Boris Altshuler

Boris Altshuler


Physicist and human rights defender in the former USSR and in Russian Federation, from 1987 and until now (July 2021) - Chief Researcher in the Theoretical Physics Department of the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute (FIAN), Russian Academy of Sciences. Member of the Moscow Helsinki Group (since 1995), Chair of the Board of “The Right of the Child” NGO (since 1998).


2009, Award "Man of the Year - 5769 for many years of human rights work, humanitarian actions in favor of children" by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR). Presentation at the Grand Kremlin Palace - http://right-child.ru/2009_boris_altshuler.html


2014, American Physical Society Andrei Sakharov Prize “For the life-long struggle for democracy in Russia and for his advocacy on behalf of the rights of neglected children”. Boris Altshuler shared this honor with young physicist Omid Kakabee who was that time imprisoned in Iran.

2019 - Award "Parental Thank You!" by the All-Russian Organization of Parents of Disabled Children (VORDI).


About myself:

Born 16 August 1939 in Moscow, where I has been living practically all my life with the exception of 10 school years in 1947-1956 spent in the Town of Sarov (Soviet Nuclear Centre “Arzamas-16”) where my father Lev Altshuler (1913-2003, 1991 Shock Compression Science Award of the American Physical Society) worked as a member of the pioneer team of scientists designing Soviet nuclear bombs. They were good friends with Andrei Sakharov and I inherited this friendship beginning from 1968. During 20 years we cooperated with Sakharov in physics and in human rights advocacy.


In 1982-1987, I was forced to work as a janitor; it was much better than the arrest and imprisonment, from which I was saved by the support of Western colleagues, starting with the Committee of Concerned Scientists. A.D. Sakharov, after returning from the exile in December 1986, insisted on my admission to work in the Theordep of FIAN.


After Sakharov’s death in December 1989 I participated in the compilation of a number of books about Sakharov, wrote a lot about him, including the book Sakharov and the Power: “On the Other Side of the Window” published in Russia to Sakharov’s Centenary in May 21, 2021 (the English-language version of the book will come out in the World Scientific Publ.).


My mother - Mariya Speranskaya (1916-1977), her ancestors amazingly rooted in the Russian noblemen of XII century. The surname Altshuler is derived from the Altschul, Old Synagogue in Prague built in 1270. More about my father’s and mother’s pedigree, also my remembering about young years in Sarov, and most important – plenty of reminiscences and declassified documents concerning Soviet Atomic Project one can read (in Russian) in the book “Lev Altshuler’s Extremal States” (FizMatLit, 2011) which I compiled in cooperation with my father’s pupil Academician Vladimir Fortov.

In 1962, I married Larissa Miller who gradually became a renown Russian poet, and who courageously endured "adventures" with the KGB in the 1980s which were the result of my human rights involvements (see her Interview of 2009). We have two sons. My main hobby is to compile my wife’s books.

Contacts: +7-903-709-35-49 baltshuler@yandex.ru

Some English-language references:

03.03.2022. Boris Altshuler

Please stop the humanitarian catastrophe.Ceasefire as a precondition for successful peace talks.

24.02.2022.: A War with the People of Russia

May 31, 2021, “The genius of a design engineer: bomb, universe, human society. To the Andrei Sakharov Centenary” 


June 10, 2021, “To halt criminal prosecution for nonviolent protests and to free political prisoners!” – an Open Letter to Russian President before Putin – Biden summit in Geneva: https://www.rightsinrussia.org/altshuler-7/

February 19, 2013, 19.02.2013, "Every orphan is unique" - interview to Roza Tsvetkova: http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/54433

May 2011, «Andrei Sakharov today: lasting impact on science and society» - Report at the Session in Russian Academy of Sciences dedicated to Sakharov’s 90 years: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3367/...01202h.0188/pdf

May 2009, «Andrei Sakharov as a physicist in all facets of his life» - Memorial Report at the 4th International Sakharov Conference on Physics, FIAN, May 18-23, 2009: http://right-child.ru/buk/May_2009_Andrei_Sakharov.pdf


2006, “Three Friends: Lev V. Altshuler, Vitalyi L. Ginzburg and Veniamin A. Tsukerman” - to 90 years of Vitalyi Ginzburg, my father’s all-life friend and 2003 Nobel Awardee in Physics: https://ufn.ru/tribune/trib171006_e.pdf

Гуманитарная программа


Гуманитарная программа «Помоги детям России»


Проблемы семьи и детей


Семья, дети, стратегия, первоочередные меры, голодовки многодетных


ВИЧ и дети


Общественная палата в контексте ВИЧ-инфекции в России


Доклады в ООН


Альтернативные доклады в Комитет ООН по правам ребенка