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Prominent Soviet Dissident Sergei Grigoryants Dies Aged 82

.Sergei Grigoryants Vyacheslav Prokofyev / TASS

Sergei Grigoryants, a leading dissident in the Soviet Union and a Russian human rights activist, has died at the age of 82, his family said Tuesday.

“My father passed away today,” Grigoryants’ daughter Anna Grigoryants wrote on Facebook without specifying the cause of his death. “Eternal memory.”

Grigoryants, an Armenian-Ukrainian national who was born in Kyiv in 1941, spent nine years in Soviet labor camps and prisons on charges of anti-Soviet propaganda in the 1970s and 1980s.

He founded the first openly published independent journal in the Soviet Union, Glasnost, following his release in 1987.

He continued to be a sharp critic of authorities after the fall of communism, assailing the conduct of Russia's two wars in Chechnya and complaining that President Vladimir Putin wanted to restore a Soviet-style police state. 

As head of the Glasnost Foundation, Grigoryants regularly spoke out against Russia's human rights record.

Grigoryants filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court in 2015 to investigate Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine as cases of aggression and war crimes.

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