Who we are
OVD-Info is an independent project fighting for human rights and against repressions in Russia. Established in 2011 in Moscow, as of 2023 it’s one of the biggest Russian independent projects working on the ground with around 400 lawyers, 7000 volunteers and 190 000 private donors. Nowadays OVD-Info is one of the most trustworthy sources of information on human rights in Russia which is widely and regularly used by the international media to cover relevant issues.
Since Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine that prompted a wave of mass repressions domestically, the most valuable part of our work is supporting the anti-war movement both by covering protests in the media and providing legal aid to activists participating in public rallies and other anti-war actions. Information which OVD-Info is collecting and spreading on an hourly basis is the most trustworthy source for what is going on within Russian civil society both for audiences both domestic and abroad. This information helps stakeholders to shape the global response to the Kremlin’s war on Russian civil society.
The project received numerous professional awards both in Russia and Europe (Redkolegia Award, Russia, 2019; Snob Made in Russia Award, Nomination “Media”, Russia, 2019; Lew-Kopelew-Preis für Frieden und Menschenrechte, Germany, 2021; Civil Rights Defender of the year, Sweden, 2021; Freedom of Expression Award, UK, 2022).
How we work
OVD-Info combines research, journalism with human rights advocacy. We work as a news agency providing trustworthy information both to our readers and other news outlets, and at the same time we provide legal assistance to victims of political repression. Such an approach helps us receive unique and reliable information which we spread both as a news agency for readers and as an advocacy center for our global expert audience. Reliable data is at the core of all our human rights advocacy, and human rights violations are in the focus of our media work.
- We do not support any particular interest groups and defend people regardless of their, and our, politics.
- We do not engage in censorship, but when we publish we are first and foremost guided by our commitment to human rights: we do not publish information if we think it might cause harm.
What we do
We provide and coordinate legal assistance in cases related to the restrictions of freedom of peaceful assembly or freedom of speech. Our attorneys visit the detained in the police departments, support the defendants in Russian administrative and criminal courts, and file complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (in collaboration with one of the Human Rights Center Memorial).
A call to OVD-Info hotline or a message to our Telegram bot are the easiest ways to report persecution and get a free consultation. Specialists will advise you on how your situation may develop, and instruct you about your next steps.
News and media
The authorities that violate human rights prefer to avoid publicity. But as they say, silence in the face of evil is itself evil. We believe that information protects, and that media and social attention can prevent violations and change the whole picture.
Research and analytics
We study emerging problems from various angles: this helps both with working out present-day tactical solutions and laying the strategic foundation for the future systemic change. The results of our analyses get published as reports, data sets, or special projects.
Campaigns and advocacy
We believe it is important to defend freedom of assembly, and not just through helping people who faced repressions. For us, legal actions aimed at changes in this area are equally important, in particular, the accountability of authorities and their compliance with laws and regulations. In order to do so, we initiate lawsuits, petitions, complaints, statements and appeals for illegal actions or inactivity of the officials when they violate the right for freedom of assembly or laws in the context of public events; we also promote a more active protection of this right for all Russians. In the past we have launched the largest petition on Russian change.org, successfully lobbied for the creation of the UN mandate for the Special Rapporteur to monitor human rights in Russia and much more.
We cover political persecution in all regions of Russia, spanning 11 time zones and an extraordinary diverse population. Legal advice hotline and a Telegram bot are available to everyone, throughout the country, every day, 24/7. Since 2019 we have been actively searching for lawyers and attorneys for the detainees outside of just Moscow and St Petersburg: we have been going on business trips, making acquaintance with human rights communities on the ground. Nowadays we can find and provide a lawyer in nearly every region of Russia or find a friendly organization that can help.
We are developing services that help activists to get a head start in their struggle against persecution. So far we have made a Telegram bot with built-in legal instructions and a program that facilitates preparation and submission of legal documents: a generator of court petitions and complaints to the ECHR.
The support from our 7000 volunteers is vital. They hold the same values we do, and they are the absolute best. We are actively expanding our community by inviting our volunteers to tackle the tasks that are both critical for the project and interesting to work on. We try our best to involve them in our work as much as possible.
If you would like to get in touch, please write to us via our Telegram bot, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome media requests, article pitches, tips and other, but our response might be delayed due to the volume of correspondence. If your message is time-sensitive please indicate so in the email subject line/first sentence of your text.
In extremely urgent cases you can call our 24-hour hotline at +7 495 374–66–75.