Vera Kichanova (Russian Federation)


Originally published on Young Voices

Vera was born on May 24, 1991 in Moscow. She graduated from the Department of Journalism of the Moscow State University in 2013. Her degree work was dedicated to real-time journalism and interaction between traditional media and citizen journalists.

She worked for “Novaya Gazeta” and was elected a member of the “Novaya Gazeta” Network Parliament, one of a number of virtual “proto-parliaments” in Russia. Later she worked for the “Voice of America” Russian Bureau. In April 2010, Kichanova was one of the co-founders of the “Kangaroo” debate club. Politicians, right up to Duma deputies, regularly participated in “Kangaroo” discussions.

From 2011 to 2012, she worked with the “Soldiers’ Mothers” human rights organization as a social media activist and coordinator of civil campaigns. In spring 2011, she launched a campaign entitled “Girls Against Draft”. She was a co-founder and the editor of the website which was nominated for the The Bobs – Best of Online Activism award in 2011.

In October 2011, she was the brain behind a students’ protest action in Moscow State University against President Dmitry Medvedev, who had announced a meeting with MSU students, which turned out to be shamelessly staged as real students had been removed from the university building and the premises filled with ‘shills’ when the President arrived. Several students, including Kichanova, were detained by the police.

In March 2012, Vera Kichanova was elected as a municipal deputy in Moscow’s Yuzhnoye Tushino district. As a member of the municipal council she fights for more transparency on the part of the local authorities. She keeps a blog recounting her everyday activity as a local council deputy.

From March 2012, she has been working for as a journalist. She also publishes a blog on the “Echo of Moscow” website and another one on Vera won the 2013 Democracy Award.