Future of Democracy in Russia: From Aspirations to Plans (video)
As a side event to the Biden’s 2021 Summit for Democracy, Free Russia Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group hosted a conversation of the outlook for democracy and human rights in Russia, concrete steps that must be taken to advance this agenda, and ways the international community can support this agenda.
The discussion featured three prominent members of Russian civil society:
- Vladimir Milov, Russian opposition politician;
- Vasily Gatov, USC Annenberg Center on Communication, Leadership, and Policy; and
- Evgeniya Chirikova, Activatica.org.
The December 2021 Summit for Democracy convened global leaders from 110 nations and partners to lay out new commitments to human rights and a democratic renewal. The summit served as a platform to non-governmental voices from civil society, independent media, activists, and the private sector to detail their priorities, demands, and goals for democratic progress.
Not surprisingly, Putin was excluded from the list of summit invitees. The Putin regime’s actions —through grave human rights violations, endemic corruption, and hybrid aggression— have threatened democratic actors and institutions globally and intensified its domestic repression.
We must remember, however, that Putin’s government does not represent the Russian people and does not speak for the Russian people. Events of the past few months have shown that Putin’s government is undergoing a crisis of legitimacy and the political transition phase has begun. The Russian civil society remains committed to the pursuit of democracy despite brutal repressions at home and waning support from the international community.