Russian human rights lawyer and scholar Grigory Vaypan (Democracy Fellow, Center for European Policy Analysis, Washington, D.C.) will lecture on “What Went Wrong in Russia? The Story of Memorial and the Country’s Failed Transition to the Rule of Law.” Free and open to the public.
About the lecture: Grigory Vaypan traces the root causes of Russia’s war against Ukraine to the failure of the post-Soviet transitional justice project in the early 1990s. When the Soviet totalitarian regime collapsed, very little was done to confront its past crimes. Impunity for Soviet-era atrocities set the ground for persecution and abuse of power to reproduce themselves in contemporary Russia’s domestic and foreign policies. The story of Memorial, Russia’s oldest human rights group and co-recipient of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, reflects that trajectory, from the moment it emerged as a grassroots movement for memory and accountability in 1987 until its forced dissolution by the Russian government in 2022.
About the speaker: Dr. Grigory Vaypan is a Russian human rights lawyer and scholar. He is a Senior Lawyer at Memorial, Russia’s oldest human rights group and laureate of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. Currently, he is also a Democracy Fellow with the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C. He is a former Galina Starovoitova Fellow on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at the Kennan Institute in Washington, D.C. Grigory holds his first law degree from Moscow State University, an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. in International Law from Saint Petersburg State University.
At Memorial, Grigory carries out litigation, legal research and legal advocacy on transitional justice in Russia. His work, including the high-profile “children of the Gulag” case, has been featured by The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, and other leading international media. Grigory has more than a decade of strategic litigation experience before the Constitutional Court of Russia and the European Court of Human Rights. He is the recipient of the 2022 Moscow Helsinki Group Human Rights Award for defending human rights in court. Most recently, Grigory has been involved in the legal defense of Russian citizens prosecuted for protesting against Russia’s war in Ukraine.