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The Pushkin Club. An evening with Politkovskaya Award winners: Svetlana Gannushkina and Tetiana Sokolova
March 14 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Pushkin Club, Rights in Russia and RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War) invite you to an evening with Svetlana Gannushkina and Tetiana Sokolova, the winners of the Anna Politkovskaya Award. This award is presented annually by RAW in WAR, an International Human Rights NGO, to women human rights defenders from conflict zones around the world who, like Anna, stand up for the victims, often at great personal risk. The 2022 Anna Politkovskaya Award will be presented on 12 March 2023 at a special event ‘Refusing to be Silenced’ as part of WOW (Women of the World Festival) at the Southbank Centre in London to the two winners: Tetiana Sokolova, a courageous midwife from the city of Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine, and Svetlana Gannushkina, a brave human rights defender from Moscow.
When announcing the Award to the winners in October 2022, RAW in WAR stated: “The war in Ukraine would have certainly had its own terrifying meaning for Politkovskaya, if she were alive today. Anna Politkovskaya was half-Russian and half-Ukrainian herself. On the Ukrainian side, she and her sister, Elena, descended from the family of Ivan Mazepa, the famous Ukrainian ruler and national hero of the struggle for Ukrainian independence from Poland and Russia in the 18th century. If Anna were alive today, Russia’s invasion and the war in Ukraine would have been especially painful for her on a personal level. But no doubt, she would have been there – reporting from the rubble of Mariupol, under the shelling and bombardment, about the plight of the civilians, or standing up on Red Square in Moscow to demand an end to the war and the release of all prisoners of conscience in Russia.”
The speakers will be talking in Russian with English translation.
Tetiana Sokolova was born in 1958 in Brest, in the then-Belarusian Republic of the Soviet Union. When she was three years old, her mother moved with her and her older brother to Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine, then also part of the Soviet Union. Tetiana finished medical school in Mariupol with excellence but decided not to continue her studies to become a medical doctor and instead became a midwife when she was nineteen years old. She had worked in this profession, and at the same Maternity Hospital No 2 for more than 40 years, when on 24 February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine. Tetiana Sokolova remained in Mariupol until 20 April 2022 to support mothers and children in the Maternity Hospital No.2 and helped deliver 27 babies in a basement under constant bombardment. She later moved to Lviv in Western Ukraine where she worked with a charity, Future For Children Foundation, to support the children of Mariupol. She currently lives in Estonia.
Svetlana Gannushkina is a well-known human rights defender from Russia, whose life has been threatened many times over the years. She has received numerous international awards for her tireless work defending and protecting the rights of refugees, migrants and victims of human rights violations in Russia or fleeing Russia. She is a member of the Board of Memorial Society. Branded as “foreign agent” in Russia, Memorial was closed down at the end of 2021. In 2022 Memorial won the Nobel Peace Prize. Svetlana also heads the Civic Assistance Committee. She was a close colleague of Anna Politkovskaya and they often worked together during the war in Chechnya.
Svetlana Gannushkina was born in Moscow in 1942. She studied mathematics at Moscow State University and worked for 30 years as a lecturer, and then professor, of mathematics at the Russian State University of Humanities. On her 80th birthday on 6 March 2022, she was detained on the Red Square for her protesting against the war in Ukraine and was later tried. She continues to live and work in Moscow.