Project Description

Vladimir Kara-Murza

Russian opposition politician, Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom

Vladimir Kara-Murza is a Russian democracy activist, politician, author, and filmmaker. He was a longtime colleague of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and chairs the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom. Mr. Kara-Murza is a former deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party and was a candidate for the Russian State Duma. He has testified before Parliaments in Europe and North America, and played a key role in the adoption of the Magnitsky mechanism that imposed targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and the European Union. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Kara-Murza “one of the most passionate and effective advocates for passage of the Magnitsky Act”; U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) described him as “a courageous advocate for the democratic process and fundamental universal human rights.”

Mr. Kara-Murza has been poisoned twice and the attempts on his life have been widely viewed as retribution for his work on the Magnitsky sanctions. A subsequent media investigation by Bellingcat and The Insider identified officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) who organized Kara-Murza’s poisonings. He is a contributing writer at the Washington Post and hosts a weekly show on Echo of Moscow radio, and has previously worked for the BBC, RTVi, Kommersant, and other media outlets. He has directed three documentary films; They Chose Freedom, Nemtsov, and My Duty to Not Stay Silent. He is also the author of Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma. Mr. Kara-Murza has led various successful international campaigns to commemorate Nemtsov, including projects in Washington D.C. and Vilnius.

He serves as Vice President at the Free Russia Foundation, a Senior Advisor for Human Rights Accountability at Human Rights First and is a Senior Fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Chicago, where he led a seminar course on contemporary Russia. Mr. Kara-Murza has been profiled on CBS 60 Minutes and NBC Nightly News, and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and BBC.

He holds an MA and BA in History, both from the University of Cambridge.