Vladimir Vladimirovich Kara-Murza

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Vladimir Kara-Murza
Владимир Кара-Мурза
Personal details
Born Vladimir Vladimirovich Kara-Murza
(1981-09-07) 7 September 1981 (age 33)
Moscow, RSFSR, Soviet Union
Political party Solidarnost (since 2008)
Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party (since 2012)
Religion Russian Orthodox

Vladimir V. Kara-Murza (Russian: Владимир Владимирович Кара-Мурза) (born 7 September 1981, Moscow) is a Russian politician, historian, and television journalist. He is an elected member of the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition, and serves on the federal council of the Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party and of the Solidarnost pro-democracy movement. Since 2012, he has been the Senior Policy Advisor at the Institute of Modern Russia. Kara-Murza holds an M.A.(Cantab.) degree in History from Cambridge University (Trinity Hall).

Political career[edit]

Left to right: Mikhail Kasyanov, Grigory Yavlinsky, Sergei Mitrokhin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, and Boris Nemtsov during an opposition rally in Moscow on March 5, 2012
Vladimir Bukovsky and Vladimir Kara-Murza at Bukovsky's campaign rally in Moscow on October 20, 2007

From 1999 to 2001, Vladimir Kara-Murza was a member of the Democratic Choice of Russia party; from 2001 to 2008 he was a member of the Union of Right Forces. Between 2000 and 2003 he served as an advisor to State Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. He has been in opposition to Vladimir Putin since 2000, backing liberal candidate Grigory Yavlinsky in the 2000 presidential election.

Kara-Murza was a candidate for the Russian State Duma in the 2003 parliamentary election, running in the Chertanovsky district in southern Moscow. His candidacy was endorsed jointly by the Union of Right Forces and Yabloko parties.[1] During the campaign, United Russia candidate Vladimir Gruzdev attempted to remove Kara-Murza from the ballot; the lighting on Kara-Murza's campaign billboards and the sound during his televised debates were turned off; carousel voting was discovered on election day.[2] In his book Inside Putin's Russia, British journalist Andrew Jack named Chertanovsky district as a case of electoral manipulation in Russia's 2003 vote.[3] According to the official results, Gruzdev received 149,069 votes (53.8 percent); Kara-Murza, 23,800 votes (8.6 percent); and Communist Party candidate Sergei Seregin, 18,992 votes (6.9 percent).[4]

In January 2004, he co-founded the Committee 2008, an umbrella opposition group led by Boris Nemtsov and Garry Kasparov.

In May 2007, Vladimir Kara-Murza initiated the nomination of writer and human rights leader Vladimir Bukovsky as a democratic opposition candidate for the Russian presidency in the 2008 election. “The opposition needs a candidate for president – strong, uncompromising, decisive, with irreproachable political and, more importantly, moral authority,” read the statement from Bukovsky's campaign committee, written by Kara-Murza. “Russia needs its own Vaclav Havel, not a new successor from [the KGB].”.[5] From May to December 2007, Kara-Murza chaired Bukovsky's campaign committee that included, among others, Academician Yuri Ryzhov, writer Victor Shenderovich, columnist Andrei Piontkovsky, lawyer Yuri Shmidt, human rights activist Alexander Podrabinek, and political analyst Vladimir Pribylovsky.[5][6] In October 2007, Kara-Murza was one of organizers of the "Rally of Free People" held on Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square in support of Bukovsky's presidential nomination.[7][8]

On December 16, 2007, Bukovsky was duly nominated as a presidential candidate by 823 members of a voters' assembly in Moscow (the law required at least 500 people or a nomination). At the same meeting, Kara-Murza was elected as Bukovsky's plenipotentiary representative in Russia's Central Election Commission.[9][10] On December 22, the Commission denied Bukovsky access to the ballot, refusing to register his candidacy.[11]

At the founding convention of Solidarnost, Russia's united democratic movement, in December 2008, Kara-Murza was elected to the movement's federal council, placing second out of 77 candidates, behind Nemtsov.[12] He was re-elected to the Solidarnost council in 2010 and 2013.

In 2012, he participated in the street protests in Moscow against Putin's rule, Russia's largest pro-democracy demonstrations since 1991.[13]

In June 2012, Kara-Murza was elected to the federal council of the Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party, co-chaired by Boris Nemtsov, Mikhail Kasyanov, and Vladimir Ryzhkov.[14]

In October 2012, he was elected to the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition, placing 21st out of 169 candidates and receiving 20,845 votes.[15]

Career in the media[edit]

Kara-Murza entered journalism at the age of 16. In 1997–2000 he was the London correspondent of Russia's Novye Izvestia newspaper; in 2000–2003, the London correspondent of Kommersant. In 2002 he was editor-in-chief of the London-based financial publication "Russian Investment Review". In 2004 he became the Washington bureau chief of RTVi television network. Since 2010 he has been writing a weekly blog, "Spotlight on Russia", for World Affairs journal.

"They Chose Freedom"[edit]

In 2005 Kara-Murza produced a four-part TV documentary, "They Chose Freedom", dedicated to the history of the Soviet dissident movement. The documentary was based on interviews with prominent Russian dissidents, including Vladimir Bukovsky, Elena Bonner and Sergei Kovalev. It was first aired in November 2005.

"Reform or Revolution"[edit]

In 2011, Kara-Murza published his first book, "Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma", which recounts the unsuccessful attempt by the Constitutional Democratic Party to form a government during the short existence of the first Russian Parliament in April–July 1906. The book was launched in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.


Vladimir Kara-Murza is married, with three children. He is the son of Russian television journalist Vladimir A. Kara-Murza, great-grandson of Latvian revolutionary Voldemārs Bissenieks (1884–1938), great-grand-nephew of Latvia's first Ambassador to Great Britain Georgs Bissenieks (1885-1941), and of Latvian agronomist and publisher Jānis Bissenieks (1864-1923).


  1. ^ «Единство» — в одном экземпляре. «Новая газета», 27.11.2003
  2. ^ «Совестливый Груздев» «Эхо Москвы», 18.08.2011
  3. ^ Inside Putin’s Russia:Can There Be Reform without Democracy? Google Books
  4. ^ Симпатии электората подсчитаны до сотой доли процента. «РГ-Неделя», № 3375, 27.12.2003
  5. ^ a b Заявление Инициативной группы по выдвижению В. К. Буковского кандидатом в президенты РФ Каспаров.ру, 28.05.2007
  6. ^ Инициативная группа по выдвижению Буковского Сайт Инициативной группы, 21.12.2007
  7. ^ На Триумфальной площади в Москве прошел митинг в поддержку кандидатуры В. К. Буковского на президентских выборах 2008 г. «Мемориал»
  8. ^ «Митинг свободных людей». 20 октября 2007 года. Flickr.com
  9. ^ Группа избирателей в поддержку выдвижения Владимира Буковского на должность Президента Российской Федерации Сайт Инициативной группы, 21.12.2007
  10. ^ 823 человека поддержали выдвижение Владимира Буковского на должность Президента Российской Федерации Сайт Инициативной группы, 17.12.2007
  11. ^ ЦИК отказал Буковскому в регистрации Грани.ру, 22.12.2007
  12. ^ Российская «Солидарность» учредилась Панорама, № 64, апрель 2009
  13. ^ Muscovites Go to the Streets as Putin Declares ‘Victory’ World Affairs, 05.03.2012
  14. ^ Сопредседателями партии РПР-ПАРНАС стали Немцов, Касьянов и Рыжков РИА Новости, 16.06.2012
  15. ^ Результаты голосования по выборам в КС оппозиции ЦВК, 22.10.2012

External links[edit]