|1st Chairman of the Democratic Union|
8 May 1988 – 12 July 2014
|Preceded by||Position created|
Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya
17 May 1950
Baranovichi, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
|Died||12 July 2014 (aged 64)|
|Cause of death||Toxic shock syndrome|
|Political party||Democratic Union|
|Alma mater||Moscow Region State University|
Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya (Russian: Валерия Ильинична Новодворская, 17 May 1950, Baranovichi, Byelorussian SSR – 12 July 2014, Moscow) was a Soviet dissident, writer and liberal politician. She was the founder and the chairwoman of the Democratic Union party and a member of the editorial board of The New Times.
Novodvorskaya was born in 1950 to a Jewish engineer, Ilya Borisovich (Boruchovich) Burshtyn, and a pediatrician, Nina Feodorovna Novodvorskaya, who came from a noble Russian family. Her parents divorced in 1967; Ilya Borisovich later emigrated to North America.
Novodvorskaya was active in the Soviet dissident movement since her youth, and first imprisoned by the Soviet authorities in 1969, when she was 19, for distributing leaflets that criticized the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The leaflets included her poetry: "Thank you, the Communist Party for our bitterness and despair, for our shameful silence, thank you the Party!" She was arrested and imprisoned at a Soviet psychiatric hospital and, like many other Soviet dissidents, diagnosed with "sluggish schizophrenia". In the early 1990s, psychiatrists of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia proved that the claim of her mental illness was bogus. She described her experience in her book Beyond Despair.
Novodvorskaya stood as a Democratic Union candidate in the 1993 Russian legislative election in a single-mandate district as part of the Russia's Choice bloc, and she also contested the 1995 Russian legislative election on the list of the Party of Economic Freedom. She was not elected in either election, and never held public office.
Novodvorskaya self-identified primarily as a liberal politician and was described by her colleagues as "a critic of Russian realities in the best traditions of Pyotr Chaadayev, Vissarion Belinsky and Alexander Herzen". She was strongly critical of Chechen Wars, Vladimir Putin's domestic policies, and the rebirth of Soviet propaganda in Russia. Her consistent criticism of Russia's past and present, of political and social life, as well as her extravagant lifestyle granted her titles such as "the eternal dissident" and "an idealist at the edge of madness".
In an interview with the Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy, in which she was discussing the 2008 South Ossetia War, Novodvorskaya said that Shamil Basayev was a democrat, given his support of Boris Yeltsin during the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt and his participation in 1997 in the government of Aslan Maskhadov, who appointed Basayev Deputy Premier of the Ichkerian government. According to her, it was Russian governmental policies in Chechnya that turned Basayev into a terrorist. In response, Alexey Venediktov, the editor-in-chief of the radio station, pulled the recording and transcripts of the program from the Ekho Moskvy website. Novodvorskaya later accused Venediktov of censorship and slander and suggested that the decision to remove the interview may have been because Gazprom, a state-owned company, is a controlling shareholder in Ekho Moskvy. Venediktov asserted that it was his own decision and confirmed that Novodvorskaya was banned from the station until the end of 2008.
Accusations of Russophobia
Opponents accused Novodvorskaya of expressing Russophobic views. On January 27, 1995, the Office of the Prosecutor General launched a Novodvorskaya Case in reaction to an interview she have Estonian journalists on April 6, 1994, and several publications in the Novy Vzglyad newspaper. All materials were checked for "propaganda of civil war", "of inferiority of people based on their ethnicity" and "incitement to hatred". Some of the scandalous quotes include:
"I cannot imagine how can anyone love a Russian for his laziness, for his lying, for his poverty, for his spinelessness, for his slavery. But maybe that's not all his characteristics". According to the Estonian correspondent Lembit Annus, Novodvorskaya also inspired the Baltic states to join NATO and prepare to defend their countries from Russia with weapons.
"By their whining, their linguistic dullness, their nostalgia for the USSR, their love for red flags Russians from Estonia and Latvia proved that they can't have equal rights when entering the European civilization. They are kept by a close stool—and rightly so...Personally I'm fed up with human rights. There was a time when me, CIA, USA used this idea as a ram to destroy the Communist regime and collapse the USSR. This idea served its purpose, so stop lying about human rights and human rights activists before we chop off the limb of the tree we are sitting on".
