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Putin visits veteran dissident Alekseyeva on her 90th birthday

Vladimir Putin has paid a surprising and rare visit to Russia’s prominent human rights activist to congratulate her on her 90th birthday.

On Thursday, July 20, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid a visit to Lyudmila Alekseyeva to congratulate the veteran activist on her 90th birthday and thank her for her long-term service to the nation.

Lyudmila Mikhailovna Alexeyeva is a Russian historian, leading human rights activist, co-founder of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group, and one of the last Soviet dissidents still active in modern Russia.

Lyudmila Alekseyeva

As a present, Putin gave Alekseyeva an etching depicting a view of the activist’s native city of Eupatoria, emphasizing that she had done “the most important thing” throughout her life:

“Solzhenitsyn called this ‘preserving the people,’ he did this in his own way, and you do it in yours.”

The birthday girl was surprised by the president’s visit:

“I am very excited and grateful. This is because when I was starting this work I only thought about how long my future sentence would be – seven years for public calls for the removal of the constitutional state order or three years for slandering the Soviet regime. I never imagined that the president would personally congratulate me.”

Alekseyeva used the opportunity to asked Putin to pardon Igor Izmestyev – a former senator from the southern Russian region of Bashkiriya, who is currently serving a life sentence after a court convicted him in 2010 of heading a criminal mob and of organizing several contract hits and terrorist attacks:

“This is not a present, this is simply a thing to do. Do a good thing, pardon Izmestyev, simply as a Christian. Because a pardon is not an act of justice, it’s an act of mercy.”

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the president had promised to fulfill Alekseyeva’s plea, however, the procedure could possibly take some time.

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XRGRSF
XRGRSF
July 21, 2017

It’s deeply magnanimous of Putin to take the time to honor a very annoying CIA/NGO asset. Hopefully it’s his way of saying good by, and good riddance.

englishvinal
englishvinal
Reply to  XRGRSF
July 21, 2017

Why good riddance? She stood for the PEOPLE of Russia… and she stood firmly at risk of imprisonment…
I believe personally that president Putin honored her on her birthday for her staunch belief in the people of Russia…
Whatever his reason, the sincerity shows in his face and body language. I respect him for his devout belief in honoring elderly people.. he is known for it. Which is a far cry from how my children act and feel.

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
Reply to  englishvinal
July 21, 2017

I have no doubt that Putin respects Alekseyeva, as he should respect any worthy adversary. However, In my opinion Alekseyeva stood for the American Empire before the people of Russia, and she would have destroyed traditional Russia if the policies she supports had been realized.

We can agree to disagree on the subject of Alekseyeva, but I totally agree with you on modern children. My children (now adults) have no respect for their elders, or tradition, and are devoted only to money, and pleasure.

rosewood11
rosewood11
July 22, 2017

I don’t know Lyudmila Alexeyeva’s story, or who she is supposed to have worked for. All I know is that President Putin has treated her with respect and genuine warmth. The picture of him holding both of her hands–and in the video, returning to that gesture–was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever witnessed out of a head of state. Mr. Putin is a really kind man, and he truly loves his people. It’s written all over him.

Make Lovenotwar
Make Lovenotwar
July 22, 2017

“Igor Izmestyev… who is currently serving a life sentence after a court convicted him in 2010 of heading a criminal mob and of organising several contract hits and terrorist attacks…” Excuse me, why a man convicted of these crimes should be pardoned? Has this old lady nothing better to do?

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