Valeriya Novodvorskaya

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Valeriya Novodvorskaya
Valeriya Novodvorskaya3.jpg
1st Chairman of the Democratic Union
Assumed office
8 May 1988
Preceded by Position created
Personal details
Born (1950-05-17) 17 May 1950 (age 64)
Baranovichi, Belorussian SSR, Soviet Union
Nationality  Russia
Political party Democratic Union
Occupation journalist of "The New Times"

Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya (Russian: Вале́рия Ильи́нична Новодво́рская; born May 17, 1950, Baranovichi, Belorussian SSR, USSR) is a liberal [1] Russian politician, Soviet dissident, the founder and the chairwoman of the "Democratic Union" party, and a member of the editorial board of The New Times.[2]


Soviet Union[edit]

Novodvorskaya has been active in the Soviet dissident movement since her youth, and first imprisoned by the Soviet authorities in 1969 for distributing leaflets that criticized the Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia (Prague Spring). The leaflets included her poetry: "Thank you, the Communist Party for our bitterness and despair, for our shameful silence, thank you the Party!".[3] Novodvorskaya was only 19 at this time. She was arrested and imprisoned at Soviet psychiatric hospital with diagnosis of sluggishly progressing schizophrenia, just like many other Soviet dissidents.[4] In the early 1990s, psychiatrists of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia proved that the claim of her mental illness was bogus.[5][6] She described her experience in psikhushka in her book "Beyond Despair".


Political career[edit]

Novodvorskaya stood as a candidate for the radical liberal party Democratic Union in the 1993 Russian legislative election in a single-mandate district as part of the Russia's Choice bloc, and she also contested the 1995 Russian legislative election on the list of the Party of Economic Freedom. She was not elected in either election, and hasn't yet held public office.[7]

Political activism[edit]

Novodvorskaya self-identifies as democratic and liberal politician. She also sometimes calls herself and her allies successors to the Russian White movement tradition.[8] She is openly critical of Russian government policies, including Chechen Wars, domestic policies of Vladimir Putin, and the alleged rebirth of Soviet propaganda in Russia[9][10][11]

In an interview with Echo Moskvy, in which she was discussing the 2008 South Ossetia War, Novodvorskaya said that Shamil Basayev was a democrat, given his support of Boris Yeltsin during the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt and his participation in the government of Aslan Maskhadov in 1997, who had appointed Basayev Deputy Premier of the Ichkerian government.[12] According to her, it was Russian governmental policies in Chechnya that turned Basayev into a terrorist.[13] In response, Alexey Venediktov, the editor-in-chief of the radio station, pulled the recording and transcripts of the program from the Echo Moskvy website.[14] She later accused Venediktov of censorship and slander and suggested that the decision to remove the interview may have been due to Gazprom, a state-owned company, being a controlling shareholder in Echo Moskvy.[15] Venediktov asserted this to be his own decision and confirmed that Novodvorskaya was banned from the station until the end of 2008.[16]

In March 2010 she signed the online anti-Putin manifesto of the Russian opposition "Putin must go".

Valeria Novodvorskaya alleged that the inclusion of the scenario of the blowing up of Lech Kaczyński's aircraft in a March 2010 mockumentary shown on Georgian television is evidence of complicity of the Russian State in the death of the Polish President in a plane crash on 10 April 2010 in Smolensk Oblast.[17]


Novodvorskaya received the Starovoytova award "for contribution to the defense of human rights and strengthening democracy in Russia". She said at the ceremony that "we are not in opposition to, but in confrontation with, the present regime".[18]

Personal life[edit]

When asked about her celibacy and virginity, Valeriya Novodvorskaya openly said that she was not interested in sex. Also she added that she had never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all.[19]

Her books[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Lukin, Alexander. The Political Culture of the Russian "Democrats". New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-19-829558-8, ISBN 978-0-19-829558-7. P. 260n.
  2. ^ (also mentioned, Gleb Yakunin and Konstantin Borovoi) Arbatov, Alexei. Military Reform in Russia,International Security, Vol. 22, No. 4
  3. ^ Barron, John (1975). KGB - The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents. London: Corgi Books. ISBN 0-552-09890-6.  p. 55 in Russian edition (ISBN 0-911971-29-7)
  4. ^ Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya –
  5. ^ (Russian) Савенко, Юрий (2009). "20-летие НПА России". Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal (№ 1): 5–18. ISSN 1028-8554. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  6. ^ (Russian) Савенко, Юрий (2007). "Дело Андрея Новикова. Психиатрию в политических целях использует власть, а не психиатры: Интервью Ю.С. Савенко корреспонденту "Новой газеты" Галине Мурсалиевой". Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal (№ 4): 88–91. ISSN 1028-8554. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Millar, James R. (2004). Encyclopedia of Russian History. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 372–373. ISBN 0-02-865907-4. OCLC 62165740. 
  8. ^ "Nad propast'yu vo lzhi" by Valeriya Novodvorskaya. AST Publishing, 1998. ISBN 5-7390-0423-3, ISBN 5-15-000959-8
  9. ^ Газета «Новый взгляд» N46 от 28 августа 1993г.. Democratic Union website
  10. ^ Комсомольская правда (9.2.2007)
  11. ^ Валерия Новодворская на радио "Эхо Москвы" 29 августа 2008 г., radio interview, August 29, 2008, on "Moscow Echo" (Echo Moskvy)
  12. ^ Aslan Maskhadov: Five Steps into History, Prague Watchdog, retrieved November 13, 2008.
  13. ^ (Russian) Novodvorskaya, Valeriya. "Валерия Новодворская на радио "Эхо Москвы" 29 августа 2008 г.". Democratic Union. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  14. ^ (Russian) "Новодворскую изгнали с "Эха Москвы" за восхваление Басаева". 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-16.  [Archived] at WebCite
  15. ^ (Russian) Novodvorskaya, Valeriya (31 August 2008). "EchoMSK : Заявление Валерии Новодворской". Echo Moskvy. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  16. ^ "The radio that saddles". Novaya Gazeta. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-16.  [Archived] at WebCite
  17. ^ (Russian) Novodvorskaya, Valeria (11 April 2010). "Жестокая посадка". Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  18. ^ Anna Politkovskaya (2007) A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6682-7, page 38.
  19. ^ Александр Чаленко (December 19, 2010). "Бомбовое интервью с Новодворской: о сексе, о ее девственности и о Наполеоне, соучастнике Холокоста. Ну и, конечно, про Западную Украину". Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  20. ^