Roi Medvedev, a Russian historian, was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1925, and graduated from Leningrad University. During the Soviet era, he criticized Stalin and Stalinism from a Marxist viewpoint. Medvedev became a researcher at the Education Academy after joining the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1956. In the early 1960s, he started an anti-government movement, engaging in samizdat publications. In 1969, he was purged from the CPSU after publication of his book Let History Judge, that criticized Stalin and Stalinism at a time when official Soviet propagandists were trying to partially rehabilitate the dictator. Later Medvedev was severely oppressed for his active pro-democracy support by announcing an open letter along with Andrei Sakharov to the Soviet leadership in 1970. Medvedev restored his reputation and returned to the ruling party in 1989 after Mikhail Gorbachev launched his perestroika program of gradual political and economic reforms. He was elected to the Soviet Union's Congress of People's Deputies and was named as member of the Supreme Soviet, the permanent working body of the Congress.
Even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, he maintains his social-democratic stance, supporting President Putin. Zhores Medvedev, a dissident biologist, exiled to Britain in 1970s, is Roi's twin brother. Medvedev is the author of numerous books.