Vladimir Kara-Murza is a leading Russian pro-democracy activist and politician imprisoned in April 2022 for speaking out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He was charged with a fabricated administrative violation and, later, for deliberately spreading ‘false’ information about Russia’s armed forces.
Prior to this, Kara-Murza survived two poisoning attempts by Russia’s Federal Security Service in 2015 and 2017. He went into a coma and nearly died after both attempts, which were widely viewed as retribution for his vocal opposition to Putin. His leadership in Russian politics and effective advocacy for Magnitsky Acts worldwide made him a top enemy of the Kremlin.
Kara-Murza was a longtime colleague of assassinated opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and chairs the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom. He is a former deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party and candidate for the Russian State Duma. He has testified before Parliaments in Europe and North America, being described by Senator John McCain as “one of the most passionate and effective advocates for passage of the Magnitsky Act in the U.S.”
Kara-Murza is a contributing writer at the Washington Post, 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; and is the author of Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma. Kara-Murza has led successful international efforts to commemorate Boris Nemtsov, including street designations in Washington D.C. and Vilnius.
He serves as a senior advisor at Human Rights First, and as a senior fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He has also been a visiting fellow at the University of Chicago.
Kara-Murza was profiled on CBS 60 Minutes and NBC Nightly News, and appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and BBC Newsnight. He is a recipient of several awards, including the Sakharov Prize for Journalism as an Act of Conscience, the Magnitsky Human Rights Award, and the Geneva Summit Courage Award.
Kara-Murza holds an M.A. in History from Cambridge. He is married, with three children.