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Home / Press Release / Human Rights First Mourns the Death of Russian Activist Sergei Kovalev
August 10, 2021

Human Rights First Mourns the Death of Russian Activist Sergei Kovalev

WASHINGTON – Sergei V. Kovalev, a stalwart defender of human rights in the Soviet and post-Communist eras, died Monday, August 9 in Moscow. Michael Breen, President and CEO of Human Rights First released the following statement:  

“Sergei Kovalev was a giant among Russian anti-authoritarian activists. He spent more than five decades working on some of the most important issues in human rights – including democracy, free speech, and the right to protest – and was central to a human rights dialogue our organization initiated in Moscow in 1989. His work helped shape the response to totalitarianism in the Soviet Union and the undemocratic evolution of post-Soviet Russia under both Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. As our colleague Vladimir Kara-Murza said, it would be ‘impossible to overestimate’ Kovalev’s contributions to human rights work in Russia; Human Rights First joins in mourning his passing and honoring his legacy.”