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Soviet Dissident Alexander Esenin-Volpin Dies at 91

Alexander Esenin-Volpin
Alexander Esenin-Volpin

A famous Soviet dissident, poet and mathematician Alexander Yesenin-Volpin died last week at the age of 91. The son of famous Russian poet Sergei Yesenin, Yesenin-Volpin is best known for his poems challenging the Soviet system.

Born in Leningrad (now St.Petersurg) in May 1924, six months before his famous father committed suicide, Yesenin-Volpin was forced to emigrate to the US back in 1972. A leader of the Soviet human rights movement, he spent a total of fourteen years incarcerated and repressed by the Soviet authorities in prisons, psikhushkas and exile. In 1953, after the death of Joseph Stalin, Volpin was released in the general amnesty that followed, after which time he organized the legendary "glasnost meeting" ("митинг гласности"), demonstration in Pushkin Square, demanding open and fair trial for the arrested writers Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel. 

Arrested on numberous occasions, the poet-mathemetician eventually became something of a cult figure, a man Vladimir Bukovsky diagnosed as "pathological honesty". Then in 1969, Yesenin-Volpin signed the first Appeal to The UN Committee for Human Rights. 3 years later he emigrated to the United States, to later become one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto. 

Until the end of his days the son of Sergei Esenin remained a true patriot of Russia, and a fighter for justice and human dignity.