensure the simple and unhindered exercise by citizens of their right to leave the country and return freely.” By that time, only a little over a thousand people a year received permission to leave the USSR, and almost all of them went to Israel, which required an invitation from Israeli relatives and entailed the deprivation of Soviet citizenship, making leaving an irreversible decision. Realizing the profound injustice of this, Sakharov from the very beginning insisted on freedom not only to leave, but also to return to the country.