Lyudmyla Kozlovska
Open Dialogue Foundation
Speaker at Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2024

Lyudmyla Kozlovska, human rights defender, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation.

ODF was established on Lyudmyla’s initiative and she has served as its President since June 2010. A human rights defender from Ukraine campaigning for smart sanctions by G7 countries against Russia and its allies. Since 2009, she has organised several international electoral and human rights observation missions to Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Kazakhstan. Likewise, since 2023, Lyudmyla has been advocating for the defense against the political prosecution of judges and developers in Guatemala, where the Bitcoin technology based on the Simple Proof blockchain timestamping platform was used by the Guatemalan Supreme Elections Tribunal to safeguard key election documents in a tamper-evident manner and as a consequence help uphold democracy.

In 2018 Lyudmyla was declared a national security threat by the Polish government and banned from Poland and the Schengen area. Since then, other EU Members States and Switzerland disregarded the entry ban as politically motivated and, following the court order, it was ultimately deleted in February 2024. Despite the enforced transnational persecution and enforced disconnection from the banking system (following the abuse of AML/CFT laws and state-sponsored smear campaigns), ODF has managed to operate and raise emergency funds for Ukraine (partly based on bitcoin and stablecoins), for an amount of €8.31 million.

Being the initiator and leader of the Building True Change Coalition (BTC Coalition), Lyudmyla has been advocating regulators to address financial exclusion, political oppression and the delivery of humanitarian aid with use of Bitcoin and stablecoins (promoting the vital role of crypto-assets). Since 2021, she has been leading the campaign to prevent the abuse of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws by malign state actors.

Lyudmyla has an extensive track record as a rights advocacy leader at the national, European and international level, coordinating i.a. campaigns to:

· release hundreds of political prisoners in Kazakhstan (since 2009); including the establishment of the #ActivistsNotExtremists human rights monitoring coalition in 2019, uniting over a thousand volunteers around Kazakhstan to document violations, including harassment, torture, political murders and mass shootings;

· reform INTERPOL, the Schengen Information System (SIS II), anti-money laundering/terrorism financing regulations and other transnational legal assistance frameworks whose mechanisms are repeatedly abused by authoritarian and hybrid regimes (since 2012);

· promote a personal sanctions regime against human rights violators and kleptocrats modelled on the US “Magnitsky Act” (since 2012);

· defend protesters during the Maidan revolution in Ukraine (2013-2014);

· reform the justice sector and conduct a proper lustration (vetting) process for public officials in Ukraine, including gathering an international expert group in support of the

legislative work and dialogue of Ukrainian civil society, Parliament and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission (2014-2016);

· release Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia-occupied Crimea and Russia itself as part of the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign (in cooperation with the Center for Civil Liberties and other NGOs, 2014-2017);

· conditionally suspend the macro-financial assistance by the EU, International Monetary Fund and World Bank for the Republic of Moldova in response to omnipresent kleptocracy and rights violations by the Vladimir Plahotniuc regime (2016-2019);

· expose and counter Kazakhstan’s and other countries’ economic and military assistance to Russia, circumventing international sanctions following Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine (since 2022).

Talks at Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2024