The Guardian – Many also understood that to change the rotten Soviet system one had to know the truth about its Stalinist past. It was the year the human-rights organisation Memorial was founded, bringing together hundreds of activists from across the Soviet Union. Some of them had experienced life in the gulags. Some were dissidents who had recently returned from labour camps or places of exile, such as the nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov. The mission was clear: we would bring back the memory of Stalin’s victims and make it public.

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