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Yarim-Agaev (Yuri) papers
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement Statement

  • Title: Yuri Yarim-Agaev papers
    Date (inclusive): 1961-1998
    Collection Number: 2007C59
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In English and Russian
    Physical Description: 77 manuscript boxes, 7 oversize boxes. (44.2 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Writings, correspondence, reports, notes, financial records, case files, printed matter, and audiovisual material, relating to human rights and dissent in the Soviet Union, and political conditions and the promotion of democracy in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia.
    Creator: Yarim-Agaev, Yuri, 1949-
    Creator: Center for Democracy in the U.S.S.R. (New York, N.Y.)
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2007.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Yuri Yarim-Agaev papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives

    Biographical Note

    Yuri Yarim-Agaev (b. 1949), a scholar and human rights activist, graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. After graduation he worked as Senior Scientist for the Institute of Chemical Physics in the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1978 Yarim-Agaev joined the Moscow Helsinki Group and prepared many of its documents on human rights violation in the USSR. One of those documents, denouncing the system of Soviet political exiles, resulted from his trip to remote areas of Siberia and the Soviet Far East.
    Despite harassment and detentions by the KGB, Yarim-Agaev openly communicated with foreign journalists and diplomats. As a result of his dissident activities he lost his job and was forced by the KGB to emigrate.
    Upon arrival to the US in the summer of 1980, Yarim-Agaev continued his professional work at MIT, Stanford University, and Bellcore; he later worked in financial analytics at Bankers Trust and Deutsche Bank in New York. In emigration Yarim-Agaev continued his human rights activity. In 1984 he founded the Center for Democracy in the USSR to provide assistance to families of political prisoners and exiles. The center organized campaigns in their defense, with support of political and intellectual leaders. The center also actively supported the first independent publications and opposition groups in Russia and other republics during the late 1980s.
    By the end of the 1980s, Yarim-Agaev, along with Vladimir Bukovsky and Paruir Hairikyan, created Democracy and Independence, an organization devoted to promoting the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union into new independent states. The organization held international conferences in Paris (1989) and Prague (1990), at which dissidents and new democrats from the various Soviet republics began discussing how power might be reallocated at the end of communism.
    In 1991, by invitation of the new Yeltsin-led Russian government, Yarim-Agaev developed a comprehensive program to secure the free exchange of information in Russia. Yarim-Agaev continues his involvement in human rights issues around the world and his professional work in science and finance. His recent publications deal with the failure of democracy in Russia and the situation in Iraq and North Korea.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Yuri Yarim-Agaev papers consist of materials mostly related to his life and human rights activity from 1972 to 1994.
    The collection contains personal papers; materials reflecting Yarim-Agaev's work for human rights watch and defense before and after emigration, operations and work of the Center for Democracy in the Soviet Union, and other organizations; speeches and wrings; photographs; and printed matter relating to various aspects of life in the Soviet Union before its disintegration and in post-Soviet Russia and former Soviet republics.

    Arrangement Statement

    The Personal papers series reflects Yarim-Agaev's life before emigration, his human rights activity, including trips to Far East and Siberia to visit exiled dissidents and collect information about living and medical conditions and their various needs. The biographical file includes documents relating to his firing and subsequent fight for reemployment.
    A major part of the collection consists of documents reflecting internal operations of the Center for Democracy in the USSR, founded by Yuri Yarim-Agaev in 1984, and its work in human rights watch and defense, especially violations of freedom of communication, travel, and religious beliefs. This series also includes files of dissidents; people held in prison, exile, and mental hospitals for political reasons; and people denied the right to emigrate.
    Yuri Yarim-Agaev wrote essays on the subjects that interested him most, and typescripts of his writings can be found in the Speeches and writings series. The Writings by others series includes essays and presentations and interviews of prominent dissidents Vladimir Bukovsky, Merab Kostava, and Aleksandr Podrabinek, as well as of Larry Parr, Albert Wohlstetter, and Peter Reddaway.
    Yarim-Agaev organized and participated in many international conferences and symposiums relating to human rights, democracy, economcs, and the development of post-Soviet states. Documents relating to his activities in this area can be found in the Conferences and symposiums series. Audio recordings of the Soviet Union as a Closed Society Hoover Institution conference can be found among the Audiovisual material series, which also includes interviews of various people.
    A wealth of photographs in the Photographs series depicts perestroika events in the Soviet Union on its way to disintegration, the establishment of independent states, people and street scenes in various republics, and dissidents and political leaders in Russia and new independent states.
    Both the Subject file and the Printed matter series include a wide range of materials collected by Yarim-Agaev, who monitored the most significant events in the perestroika era in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet independent states United States, as well as seen from the United States.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Russians -- United States
    Russia (Federation) -- Politics and government -- 1991-
    Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1985-1991
    Dissenters -- Soviet Union
    Civil rights -- Soviet Union
    Civil rights -- Russia (Federation)