Vladimir Kara-Murza

Senior Advisor, Human Rights Accountability

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian activist, former opposition leader, and filmmaker, is a senior advisor for human rights accountability. In this capacity, he helps shape the organization’s efforts to hold major human rights abusers accountable via the Global Magnitsky Act.  

Vladimir is a former deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party and was a candidate for the Russian State Duma. A longtime colleague of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, he chairs the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom. Vladimir played a key role in the passage of the original Magnitsky legislation, which imposed targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators. Twice, in 2015 and 2017, he was poisoned and left in a coma; the attempts on his life were widely viewed as the Russian government’s retribution for his work on the Magnitsky sanctions.

He is a contributing writer at the Washington Post, hosts a weekly show on Echo of Moscow radio, and has worked for the BBC, RTVi, and Kommersant. 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.

He has received several awards, including the Sakharov Prize for Journalism as an Act of Conscience, the Magnitsky Human Rights Award, and the Geneva Summit Courage Award. He holds an M.A. (Cantab.) in History from Cambridge.