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Russia declares U.S. Sakharov Foundation “undesirable“


In an echo of the Cold War, Russian authorities blacklisted on Monday a U.S.-based foundation named for Andrei Sakharov, the late Soviet-era dissident physicist known for supporting nuclear disarmament, international cooperation, and human rights.

Due to “a study of received materials,” the prosecutor general’s office said, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation in the United States had been added to a list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities were “recognized as undesirable” on Russian territory.

The foundation, headquartered about a half-hour drive southwest of Washington DC, did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment.

It was unclear what impact the decision would have on the work of the foundation, which says it seeks to build a world where the words of the 1975 Nobel laureate are heard, and one that is a “safer and more just place”.

Sakharov’s life and legacy sparked many prizes and initiatives. He was one of the founders of the Russian human rights organization Memorial, which won a Nobel prize last year while battling with authorities seeking to seize its archive of records of historical and contemporary state repression.

Sakharov died in Moscow in December 1989 at age 68.

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