"Manic depression—so that's what they call "the Russian miracle" and "the Russian soul"! That's why we are so good at war! Unhealthy aggression of a maniac masterfully aimed at aliens by our own rulers that turns into a slavish prostration after the return from war!...Our president should either give us weapons and start a new fight, or lend us a skete big enough for 10 million free people who would rather explode or burn themselves down than live side by side with the triumphant red-brown majority".
"And if we have to destroy the whole country together with all its population in order to free the Earth from communists, fascists and imperialists—we won't chicken and bless our own doom. Some centuries ago our ancestors burned down Moscow so that our enemy wouldn't get it. Today we have all means to make it so that our enemy won't get Russia. Being dead is better than being red".
In 2009 Novodvorskaya published an autobiographical book, Farewell of Slavianka. A Thriller, that includes all the articles from Novy Vzglad, the case details, fragments of speech given by her lawyer Henri Reznik in 1996 and her last word in court. The case lasted for two years and was apparently closed.
Throughout her life, Novodvorskaya lived in a flat with her mother Nina Fyodorovna (Нина Федоровна Новодворская, 1928–2017), a pediatrician, and cat Stasik. In the summers they rented a dacha in Kratovo. She was fond of swimming, science fiction, theater and cats.
In 1990 Novodvorskaya was baptized by the noncanonical Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Reunited. She belonged to that church till her death while remaining highly critical of the Russian Orthodox Church. According to her priest Yakov Krotov, "she was more of a Christian than I ever was".
Novodvorskaya received the Starovoytova award "for contribution to the defense of human rights and strengthening democracy in Russia". She said at the ceremony that "we are not in opposition to, but in confrontation with, the present regime".
- Beyond Despair (Novosti, 1993) (in Russian)
- Карфаген обязан быть разрушен (The Carthage Must Be Destroyed) (in Russian)
- Валерия Новодворская. Над пропастью во лжи (The Catcher in the Lie) (both titles are puns on The Catcher in the Rye) (in Russian)
- Валерия Новодворская. Прощание славянки (Farewell of Slav) (Захаров, 2009 г) (in Russian)
- Валерия Новодворская. Поэты и цари (Poets and Kings) (Аct, Аct М��сква, Харвест, 2009 г) (in Russian)
- Lukin, Alexander. The Political Culture of the Russian "Democrats". New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-19-829558-8, ISBN 978-0-19-829558-7. P. 260n.
- (also mentioned, Gleb Yakunin and Konstantin Borovoi) Arbatov, Alexei. Military Reform in Russia,International Security, Vol. 22, No. 4
- Rachel Gedrich. Exclusive interview with Ilya Borisovich Burshtyn who talks about his legendary Lera for the first time. Krugozor magazine (Boston). May 15, 2015 (in Russian)
- Barron, John (1975). KGB - The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents. London: Corgi Books. ISBN 0-552-09890-6. p. 55 in Russian edition (ISBN 0-911971-29-7)
- Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya – viperson.ru
- Савенко, Юрий (2009). 20-летие НПА России. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal (in Russian) (№ 1): 5–18. ISSN 1028-8554. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- Савенко, Юрий (2007). Дело Андрея Новикова. Психиатрию в политических целях использует власть, а не психиатры: Интервью Ю.С. Савенко корреспонденту "Новой газеты" Галине Мурсалиевой. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal (in Russian) (№ 4): 88–91. ISSN 1028-8554. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- Millar, James R. (2004). Encyclopedia of Russian History. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 372–373. ISBN 0-02-865907-4. OCLC 62165740.
