Special Extra: Oleg Kozlovsky wins Major Award

Kozlovsky, Defender of Human Rights

Kozlovsky, Defender of Human Rights

At a ceremony tomorrow evening in New York City hosted by film star Signorney Weaver,  the well-regarded international organization Human Rights First will present Russian opposition leader Oleg Kozlovsky with its Human Rights Award for “extraordinary courage in the pursuit of our common birthright.”  Caroline Kennedy and Mary Robinson will be in attendance.

We congratulate Oleg on this outstanding achievement and we applaud HRF for standing up for democracy and civil society in Russia.  Kozlovsky burst onto the international scene with a major news piece and then an op-ed in the Washington Post newspaper, and he continues to struggle heroically and defiantly against the oppressive policies of the KGB-dominated Putin administration at tremendous risk to his personal safety.  You can read our reports about him by clicking the “Kozlovsky” category in our sidebar. Oleg is a true Russian patriot, representing the last best hope for a real future for his country. Watch Oleg’s YouTube interview here and here. Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy’s Passport Blog has written up the event as well, including an interview with Oleg about the current state of democracy in Russia.

Human Rights First on Oleg Kozlovsky

In 2007, Oleg Kozlovsky, a coordinator of the Russian democratic youth movement Oborona, was arrested and taken to a remote military base where he was illegally forced into the army. Two months after his release, Kozlovsky was arrested and threatened once again for his involvement with Oborona.

Being targeted by the police has become almost routine for Kozlovsky, 24, who has been involved in pro-democracy protests in Russia for several years. He has been arrested more than a dozen times and has served three short prison sentences, including a 15-day sentence for his participation in the 2006 Belarusian “Jeans Revolution” in Minsk and a two-week sentence for civil disobedience in May of this year. Still, Kozlovsky bravely continues to peacefully uphold the principles of democracy despite increasing authoritarianism in Russia. Oborona– which means “defense”–opposes oppression in contemporary Russia, is committed to non-violence, and focuses on protecting human rights.

With Russia’s television and print media subject to severe pressure and monitoring by the state, Kozlovsky uses the Internet to promote his grassroots organizing. He maintains blogs in both Russian and English, his opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, and he has traveled and spoken widely about restoring democratic freedoms in Russia.

11 responses to “Special Extra: Oleg Kozlovsky wins Major Award

  1. Truely a brave young man.

  2. geez.—i wonder if the sell-outs at the FR@@in moscow times will cover this.]

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: We are certainly not betting on it.

  3. Tower Bolshevik

    Kozlovsky won’t amount to anything, even if a color coup takes place in Russia. Him and Oborona will just become lackeys for other crime bosses should it occur. As it happened in Serbia in 2000, Georgia in 2003, Ukraine in 2004; a color coup replaces gangster with another willing to do partner up with the West. Corruption, schemes, the same whole system still remains the same.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Maybe you should yourself spend a few weeks in a Russian prison before you dare to judge anyone else who has? Kozlovsky has suffered more for Russia in single days than you have in the whole of your life, and has not been given the chance to wield power because he is feared by the nasty little thugs who run the country. Since you’ve never met him, and he’s never had the chance to try his own way of government, your comments seem laughably feeble and ignorant. In other words, quite typical for you.

  4. weird, I couldn’t find any info on this at RussiaToday …

  5. Russia Today gives airtime to cowards and hacks willing to lie for money—-
    why would kozlovsky be on their air???

  6. yes, John, that’s pretty much my point. I always find it great fun to check out RussiaToday when something like kozlovsky’s award goes through, and see what headlines they have up:

    let’s see, today we have:
    “EU observers ‘playing with fire’ in Georgia”
    and
    “Carnage: Global stocks crash as tsunami sized sell off looms in New York”

    Oh. RT…

  7. Tower Bolshevik

    For La Russophobe:

    That is exacly my point. Why should ordinary Russians place face in an organization like Oborona in opposition to “nasty little thugs” who’s sister organizations have done NOTHING but replace the old “nastly little thugs” with new “nasty little thugs”? Milosevic was replaced with Kostunica/Djindjic in Serbia, Yanukovych was replaced with Yushchenko in Ukraine, Shevardnadze was replaced with Saakashvili in Georgia. Nothing really changed. You’re right, I’ve done nothing for Russia, because I’m not from Russia nor have I ever been there. But I don’t blindly think a western-oriented gangster is a better choice than a rival gangster.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Oborona doesn’t have any sister organizations, dimwit. And no matter how bad any other groups might be, they can’t hold a candle to a proud KGB spy who epitomizes Russia’s utterly failed past.

  8. Tower Bolshevik

    Well, excuse me, DIMWIT! What do you call Otpor in Serbia, Kmara in Georgia, and Pora in Ukraine, ? So I guess these “revolutions” weren’t pro-western after all, huh? Oborona is modeled after Otpor and seeks the same goals; their logos are even almost identical. In all three cases these groups with part of a pro-western liberal opposition. Last I checked, this was the main opposition to Putin. This is what I mean by sister organization. Tell me how Oborona differs from the three in ideology, rhetoric, and goals.

  9. Tower Bolshevik, your arguments are very intelligent and well thought-off. They remind me of Ostap Bender screaming “Бога нет, вызывая ксендзов на диспут”. You don’t see the difference between Milosevic and Kostunica; between Shevardnadze and Saakashvili, and between Yanukovich and Yuschenko. It really says more about you than about anything else.

    Your predictions about the future are as valuable as the slogans on Soviet hi-rises in the eighties: Учение Марксо вечно, потому что оно верно (Marx’s theory is eternal because it’s correct). Eternal indeed!

  10. TB, you still believe that socialists are true to their word, I have no hope for you.

  11. Does Oleg deserve a peace prize, yes. Will Oleg get a peace prize, no.

    They are reserved for the people that are already rich, and have never had to “sacrifice”.

    It helps to be the son of a Senator, Mr. Gore.

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