Jailed Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza awarded Pulitzer Prize



Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza was awarded the Pulitzer Prize on Monday for columns he wrote in The Washington Post from a Russian penal colony where he is currently imprisoned.

Kara-Murza was nominated for his “passionate columns written at great personal risk from his prison cell warning of the consequences of dissent in Vladimir Putin’s Russia and insisting on a democratic future for his country,” according to the award’s organisers.

Kara-Murza has regularly published articles for The Washington Post since 2017, and has continued to write for them, despite being in Russian police custody since April 2022. His most recent articles speak out against the war in Ukraine, and argue that Putin should not be recognised by the international community as a legitimately elected leader.

While Kara-Murza himself was not available for comment, his wife, Yevgenia Kara-Murza, thanked The Washington Post on Monday “for making sure that the voice of Vladimir is heard” and that his vision is not forgotten.

In a post on X, British anti-corruption campaigner Bill Browder called Kara-Murza’s prize “a big help in keeping the spotlight on his unjust 25 year sentence for calling Putin a murderer”.

In July 2023, Kara-Murza was sentenced to 25 years in a penal colony for high treason, involvement with “undesirable organisations”, and for “disseminating false information” about the Russian military. In January, Kara-Murza was transferred to a penal colony in Siberia and placed in solitary confinement, which is typically used by Russian authorities to break political prisoners as the conditions are the harshest within the Russian prison system.

Longtime friend and ally of murdered Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, Kara-Murza was the co-chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom and served as Vice President of the Free Russia Foundation, both of which have been deemed “undesirable” by the Russian government.

Kara-Murza was poisoned in 2015 and 2017, both of which are believed to have been orchestrated by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) after investigations found that Kara-Murza had been trailed by FSB agents days prior to falling critically ill.

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