Russian Journalist and Activist; Vice Chairman of the Open Russia Movement and Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom

Vladimir Kara-Murza

About the Speaker

Vladimir Kara-Murza is a Russian democracy activist, author, and filmmaker. He was a longtime colleague of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, and chairs the Nemtsov Foundation. Kara-Murza is a former deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party and was a candidate for the Russian Duma. He has testified before parliaments in Europe and North America and played a key role in the passage of the Magnitsky legislation that imposed targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators in the U.S., Canada, and several EU countries. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Kara-Murza “one of the most passionate and effective advocates” for the law. Twice, in 2015 and 2017, he was poisoned with an unknown substance and left in a coma; the attempts on his life were widely viewed as politically motivated. Kara-Murza is a contributing writer to the Washington Post and has previously worked for Russian broadcast and print media, including RTVi, Ekho Moskvy, and Kommersant. He directed two documentary films, They Chose Freedom and Nemtsov, and is the author of Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma and a contributor to Russia’s Choices: The Duma Elections and After, Russian Liberalism: Ideas and People, Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law, and Boris Nemtsov and Russian Politics: Power and Resistance. Kara-Murza led international efforts to commemorate Nemtsov, including with street designations in Washington D.C. and Vilnius. He is a vice chairman of the Open Russia movement, a board member at the Free Russia Foundation, and a senior fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, and has been a visiting fellow at the University of Chicago, leading a seminar course on contemporary Russia. Kara-Murza is a recipient of the Magnitsky Human Rights Award, the Sakharov Prize for Journalism as an Act of Conscience, the Geneva Summit Courage Award, the Train Foundation’s Civil Courage Prize, and the Oxi Courage Award. He holds an M.A. (Cantab.) in History from Cambridge. He is married, with three children.


This presentation will be formatted as a dialogue with Andrew Nagorski, award-winning journalist and author who spent more than three decades as a foreign correspondent and editor for Newsweek.