The Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University is pleased to welcome Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer and political activist with the Anti-Corruption Foundation of Russia (FBK, founded by opposition leader Alexei Navalny), to the Center as a Visiting Scholar for the Spring quarter. While at Stanford, Sobol will work alongside CDDRL faculty on projects related to the opposition movement in Russia today, human rights, and the rolling back of democracy in Russia.
“We are thrilled to have Lyubov Sobol with us this quarter at CDDRL,” said Kathryn Stoner, Mosbacher Director of CDDRL. “She is an inspiring and tireless fighter for freedom and accountable government in Russia today. I am proud to be able to host her at the Center at an especially difficult time for members of Russia’s political opposition.”
Sobol, a close confidant and colleague of Alexei Navalny, is currently the producer and head of video production for the YouTube channel Navalny LIVE which has over 2.7 million subscribers and records over 90 million monthly views. Through this project among many others, she advocates for the democratization of Russia and expresses opposition to Putin's policies.
As a lawyer, Sobol investigated corruption cases and represented FBK’s interests in courts and other state bodies, drafted bills and developed proposals for improved legislation, and participated in public anti-corruption campaigns.
In 2016, Sobol released two large journalistic investigations into oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin and his numerous corrupt schemes. In 2021, Russian authorities opened a criminal investigation against her in response to her continued inquiries into Prigozhin’s illegal activities.
Sobol participated in the election campaign for the Moscow City Duma in 2019 and the State Duma of Russia in 2021 but was illegally barred from running because of her political positions opposing the actions of Putin’s regime.
She is the recipient of the 2019 Magnitsky Human Rights Award for Outstanding Russian Opposition Activist, and was named one of the BBC’s “100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019” in the category of Leadership.
"I'm honored to be part of Stanford's distinguished community," Sobol shared. "I look forward to making new acquaintances and I am ready to share knowledge and work on projects addressing the current political situation in Russia."