: Russian oppositionist who disclosed soldiers' secret funerals given first Nemtsov Prize

15:03 May. 23, 2016

Russian oppositionist who disclosed soldiers' secret funerals given first Nemtsov Prize

Lev Shlosberg. (Wikipedia Photo)

Lev Shlosberg was attacked and lost seat in parliament after exposing Russian servicemen's deaths in Donbas

Russian politician and journalist Lev Shlosberg has been awarded with the first Boris Nemtsov Prize 'For courage in defending the values of freedom and democracy in Russia', initiated in 2016 by the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom.

"Just like Boris Nemtsov, he spoke out publicly and loudly against the 'rule of scoundrels'. Just like Boris Nemtsov, he spoke out against Putin's war with Ukraine," Chairmain of the Foundation Vladimir Kara-Murza wrote on his Facebook page. "In 2014, his newspaper 'Pskovskaya Guberniya' was the first to report about the secret funerals of troopers from Pskov region, who had been killed in Ukraine. In revenge, Shlosberg was beaten up violently and stripped of his parliamentary mandate. But he did not step back and continued his work. I believe Lev is a well-deserved first recipient of the Nemtsov Prize."

Read also Thousands join marches in Russia on anniversary of murder of Kremlin critic Nemtsov

The awarding ceremony will take place in Bonn, Germany, on June 12, which marks the Day of Russia.

The five finalists for the prize also included Moscow activist Ildar Dadin, writer Viktor Shenderovich, opposition politician Alexei Navalny and Ukrainian military pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, who has been sentenced to 22 years in Russian prison, Novaya Gazeta reported.

Lev Shlosberg, a former member of Pskov's regional parliament for liberal opposition party Yabloko, has strongly criticized Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support for Kremlin-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

In August 2014, his newspaper published a report on the death of two Pskov paratroopers suspected to have been killed while fighting Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Several days later, Shlosberg was brutally assaulted by unidentified assailants.

In September 2014, he was expelled from the local legislature in a move denounced by the opposition as politically motivated.

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