The release of Sakharov and other political prisoners at the end of the year 1986 was followed by the creation of small organisations devoted to the release of further prisoners. In addition to the mushrooming of criticism by intellectuals under the impact of glasnost, more informal movements arose among Soviet youth based on alternative lifestyles and focused in particular on sports and various forms of rock music. More open forms of protest began initially around local issues connected to the preservation of old buildings and the environment, and developed into larger scale environmental protests, especially in the republics .
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