Person of the Week: Lev Shlosberg

posted 30 May 2016, 04:38 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 30 May 2016, 04:45 ]
On 23 May 2016 it was announced that Lev Shlosberg, a journalist and politican from Pskov region, is to be the inaugural winner of the annual Boris Nemtsov Foundation prize for ‘defending the values of freedom and democracy in Russia.’ As The Moscow Times reports, formal presentation of the award will take place on 12 June 2016 in Bonn, Germany. A total of 45 people were nominated for the award before five finalists were selected by a poll on the website for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper. The overall winner was chosen by secret ballot. The Boris Nemtsov Foundation was set up in Germany on 9 November 2015 by Zhanna Nemtsova, daughter of the Boris Nemtsov, to promote education and freedom of information; training and professional development; German-Russian dialogue; promotion of European values; and memorial activities in honor of Boris Nemtsov. 

Lev Shlosberg is a journalist and politician from Pskov region who became well known in connection with his courageous investigation into the deaths of 12 paratroopers stationed in Pskov, as a result of which he suffered a serious assault. As The Moscow Times reports, ‘ In 2014, Shlosberg carried out an investigation into the deaths of 12 paratroopers from the Pskov-based 76th Airborne Division, whom he believed had died while fighting in Ukraine. Russia's Chief Military Prosecutor refused to disclose information on the deaths, calling it a “state secret.” […] A week after Shlosberg's newspaper published the probe into the funerals of the two soldiers allegedly killed while fighting in Ukraine, he was beaten unconscious near his home.' 

In an interview with The Moscow Times on hearing that he had been made the award, Lev Shlosberg said: 'I am grateful to receive this award, but it's a sad award; it is not a reason for joy. It was created in the memory of the slain man who defended his beliefs. It would be much better if he was alive.' 

Photo: Wikipedia

Anastasia Bazenkova, Russian Journalist Shlosberg to Receive First Nemtsov Prize, The Moscow Times, 23 May 2016
'Russian Politician Beaten After Reporting Soldiers' FuneralsRFE/RL, 30 August 2014