Valeriya Novodvorskaya was a nineteen-year-old Russian politician who built a name for herself. She started creating student organizations and labor unions to fight for the overthrow of the Communist government in Czechoslovakia as a French language student. She was detained on multiple occasions as a result of her engagement in insurgent actions and the formation of underground labor unions. She was also committed to psychiatric facilities on several times after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. The activist had published several articles for the Russian daily ‘Svobodnoye Slovo,’ in which he slammed the government and its officials, especially Mikhail Gorbachev. Her best-known book, ‘Beyond Despair,’ details her fight for democracy and her time spent in asylums. She was appointed Human Rights Advisor to Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia after the Soviet dictatorship fell apart, and she was also granted Georgian citizenship. Novodvorskaya was well-known for being one of Russia’s most outspoken political personalities. The passionate politician was fluent in English and French, and he could read Italian, Latin, German, and Ancient Greek. She was honored by the Russian government with the ‘Starovoytova Award’ for her contributions to democracy and human rights. However, her views, notably those about her nation, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and the eradication of apartheid in South Africa, always sparked debate.
Childhood and Adolescence
Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya was born on May 17, 1950, in Baranovichi, Belarus, to Nina Fyodorovna, a doctor, and her engineer husband. She completed her secondary education in 1968 and went on to the ‘Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages’ to pursue a course in French translation and teaching.
Career of Valeriya Novodvorskaya
Novodvorskaya founded a student organization in 1969, when she was 19 years old, with the goal of overthrowing the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. “Thank you, Communist Party, for our bitterness and sorrow, for our shameful silence, thank you, Communist Party!” she wrote on pamphlets.
This resulted in her arrest, and she was committed to the ‘Soviet Psychiatric Hospital’ in 1970, where she was held for two years on the grounds that she was schizophrenic. Valeriya assisted in the publication of papers for Moscow’s underground press in 1972. She worked as a teacher in a children’s medical facility for the next three years.
During the years 1977-1978, this political activist attempted to organize a party to resist the Soviet authority. She also founded the ‘Free Inter-Professional Union of Workers,’ a trade guild that battled passionately for labor rights, leading to the incarceration of all of its members.
Between 1978 and 1986, this Russian political activist was detained three times for being a nonconformist. She continued to hold unlawful gatherings and protest marches in the following years, prompting the government to arrest her seventeen times.
Novodvorskaya founded the ‘Democratic Union Party’ in 1988 and began writing for the underground journal ‘Svobodnoye Slovo’ (‘Free Word’). Valeriya worked as a medical interpreter at the ‘Second Moscow Medical Institute’ until 1990. The ‘Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia’ refuted charges that the politician was mentally ill in the early 1990s.
In 1990, the activist published an essay titled ‘Heil, Gorbachev!’ in the publication ‘Svobodnoye Slovo.’ In the same year, she publicly shredded a portrait of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, resulting in multiple defamation lawsuits.
In 1992, the USSR’s Communist regime came to an end, and Valeriya was granted Georgian citizenship; Georgian SSR was one of the USSR’s republics.
She was also named as the President of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s, ‘Human Rights Advisor.’ During this time, she founded the ‘Democratic Union of Russia,’ which was primarily concerned with liberal reforms.
When President Boris Yeltsin intended to abolish the ‘Supreme Soviet (parliament) of the Russian Federation’ in 1992-93, Russia faced a constitutional crisis. Valeriya was one of the many political activists who backed the President’s decision.
Between 1993 and 1996, the politician ran in two Russian legislative elections, but was defeated both times.
She wrote pieces for the Russian daily ‘Novy Vzglyad’ (‘New View’) at the same time. Following the publication of these pieces, charges were brought against her, stating that she was spreading “civil war propaganda and fomenting ethnic dissention.”
Valeriya moved to Moscow after leaving politics and worked as a professor of journalism, history, religious studies, education, and creative philosophy. She’d also written a number of works, including ‘Beyond Despair,’ ‘араен oан т раруен,’ and ‘алери оводворска.’ ‘ад роаст во ли’
Major Projects of Valeriya Novodvorskaya
Valeriya Novodvorskaya is noted for her passionate anti-Soviet rallies, which have frequently landed her in legal difficulties and forced her to spend time in psychiatric hospitals. ‘Beyond Despair,’ her most popular book, discusses these events as well as her passion for fighting for democracy in Russia.
Achievements and Awards
Novodvorskaya was honored by the Russian government with the ‘Starovoytova Award,’ named after politician Galina Starovoytova, for her achievements in promoting democracy and human rights in Russia.
Personal History and Legacy
The political activist never married and blamed her sexual abstinence on the Soviet government’s constant imprisonment. She loved cats and enjoyed swimming, reading science fiction, and attending theater performances in her spare time. Valeriya died of ‘Toxic Shock Syndrome,’ a deadly infection caused by accumulated pus in her left foot, on July 12, 2014.
Estimated Net Worth
Valeriya Novodvorskaya is one of the wealthiest politicians and one of the most popular. Valeriya Novodvorskaya has a net worth of $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
This Russian political activist was frequently in the news for expressing provocative views while fighting for democracy and human rights. “Apartheid is a normal thing” (referring to South Africa) and “human rights are not for everyone, but only for good people” are two of her most famous quotes.