Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog

Politics, Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

Posts Tagged ‘Oborona

How Oborona Trains Its Activists

leave a comment »

Oborona held a field training for its activists in Moscow yesterday. It looked like a game, a city quest, the very popular genre of youth activity in modern Moscow. The participants were split into several teams and had to complete certain tasks in different parts of the city. The difference from such regular games was the nature of those tasks. One of them was, for instance, to hand a banner on a bridge. The banner read “31 January Dissenters’ Day”. This is how it was performed by the trainees:

Advertisements

Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

January 26, 2009 at 23:36

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 , , ,

Oborona’s Activist Faces Criminal Charges for Blogging

with one comment

Dmitry Soloviev, Oborona Coordinator in Kemerovo region, is accused of “inciting hatred, hostility and degrading” the police and FSB by posting several entries in his LiveJournal blog. The criminal case based on an FSB report was opened on August 11th by the regional prosecutor office. Police and FSB have already conducted a search at Dmitry’s home and work, confiscated his computer, disks and Oborona’s printed materials, and questioned him. Dmitry may face up to 2 years imprisonment according to the anti-extremist legislation.

The entries that FSB considered “extremist” in fact contain no incitement to violence or even strong words. Here they are (in Russian):

about a police raid on Oborona’s headquarters in Moscow;

about FSB banning transportation of biomaterials abroad for medical purposes;

about prosecutory and the Supreme Court refusing to rehabilitate the last Russian tzar Nicholas II, executed by the Bolsheviks;

about me being drafted illegally into the army;

about crimes of KGB in Soviet times.

This is not the first such case. Several weeks ago, another blogger Savva Terentyev was sentenced to a 1 year of suspended imprisonment also for “inciting hatred” against the police in a LiveJournal comment. Russian Internet community seems alarmed by these cases because it makes millions of Russian bloggers potential “extremists”. Police is one of the most unpopular insitution in the country, despised by many for human rights abuses, inefficiency and corruption. Until recently, Internet and blogs remained the last media where Russian citizens could discuss these problems. Looks like the FSB have decided to put an end to this “unnecessary” freedom.

See more on this on Oborona’s Web site (in Russian).

Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

August 17, 2008 at 20:52

Romantics Learn to Use Their Fists

with 3 comments

oborona.JPG

Welcome to my English-language blog. Here I will tell the story of my efforts to bring democracy and civil society to my country, Russia. The following essay was originally published on Robert Amsterdam’s blog.

In the political street battles that have swept the streets of Russia’s cities, black-and-white flags with a menacing stylized fist on them are becoming an ever more frequent sight. These banners are always unfurled at the forefront, always right in the thick of things. These are my brothers-in-arms, the activists of the Russian «Oborona», who are rushing into the fray, ready to fight to defend their freedom and the truth from a power that is trampling on these ideals.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by olegkozlovsky

March 18, 2008 at 20:54

Posted in essays

Tagged with ,

%d bloggers like this: