Lev Ponomarev At 70

Source: HRO.org (info), 03/09/11

· Human Rights Defenders

· Moscow City and Moscow Region

The Russian human rights defender and public figure Lev Aleksandrovich Ponomarev (born 2 September, 1941, Tomsk) has celebrated his 70th birthday. Lev Ponomarev is executive director of the All-Russian Movement For Human Rights. He is a deputy of the National Assembly of the Russian Federation and a member of the Federal Political Council of the United Democratic Solidarity Movement. He was a deputy of the first convocation of the State Duma.

Lev Ponomarev is a graduate of the Moscow Physics and Technology Institute (1965), and obtained a higher degree there in 1968. He is a Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Lev Ponomarev worked at the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences, teaching part-time at Moscow Physics and Technology Institute in the Department of General Physics.

In 1988 Lev Ponomarev was one of the founders of the Memorial Society, a national non-governmental organization dedicated to the commemoration of the victims of political repression.

In 1989 he was a close aide of Andrei Sakharov at the elections to the Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR. He participated in the Coordinating Council of the Moscow Association of Voters and in the initiative group that established the Civic Action Committee.

In 1990 he defeated the nationalist sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov in the elections to the Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR. From 1990 to 1993, Lev Ponomarev served as a member of the RSFSR People’s Congress, a member of the Council of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, member of the Committee on Mass Media, Civil Society Organizations, Mass Civic Movements and Public Opinion Research. He was a member of the Democratic Russia parliamentary grouping and of the parliamentary group Reform of the Army.

In the autumn of 1991 Lev Ponomarev headed a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the activities of the State Committee on the State of Emergency (known by its Russian acronym as GKChP) and the elucidation of the role of the KGB in the coup attempt.

In 1993 Lev Ponomarev ran unsuccessfully for the State Duma in a single-mandate constituency on the electoral list of Russia's Choice. Lev Ponomarev became a member of the State Duma only as a result of the death of Vasily Selyunin, who had been elected as deputy. From 1994 to 1996 Lev Ponomarev was a State Duma deputy, a member of the Committee on CIS Affairs and Relations with Compatriots.

In 1997 Lev Ponomarev initiated the creation of the All-Russian Movement For Human Rights, becoming executive director of the organization and a member of the council of the movement.

Lev Ponomarev has been a participant in The Other Russia coalition since its inception in July 2006. He is a member of the executive committee of the coalition.