The Struggle for Russia’s Future A Symposium Honoring the Memory of Boris Nemtsov

April 30, 2015
10:00 am - 12:00 pm


10:00am: Tributes to Boris Nemtsov by Members of Congress and other dignitaries

10:30am: Panel discussion, “The Struggle for Russia’s Future”

About the Panelists

William Browder is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, and was the largest foreign investor in Russia until November 2005, when he was declared “a threat to national security” by the Russian government for exposing corruption at large Russian companies. Since 2009 when his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in a Russian prison after uncovering a US$230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials, Browder has been leading a global campaign to expose the corruption and human rights abuses endemic in Russia.

Lilia Shevtsova is a nonresident, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and author of Putin’s Russia (Carnegie Endowment, 2005).

Vladimir Kara-Murza is the coordinator of Open Russia, a platform for democracy activists founded by former political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He was a longtime colleague and advisor to Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, and is a member of the federal council of the People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), established by Nemtsov in 2012.

David J. Kramer is Senior Director for Human Rights and Democracy at the McCain Institute, which he joined in November 2014 after serving four years as President of Freedom House. Prior to that, he served eight years in the U.S. Department of State, including as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Leon Wieseltier is the Isaiah Berlin Senior Fellow in Culture and Policy at the Brookings Institution and Contributing Editor and Critic at The Atlantic. From 1983 to 2014 he was the Literary Editor of The New Republic.

About the Event

Boris Nemtsov was a Russian opposition politician and a former Deputy Prime Minister who campaigned for truth, accountability, and peace. His numerous reports and speeches detailed how Putin’s government uses corruption, disinformation, and violence to control and manipulate the Russian people. The latest of many high profile killings, the assassination of Nemtsov was meant to silence dissidents, terrify their supporters, and prevent the emergence of opposition movements. The Putin government continues to rely on xenophobic rhetoric about “foreign agents,” a “fifth column,” and “national traitors” to manipulate the Russian people and marginalize opponents.

But despite great odds and dangers, the Russian activists and civil society organizations continue their work. These activists, together with the tens of thousands of ordinary people who took to the streets throughout Russia to mourn Nemtsov’s death and to demand a full investigation of his murder, represent the best of Russian society and the brightest hope for its renewal. As we memorialize Boris Nemtsov, we stand in solidarity with the Russian activists, scholars, journalists and others who continue to pursue the vision of a democratic Russia, one that is accountable to its citizens and at peace with its neighbors.

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