Anatoly Kucherena

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Anatoly Kucherena
Kucherena Anatoli.jpg
Born Anatoly Grigorievich Kucherena
(1960-08-23) August 23, 1960 (age 57)
Mîndra, Călărași District, Moldova (then Moldavian SSR)
Nationality Russian
Occupation Lawyer

Anatoly Grigorievich Kucherena (Russian: Анатолий Григорьевич Кучерена; born August 23, 1960) is a Russian attorney, public figure, Doctor of Law, and professor. From mid-2013, Kucherena has represented former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's interests in the Russian Federation. Kucherena continues to represent Snowden pro bono on an occasional basis.[1] In 2013, according to Izvestia he was known as a person spoken pro forbiding anonymizer software, prosecuting development, distribution and usage of it by including them into "malware" software category (which contradicts the terminology used in the industry).[2]

In June 2014, American film director Oliver Stone acquired rights to a screen adaptation of Kucherena's novel, Time of the Octopus, the story of fictional American whistleblower Joshua Kold. Threatened by his government and waiting for a decision on his request for Russian asylum, Cold spends three weeks in the transit area of the Moscow airport. Stone said, "Anatoly has written a 'grand inquisitor'-style Russian novel weighing the soul of his fictional whistleblower against the gravity of a 1984 tyranny that has achieved global proportions."[3] The book, first in a "psychological-political thriller trilogy," is set to be released on March 3, 2015, according to state news agency RIA Novosti. The Moscow Times reported that Kucherena said Snowden had already received a copy of the book and liked it.[4] In April 2015, WikiLeaks revealed that Oliver Stone paid $1 million for the movie rights to Kucherena's novel.[5]


  • Kucherena was born in the village of Mîndra, Călărași District, Moldova (formerly Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic).
  • In 1979-1981, he did his military service in the Soviet Army (missile troops) serving at the Kapustin Yar and Aralsk launching ranges. He left the service as a squad leader.
  • In 1991, Kucherena graduated from the All-Union Correspondence Law Institute (now Kutafin Moscow State Law University).
  • Since 1993, he is a member of the Moscow City Bar Association. In 1993-1995, he worked at the First Moscow Legal Advice Center where Henri Reznik, a prominent Soviet and Russian lawyer,[6] was his mentor.
  • Since December 26, 2001, Head of Chair, Bar and Notariat, Kutafin Moscow State Law University.[7]
  • In 1995, Kucherena established and became the head of one of the first law offices – Argument Attorneys at Law (since 2003, Kucherena & Partners Law Firm).
  • Kucherena is a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation since 2005.[8]
  • Kucherena is the Chairman of Public Council at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation since 2013,[9] the Chairman of the Central Council, the All-Russia Social Movement Civil Society,[10] and the Chairman of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation (non-profit foundation).[11]
  • In 1999, Kucherena defended his master’s thesis on Administrative Justice in Defense of Human and Civil Rights and Freedoms in the Russian Federation.
  • In 2003 Kucherena became the Doctor of Law with the thesis on Advocacy Role in the Civic Society Formation in Russia.

High-profile cases and clients[edit]

  • In 1997-2001, Kucherena defended Platon Obukhov, a writer and diplomat on charges of “spying” for the United Kingdom. The court found Obukhov not responsible on the grounds of mental illness and ordered to transfer him from prison to a psychiatric clinic. In 2003, he was discharged from the clinic for outpatients’ treatment.
  • In 2000-2005, Kucherena represented Tamara Rokhlina charged of murdering her husband, General Lev Rokhlin. In 2000, she was sentenced to 8-year imprisonment. The sentence was reversed by the Supreme Court in 2001 and a new 4-year suspended sentence judgment was passed in 2005. In the same year, the European Rights Court recognized that Rokhlina’s rights were violated in the investigation—in particular, she served an excessive term in detention.

At different times, Kucherena also represented: