Russia's most famous human rights activist dies at 91

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian rights official says Lyudmila Alexeyeva, who was forced into exile by Soviet authorities after founding Russia's oldest human rights organization in 1976, has died in a Moscow hospital at 91.

Mikhail Fedotov, head of Russia's Human Rights Council says Alexeyeva "remained a human rights activist to the very end" and called her death Saturday "a loss for the entire human rights movement in Russia."

Alexeyeva, founder of the Moscow Helsinki Group, made a name for herself in the 1960s and '70s protesting the treatment of Soviet political prisoners. She returned to Russia in 1993 and continued to be an energetic advocate for human rights.

On her 90th birthday, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid her a personal visit.