The outstanding Russian physicist Yuri Orlov, who has died aged 96, became one of the bravest champions of human rights in the final period of the Soviet Union. He suffered years of hardship in prison, labour camps and exile to Siberia before having his citizenship withdrawn in 1986 and being sent to the US as part of a spy swap.
Born in Moscow, Yuri came from a working-class family. His father, Fyodor Orlov, was a lorry driver who died when Yuri was eight. His mother, Klavdiya Lebedeva, brought him up in a village near Moscow. In 1944 he joined the Soviet army and served for two years before entering Moscow State University. In 1952 he joined the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, first as a postgraduate student and then as a researcher into quantum physics, concentrating on particle motion in accelerators.
Russia | The Guardian
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