Russische Föderation: Alla Yaroshinskaya

Never be humiliated. Do not fear to have your own opinion and to make it public, even if your opinion does not coincide with the opinion of the authorities.

— Alla Yaroshinskaya

Alla Yaroshinskaya was born in 1953. Holder of a PhD in Nuclear Security, her journalistic experience along with her work–in the parliament as a member of the Committee on Glasnost and Ecology (1989), in the Ministry of Mass Media, in the Presidential Council and the Committee on Women's Problems (1993-2000), and in cooperation with the UN on non-proliferation and women's rights issues–have been reflected in two dozen books of which she is author or co-author. Alla created the first private Ecological Fund in Russia. She is recipient of many international awards for her activism.

Alla Yaroshinskaya cannot lie. She cannot keep silent about the truth. Any attempt to intimidate her yields the opposite result: she becomes fearless. Communist authorities and the KGB listed Alla Yaroshinskaya as an ‘unreliable’ person when she was still a student. They threatened and intimidated her because of her human rights activities. The KGB kidnapped her and tried to break down her resistance, but in vain. She became co-founder of one of the first political clubs in the USSR, Za perestroiku (For Perestroika), and the NGO Regionalny grazhdansky front (The Regional Civil Front). She was persecuted both in the press and daily life; the authorities even tried to persuade her husband to divorce her. Even her son was discriminated against at school. After the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, Alla went together with her husband to the contaminated areas. They discovered that the local people had been evacuated to areas that were no less dangerous and had to consume contaminated food and water in order to survive. She had to collect all the data for her research in secrecy since such activities were banned by the administration of the newspaper where she worked. For a long time she could not publish in any newspaper the terrible facts that she had collected. Therefore, she distributed them illegally to help the victims of Chernobyl. Alla was the first person to break the information blockade about Chernobyl in the Soviet parliament during the session broadcast on TV. Before the eyes of millions of citizens, she passed to Mikhail Gorbachev a videocassette on the terrible situation in which ordinary people lived and died in contaminated areas. Despite all the pressure and at the risk of her life, Alla made public top secret protocols of the Politburo on Chernobyl.

Soyuz Zhurnalistov Rossii (SZR) Regionalny grazhdansky front (RGF)