DATE: February 18, 2014

The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies are pleased to host a lecture on February 18 titled, “Erosion of Rights in Russia: A Lawyer’s Perspective,” given by Pavel Ivlev, former lawyer for Yukos Oil and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky and his colleague Platon Lebedev were arrested in 2003 for fraud and tax evasion, charges widely viewed as politically motivated. Both men were recently released from prison after going through two highly publicized trials. In this lecture, Ivlev will argue that the Yukos affair reveals that the Russian judiciary system prioritizes politics over due process, and that Putin’s regime works against free markets, sound corporate governance, transparency, and the rule of law.

Pavel Ivlev fled to New York from Russia under fear of unjust prosecution following the initial Khodorkovsky ruling. A district court in Moscow issued an arrest warrant for Ivlev in 2005 on charges of embezzlement and money laundering, identical to those of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev. Ivlev believed that the arrest warrant was a result of his refusal to provide false incriminating evidence against Khodorkovsky and other key Yukos managers, and he has vowed not to return to Russia. A graduate of Moscow State University Law School, Ivlev also studied law at Columbia University (New York) and Queen Mary College (London), and is a member of the International Bar Association and the U.S.-Russia Business Council. In 1997 Ivlev became a partner at a leading Moscow-based international law firm, ALM Feldmans, which was effectively destroyed by the broader attack on Yukos and its advisors. Ivlev is Chairman of the Committee for Russian Economic Freedom, which he founded in 2009 to campaign for “free markets, free people, and free ideas in Russia.”

PLACE: 1636 International Institute/School of Social Work, 1080 S. University, Ann Arbor

SPONSORS: Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies and Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies


The Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE) supports faculty and student research, teaching, collaboration, and public engagement in studying the institutions, cultures, and histories of these regions. WCEE is housed in the University of Michigan International Institute with the Center for European Studies (CES); the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES); and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED). Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCEE began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit