Oleg Kozlovsky, Moscow Coordinator of the Russian opposition youth movement, Oborona, received the Human Rights Award 2008 from Human Rights First in New York on 24 October 2008. Dissident Lyudmila 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.
A fragment from Oleg’s 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.