Yulia Gorbunova is Russia researcher in Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division. She also covers Belarus. She has most recently covered the crisis in Ukraine, where she worked extensively covering the armed conflict in the east and human rights abuses in Crimea, including enforced disappearances, prosecution and detention of Crimean Tatar and pro-Ukraine activists and abuses by paramilitary groups.
A lawyer by training, Yulia worked for Human Rights Watch on a range of issues, including human rights in armed conflict, refugee rights, political repression, freedom of assembly, association, and speech. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Gorbunova worked for a Sydney-based law firm that represented asylum seekers and refugees and the Disability Rights Fund, a grant-making organization in Boston. 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.