Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog

Politics, Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

Receiving the Human Rights Award 2008

with 4 comments

I am in New York, just a few hours ago I received the Human Rights Award 2008 from Human Rights First. Dissident Liudmila Alexeeva, human rights activist and senator Ted Kennedy and former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Mary Robinson (present at the ceremony) were among previous awardees. In fact, it was a complete surprise for me to win it. I’ve always thought that it takes a hero to get it but I don’t feel like a hero and I’ve never have. However, I know that there are many heroic young men and women in Russia who struggle for democracy together with me. I really see this award as recognition of their work.

Here is a fragment from my acceptance remarks:

When Oborona was born three years ago, almost nobody in Russia had the bravery to stand up against the re-emerging authoritarianism and tyranny in the country. And no politician would speak the truth about who created this system—Vladimir Putin. It was the youth that broke this conspiracy of silence and said, “Enough is enough”. Many old political leaders considered us dangerous freaks and predicted our defeat. Some of those politicians are forgotten now, but others eventually joined us. The movement that was born three years ago lives on and its activity, its very existence proves that every nation deserves justice, democracy, and freedom.

It is an honor for me to receive this award on behalf the hundreds of anonymous true heroes who risk their well-being, their freedom and sometimes their lives without expecting any awards for this.

I hope to post photos from the ceremony later today or tomorrow.

Before coming to New York, I spent several days in Washington D.C. I’ve had plenty of meetings with various NGOs like Freedom House, American Enterprise Institute, National Endowment for Democracy etc. I also met the officials of State Department and of Helsinki Commission and a number of journalists. The interest to events in Russia seems to be growing as Russian stocks fall and the popularity of Putinism is to follow.

Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

October 24, 2008 at 08:22

Posted in news

Tagged with , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. Поздравляю! I have been interested in Oborona and its work for some time and can think of few better to have received this award. Again, congratulations.


    October 24, 2008 at 18:50

  2. Considering what you have been experencing this year, this prize seems to be a huge recognition for your every day work and resistance. the youth – or at least some parts of it- has usually been the first social group willing to change the hard regime. I wish you that you all appear convicingly and professionally both online and offline. In Putin’s Russia being in opposition is risky enough, to scare many young students, so the movement like Oborona must attract many many people in order to be efficient not only among the elites. therefore the fact that you have received such a prize certainly will be or could be sth attractive for many undecided young people. you all have a precise, accurate and nice internet presence, especially the one in English, it’s comfortable for those of us, who can’t follow the Russian alphabet, Hope that you will gain valuable contacts for your work, while staying in USA. congratulations and best wishes

    Joanna Skapska

    October 25, 2008 at 14:53

  3. […] Kozlovsky writes about receiving the Human Rights Award 2008. Posted by Veronica Khokhlova  Print Version […]

  4. Thanks, Adrzyn and Joanna! Your support is really important for us.

    Oleg Kozlovsky

    October 28, 2008 at 15:50

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