- Anna Badkhen. DEMOCRACY ON THE BRINK: Dissent / Russia back on track to absolute rule / Democracy activists again out in the cold. San Francisco Chronicle, March 10, 2004
- Robert Coalson. Valeria Novodvorskaya: Russia's 'Don Quixote' Of Democracy, Human Rights at Radio Liberty, June 03, 2016
- Nikolai Svanidze, Vladimir Ryzhkov. In The Memory of Valeria Novodvorskaya. Echo of Moscow, July 12, 2014 (in Russian)
- Газета «Новый взгляд» N46 от 28 августа 1993г.. Democratic Union website
- Комсомольская правда (9.2.2007)
- Валерия Новодворская на радио "Эхо Москвы" 29 августа 2008 г., radio interview, August 29, 2008, on "Moscow Echo" (Ekho Moskvy)
- TOP-7 Honest Politicians of Russia by RBC Information Systems, September 7, 2011 (in Russian)
- Aslan Maskhadov: Five Steps into History, Prague Watchdog, retrieved November 13, 2008.
- Novodvorskaya, Valeriya. Валерия Новодворская на радио "Эхо Москвы" 29 августа 2008 г. (in Russian). Democratic Union. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- "Archived copy" Новодворскую изгнали с "Эха Москвы" за восхваление Басаева (in Russian). Lenta.ru. 1 September 2008. Archived from the original on 16 November 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) [Archived ] at WebCite
- Novodvorskaya, Valeriya (31 August 2008). "EchoMSK : Заявление Валерии Новодворской" (in Russian). Ekho Moskvy. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- "The radio that saddles". Novaya Gazeta. 24 September 2008. Archived from the original on 16 November 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008. [Archived ] at WebCite
- Novodvorskaya, Valeria (11 April 2010). Жестокая посадка (in Russian). Grani.ru. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- Sergey Kara-Murza (2004). Soviet Civilization: From the Great Victory Till Our Days. – Moscow: Eksmo, p. 427 ISBN 5-699-07591-7
- Yevgeny Dodolev (2019). The Case of Novodvorkaya. Baba Lera + Novy Vsglyad. – Moscow: Izdatelskie resheniya, p. 343 ISBN 978-5-0050-3223-2
- Sergei Sokurov. An Ostracon for Every Novodvorskaya. Zavtra newspaper, August 26, 2013 (in Russian)
- Aleksandr Dugin. Death of a woman who suffered from the last stage of Russophobia article at the Odnako magazine, 14 Jule 2014 (in Russian)
- The articles and interview by V. Novodvorskaya that appear in her criminal case at the Democratic Union official website (in Russian)
- Valeria Novodvorskaya (2009). Farewell of Slavianka. A Thriller. Moscow: Zakharov Books, 464 pages. ISBN 978-5-8159-0893-2
- The Judicial Panel for Criminal Affairs of the Supreme Court of Russia at BusinessPravo.ru - a companies law internet archive, from December 23, 1996 (in Russian)
- Hatred Lessons article by Lembit Annus, Pravda (Tallin), 1994
- We Won't Give Our Rights to the Left! article from Novy Vzglyad №46, August 28, 1993
- Russia № 6 article from Novy Vzglyad №1, January 15, 1994
- A Landscape Instead of a Battle article from Novy Vzglyad №3, 1994
- Известная девственница снялась для Playboy, "Утро", 9 November 2005.
- Валерия Новодворская – между весталкой и гейшей Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Новодворская Валерия Ильинична Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Novodvorskaya's Interdict on Echo of Moscow, October 4, 2012 (in Russian)
- Vladimir Oyvin. YAKOV KROTOV: Of all members of our parish Novodvorskaya was the most comfortable one. Credo.ru - Portal of religious news, 2014 (in Russian)
- "Правозащитница Валерия Новодворская умерла в Москве". Lenta.ru. 12 July 2014.
- Anna Politkovskaya (2007) A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6682-7, page 38.
- "Farewell of the Slav. Thriller: collection". Mippbooks.com. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Valeriya Novodvorskaya.|
- Valeriya Novodvorskaya on Facebook[dead link]
- Opinions on grani.ru (in Russian)
- Natella Boltyanskaya (8 August 2014). Шестнадцатая серия. Валерия Новодворская [The sixteenth part. Valeriya Novodvorskaya]. Voice of America (in Russian). Parallels, Events, People.
- Novodvorskaya fund and Video Archive (in Russian)