Andrei Sakharov’s 95 anniversary: to save the country and prevent a catastrophe
I still can not forget one episode. [It was in] 1989. Academician Andrei Sakharov is making a speech from the tribune of congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR. It is broadcast by television. The audience is yelling, stomping feet, Mikhail Gorbachev presiding [over the congress] calls Academician to leave the tribune… Andrei Sakharov turns to Mikhail Gorbachev and says, “My mandate is not from you, I have a higher mandate – that from the people”.
Maybe I did not fully understand then what this man was doing, but I could guess what he felt at that moment. It shocked me. And the older I get, the more serious my attitude to this episode becomes. I see a man before me: he [alone] goes against the most aggressive majority, which tries to suppress him, but can not do it, because it is obviously weaker. Oddly enough, this majority has nothing to rely on. And this person has strong support – the truth and the people who trust him, believe in him and feel his protection…
I am convinced that these people, their children and grandchildren cherish the memory of Andrei Sakharov today, preserve his legacy which makes it still possible to save the country and prevent a catastrophe.