2024 Democracy Service Medal—Vladimir Kara Murza

NED is honoring Vladimir Kara-Murza, imprisoned Russian opposition leader, with the Democracy Service Medal for his support for truth and democracy in Russia and his courage to continue to speak out against Russias war in Ukraine even from behind bars.  


Vladimir Kara-Murza is a Russian politician, author, historian, and political prisoner. He was arrested in April 2022 and later sentenced to 25 years in prison for his activism and vocal opposition to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Twice, in 2015 and 2017, Kara-Murza was poisoned and left in a coma; a subsequent media investigation identified officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service behind the poisonings. A longtime colleague of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Kara-Murza was a candidate for the Russian Parliament and served as deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party. Kara-Murza played a key role in the adoption of targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Great Britain. He is a contributing writer at The Washington Post and was awarded the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his columns written from his prison cell. Kara-Murza was the founding chairman of the Nemtsov Foundation and served as vice president of Open Russia and the Free Russia Foundation. Kara-Murza is the 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.


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