Yulia Gorbunova is Russia researcher in Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division. A lawyer by training, she worked for Human Rights Watch in Russia and Belarus on a range of issues, including freedom of assembly, association, and speech, political repression, the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and the persecution of human rights defenders. She has most recently covered the crisis in Ukraine, including the war in the east and abuses in Crimea. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Gorbunova worked for a Sydney-based law firm that represented asylum seekers and refugees from the Asia Pacific region. She also worked for the Disability Rights Fund, a grant-making organization in Boston that advocates for the advancement of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Gorbunova holds a master’s degree in professional communications from the University of Western Sydney and a bachelor's in law from Tyumen State University in Russia, with a focus on criminal law and international law. She speaks English and Russian.