Natalia Pelevine

British-Russian playwright, theater director, and opposition activist

Europe

Natalia Pelevine is a British-Russian playwright, theater director, and opposition activist. Pelevine was born in Moscow and moved to London at the age of 11. She received her bachelor’s in art history and theatre studies. She is the author of the play “In Your Hands,” based on the events of the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis. The play was banned in 2008 after its opening night by the president of Dagestan, Mukhy Aliyev, who attended the performance. Pelevine initiated a lawsuit against Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who was accused of taking a $120 million bribe. She was also a key figure in the campaign for the Magnitsky Act in theU.S. and Europe, which seeks to punish Russian officials complicit in the murder of Sergei Magnitsky. Pelevine co-founded the Democratic Russia Committee, and works to organize opposition rallies and protests. Pelevine was actively involved with the Strategy 31 protests—supporting the right to peacefully assemble guaranteed by the Russian constitution—in coordination with activists within Russia. In 2011, she was an organizer of the Democratic Russia Committee.Pelevine is a regular political commentator and has been featured on AlJazeera, the BBC, and The Independent. In 2016, Pelevine claimed she was a victim of Russian “kompromat” (compromising evidence, usually fabricated) aftera secretly filmed video showed her sexual rendezvous with former prime minister and Putin critic, Mikhail Kasyanov. She currently resides in New York City.

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