Sergei Grigoryants
Сергей Григорьянц
Сергій Григорьянц
Born(1941-05-12)12 May 1941
Died14 March 2023(2023-03-14) (aged 81)
CitizenshipSoviet Union (1941–1991), Russia (1991–2023)
Alma materMoscow State University, Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Riga Civil Aviation Engineers Institute
Occupation(s)Aerospace engineering, journalism, literary criticism, human rights activism, publishing
Known forpublishing Glasnost magazine, chairing the Glasnost Defense Foundation
MovementDissident movement in the Soviet Union
AwardsWorld Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom Award

Sergei Ivanovich Grigoryants (Russian: Серге́й Ива́нович Григорья́нц, Ukrainian: Сергі́й Іва́нович Григорья́нц, 12 May 1941 – 14 March 2023)[2] was a Soviet dissident and political prisoner, journalist, literary critic,[3] chairman of the Glasnost Defense Foundation. He was imprisoned for ten years[4] in Chistopol jail as a political prisoner for anti-Soviet activities, from 1975 to 1980 and then four more years starting in 1983 on similar charges.[5]


Sergei Grigoryants was born on 12 May 1941 in Kyiv (then Kiev) in the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union (USSR).[6] He was of Armenian-Ukrainian descent.[7] Grigoryants studied at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, the faculty of journalism at the Moscow State University and the Riga Civil Aviation Engineers Institute (at the time all these cities were located inside the USSR).[6]

In 1975, Grigoryants was arrested by the KGB and sentenced to five years in prison for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.

After his release in 1982, he circulated in samizdat information on human rights violations in the Soviet Union as editor of the periodical Bulletin V.[8] For this activity, he was again arrested in 1984 and sentenced to ten years of strict regime labor camp.[9]

After the beginning of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika, he was released in 1987 under amnesty.[10] He immediately resumed his human rights activities and proceeded to publish Glasnost magazine, criticizing the communist system.[11]

In May 1989 Grigoryants created and headed the union of independent journalists, which included a number of journalists representing independent (samizdat) printed in the USSR.

In 1989, Grigoryants was awarded Golden Pen of Freedom Award of the World Association of Newspapers.[12]

In the 1990s he regularly voiced his demands for lustration, filed a lawsuit against the KGB, demanded to return his confiscated archive.[13]

Grigoryants was in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin's policies, in particular, he expressed protests against the infringement of democratic freedoms in Russia and criticized the government for the war[which?] in Chechnya.[6]

In 2014, Grigoryants condemned Russian aggression against Ukraine and even filed a complaint to the International Court of Justice demanding President Putin's trial.[14][15]

Grigoryants died the age of 82 on 14 March 2023.[6] The place and cause of death, as well as the date and place of the funeral, were not reported.[16]


  1. ^ ГРИГОРЬЯНЦ Сергей Иванович - Labirinth
  2. ^ "Умер советский диссидент, журналист, правозащитник Сергей Григорьянц". (in Russian). Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  3. ^ Keller, Bill (22 February 1987). "Where cold and food are the tools for torture". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Reed, Barbara (January 1990). "Glasnost: the slogan, the reality, the magazine". Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies. 11 (1): 20–43. doi:10.1080/02560054.1990.9653028.
  5. ^ "Sergei Grigoryants: self-appointed guardian of glasnost". UPI. 27 March 1988.
  6. ^ a b c d "Died Soviet dissident, journalist, human rights activist Sergei Grigoryants" (in Russian). Radio Free Europe. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  7. ^ ГРИГОРЬЯНЦ Сергей Иванович - Labirinth
  8. ^ "Бюллетени "В" и "+"". (in Russian). Memorial. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  9. ^ Alexeyeva, Ludmilla (1987) [1985]. Soviet Dissent: Contemporary Movements for National, Religious, and Human Rights. Carol Pearce, John Glad (trans.). Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-8195-6176-3.
  10. ^ McGuire, Michael (19 May 1988). "Soviets Free 42 Dissidents". The Chicago Tribune.
  11. ^ Волчек, Дмитрий (19 November 2012). "Фра Беато Анжелико из диссидентской квартиры" [Fra Beato Angelico of dissident apartments]. Радио Свобода (in Russian). Radio Liberty.
  12. ^ "About the Golden Pen of Freedom - WAN-IFRA". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  13. ^ "Григорьянц Сергей Иванович" (in Russian). Sakharov Centre. Archived from the original on 21 February 2023. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  14. ^ Polyakov, A. (6 April 2015). ""…It is a war declared on the entire European civilization"". Kyiv Day Ua.
  15. ^ "Правозащитник Сергей Григорьянц:«...Это – война, объявленная всей европейской цивилизации»" [Human Rights Defender Sergei Grigoryants on Ukraine war] (in Russian). ExRus. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  16. ^ "Dissident and human rights activist Sergei Grigoryants dies" (in Russian). Novaya Gazeta. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.


Further reading