Andrei Sakharov. The Scientist and dissident turned 95

Andrei Sakharov. The Scientist and dissident turned 95

by May 23, 2016 22:27 0 comments

On 21 May Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov would turn 95, a man who became a symbol of freedom and publicity in our country for many years. Of course now he is seldom remembered, however Sakharov plaid a significant role not only in the “Perestroika” epoch. As a scientist Sakharov is famous for development of the world most powerful weapon – Soviet thermonuclear bomb.


Sakharov has put the ideological basis for the USSR breakup. Sakharov became an orienting point and example to follow for many figures of 90s. Boris Nemtsov, Egor Gaydar and others are among such figures.

Sakharov’s personality provided the basis for many artistic images of the cinema where the inventor refuses from his invention because this invention can be harmful.

Actually Sakharov has firmly rejected and blamed the USSR and the USA armament drive. At the end of 60s he leaded human rights and dissident movement in the USSR, addressed to Brezhnev with open letter against Stalin’s rehabilitation.



In 1947 Andrei Dmitrievich has passed Ph.D. defense. By demand of academician Tamm he was hired in Moscow Power Engineering Institute. In 1948 he was included in special group and till 1968 he has worked in the thermonuclear weapon development field, participated in engineering and development of the first Soviet thermonuclear bomb under the scheme called “Sakharov’s Layer Cake” At the same time Sakharov with I.E. Tamm in 1950-1951 has been holding pioneer works on controlled thermonuclear reaction. In Moscow Power Engineering Institute he gave a course of nuclear physics, theory of relativity and electricity.

Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (1953). The same year at the age of 32 he was elected as a full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, he was the second in the youth academician, for the moment of election, for the whole history (after S.L. Sobolev). Recommendation letter to accompany the assignment into academician was signed by academician I.V. Kurchatov and corresponding members of the USSR Academy of Sciences Yu. B. Khariton and Ya. B. Zeldovich.

According to Valentin Falin, Sakharov trying to stop ruinous armament drive offered the project of placement of super-powerful nuclear warheads 100 megaton along the American sea border. According to his point of view after such weapon development there were no need to improve regular armed forces – the USA would be destroyed for sure.

According to Sakharov’s accountings such bomb detonation should case a giant tsunami wave to destroy everything on the coast. It should be pointed that the most powerful weapon to be tested for the whole history was a bomb of 58 megaton, called as “Tsar-bomb”. Is was also developed by Sakharov’s group.



As it was mentioned at the beginning Sakharov has left weapon development late in 60s and started the public work. He assaulted against foreign and internal policy of USSR, developed the “theory of convergence”. According to this theory the USSR and Western countries will gradually become closer to each other both in economics and politics and social life borrowing best sides from both systems. In a result there should be union of two systems which needs to be encouraged. Sakharov has seen how “socialization” of social and political life was happening in many countries, especially in Europe. From his point of view the USSR went behind the West that is why Sakharov offered to fasten the convergence process in our country. The most important factor of convergence should become a disarmament.

Results of life and work

As Anton Alekseevich Bakov has pointed in his book “Democracy in Russian”: “Being a physics but not a lyrist Sakharov couldn’t talk beautiful words that is why not always he could achieve the understanding of the audience, and sometimes the scientist managed to hurt the audience in his best fillings even  not willing to do this. But in my history he appeared foremost as ideologist of antiscientific theory of political convergence which assured that socialism could become more similar to capitalism in a time, like, for example, the fish shark and mammal dolphin assimilate to each other both by the outward and behavior”. In 1989 he has presented his project of Constitution. Sakharov also was remembered for the conflict with Gorbachev on the Congress of the Peoples’ Deputies in 1989 which took place not long before his death. In fact he died at the same day on 14 December 1989.

It is interesting that Sakharov has predicted appearance of the internet in 1974: “In prospect, maybe later than in 50 years I suppose creation of the world informational system (WIS) which will make for everybody at any minute the content of any book whenever and anywhere published, content of any article, getting any information accessible. WIS must include individual tiny receiver-transmitter to make request, operations control stations to control informational flows, communication channels to switch thousands of man-made orbiting bodies, cable and laser lines. Even partly realization of WIS will deeply influence the each person’s life, his leisure, his intellectual and artistic growth. As against the TV set which is the main source of information for many contemporaries, WIS will provide to each person maximum freedom in the choice of information and ask for individual activity”.

After Sakharov’s death his name became a symbol of liberalism in our country. Many-thousands demonstrations in 1990 and 1991 which were joining against State Committee of the State of Emergency called him their spiritual leader. The Sakharov’s avenue in Moscow is still considered to be a place for meeting of “out-of-system” opposition. In particular, the “White ribbon” met there in 2011.

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