Magazine April 17, 2017, Issue

A Defender of His Country

Vladimir Kara-Murza, the Russian democracy leader who has escaped death twice

In May 2015, Vladimir Kara-Murza was poisoned and fell into a coma. The doctors told his wife he had just a 5 percent chance of surviving. He survived. Almost two years later, in February 2017, Kara-Murza was again poisoned. Again, they told his wife he had just a 5 percent chance of survival. Once more, he survived.

“I’m very happy, and very grateful, to be sitting here with you,” he tells me, in a Washington, D.C., restaurant. “Same here,” I respond.

The poisonings — the attacks — took place in Moscow, where Kara-Murza is the vice chairman of Open Russia, a civil-society

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