I am interested in the story of Oleg Lavrentiev. He was originally a Red Army soldier from a peasant family. He studied physics in his spare time. On one base there was a technical library and he was able to afford to subscribe to a Russian physics journal. Lavrentiev developed ideas for a hydrogen bomb and also for a nuclear fusion reactor. He wrote a letter to Stalin and came to the attention of Andrei Sakharov. Lavrentiev was not well known for most of his life, but he is now recognized as one of the fathers of nuclear fusion reactors. Eventually he was able to attend university and do some research during the Stalin era. Then there is a long gap in my information. He defended his dissertation on electrostatic traps not long before his 80th birthday. It's hard to find more information about him in English. I am interested in his scientific work and also how he earned his living. Apparently he was reasonably comfortable but never part of the inner circle of nuclear scientists. Maybe there is someone here from Russia who knows more about him?