Top Russian nuclear weapons designer Avrorin dies at 85

MOSCOW — Yevgeny Avrorin, a renowned nuclear physicist who played an important role in developing Russia's atomic weapons, has died. He was 85.

The Russian Federal Nuclear Center-VNIITF, one of the country's two main nuclear weapons centers, announced Avrorin's death Tuesday, adding that it followed a long illness.

After graduating from university in 1954, Avrorin worked alongside Andrei Sakharov to help build the first Soviet megaton-range hydrogen bomb.

In 1955 he joined the VNIITF nuclear center located in Chelyabinsk-70, or Snezhinsk, a closed city in the Ural Mountains. Avrorin, who served as the center's scientific director in 1985-2007, played a leading role in designing a range of nuclear weapons.

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