Russian Americans Say Keep It Up, President Trump

Apr 16 2018

The Congress of Russian Americans, a group claiming to represent five million Russian-speaking Americans, recently wrote to US President Donald Trump deploring the state of Russian-American relations, denouncing the expulsion of sixty Russian diplomats from the United States, and denying Russia’s involvement in the recent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England. It also alleges that Russian speakers face “serious discrimination” in America.

In response, an independent group of Russian-speaking immigrants has released a letter that disputes these claims. Well-known human rights activists, filmmakers, writers, journalists, lawyers, scientists, engineers, university professors, medical doctors, artists, professionals in various areas, and ordinary Russian-speaking Americans have signed the response, which says that the Congress of Russian Americans (CRA) does not represent them or their values. Calling the CRA letter “yet another act ” in Russia’s ongoing info war against the United States, its 142 signatories say that they are “are appalled by the CRA’s audacity in their attempt to create an impression they speak for the entire Russian-speaking community.”

A copy of the letter follows. 

—-

April 16, 2018

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We, the undersigned, are Americans who immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union and Russia. We come from different professional spheres and we do not represent any interests of the Russian government or its proxies.

We are addressing you in reaction to the letter reportedly sent to you by the chairperson of the Congress of Russian Americans (CRA), a seemingly pro-Kremlin organization. Broadly circulated in various media and social networks, and supported by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin-controlled propaganda networks, Sputnik and RT (Russia Today), that letter claims to represent the opinion of “5 million Russian-speaking Americans.” It deplores the state of Russian-American relations, the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, and emphatically denies Russia’s involvement in recent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, UK. The letter also maintains that the negative connotation of Russia in American media leads to the discrimination of Russian-speaking community in the USA. There is little doubt that the CRA letter is yet another act in an ongoing informational warfare waged against the United States by the Russian government. We are appalled by the CRA’s audacity in their attempt to create an impression they speak for the entire Russian-speaking community. Likewise, we find it troubling that the CRA letter received wide coverage in the government-controlled media inside the Russian Federation, adding to its relentless manipulation of public opinion.

The segment of Russian speakers that we represent does not share any of that text’s claims. We do not support actions and activities of the Russian government and President Putin, which threaten peace, stability and democratic values whether in Georgia, Ukraine, the Middle East, Europe or USA. We fully support the measures by the American administration against the Russian ruling elite, including expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats. We strongly condemn unlawful actions of the Russian government for its various acts of aggression against its neighbors, its shameless interference in political affairs of many countries and its acts of terrorism abroad, especially its recent chemical attack in Salisbury, UK. We also draw your attention to the unlawful repressions of internal dissent, and persecution of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians in illegally annexed Crimea. We expect the US administration to develop a consistent policy on Russia founded on respect for human rights and centuries-long American democratic values.

Finally, none among our numerous respondents reported any incidents of discrimination due to their Russian origin. Despite all the tensions and complications caused by the current Russian leadership, we feel welcome in America and appreciate freedom and opportunities in our new American homeland.

We trust that our voice is heard and accorded the most serious attention for the sake of security and prosperity of this country of which we became its legitimate and proud constituents.

Most respectfully,

Г-н. Президент!

Мы, нижеподписавшиеся, являемся жителями США, эмигрировашими из бывшего СССР и Российской Федерации. Мы связаны с различными профессиональными сферами и не представляем какие бы то ни было интересы Российского правительства и его представителей.

Мы обращаемся к Вам, считая необходимым отреагировать на письмо, которое, по сообщениям СМИ, направлено Вам председателем “Конгресса русских американцев” (КРА), по всем признакам, прокремлёвской организации. Это письмо, широко распространяемое в СМИ и социальных сетях, при содействии Российского МИД и контролируемых Кремлём пропагандистских каналов, Sputnik и RT, претендует на то, чтобы выражать мнение “пяти миллионов русскоговорящих американцев”. Авторы письма сетуют на то, что высылка 60-ти российских дипломатов негативно влияет на российско-американские отношения; они отрицают российское участие в недавнем отравлении Сергея Скрипаля и его дочери в британском городе Солсбери. В письме также утверждается, что в результате негативного изображения России в американских СМИ русскоговорящие американцы испытывают дискриминацию. Очень мало сомнений в том, что письмо КРА представляет собой часть информационной войны, которую российское руководство ведёт против Соединённых Штатов. Мы глубоко возмущены наглостью КРА, осмеливающейся выступать от имени всего русскоязычного сообщества Америки. Мы также обеспокоены тем, что письмо КРА широко распространяется внутри Российской Федерации государственными СМИ, расширяя и усугубляя манипулирование общественным мнением.

Та часть русскоязычного сообщества, которую мы представляем, не разделяет утверждений, содержащихся в тексте упомянутого письма. Мы не поддерживаем действия и акции российского правительства и президента Путина, которые угрожают миру, стабильности и демократическим ценостям – будь то в Грузии, Украине, на Ближнем Востоке, в Европе или в США. Мы полностью одобряем меры, предпринятые Вашей администрацией против российской правящей элиты, включая высылку 60-ти российских дипломатов. Мы решительно осуждаем противоправные действия правительства РФ, которое осуществляет агрессию против соседних государств, беззастенчивое вмешательство в политическую деятельность других государств и акты терроризма за рубежом, особенно недавнюю химическую атаку в Солсбери. Мы также хотим обратить Ваше внимание на репрессии в отношении внутренней оппозиции и преследования крымских татар и украинцев в незаконно оккупированном Крыму. Мы рассчитываем на то, что администрация США будет проводить последовательную политику в отношении России, основанную на уважении к правам человека и на многовековых американских демократических ценностях.

И, наконец, никто из наших многочисленных респондентов не сообщал о случаях дискриминации, обусловленных ассоциацией их с Россией. Несмотря на обострение напряжённости между США и Россией, созданное нынешним российским руководством, мы ощущаем себя в Америке как дома и благодарны за предоставленную нам свободу и широкие возможности, которыми мы пользуемся на нашей новой американской родине.

Мы верим, что наш голос будет услышан и со всей серьёзностью принят во внимание – ради безопасности и процветания нашей страны, частью которой мы себя с законной гордостью считаем.

С наилучшими пожеланиями,

Письмо подписали:

(144 signers)

Joseph Adelsky, PhD in polymer chemistry, retired. New York, NY
Albert Akselrod, Chief designer in the shipbuilding industry, retired, Atlanta, GA
Leonid Aptekar, Senior IT professional at major financial companies, retired, Staten Island, NY
Natalia Arno, President of Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Oleg Asaulenko, Chief Cameraman at RTN Channel, documentary filmmaker, photographer, Brooklyn, NY
Igor Baboshkin, Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots in U.S.A., Chairman, New York, NY
Michael Berg, Center Associative scientist at Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, MA
Yaroslav Beklemishev, Journalist, broadcaster, radio host, Boca Raton, FL
Stella Belenkaya, Senior IT Professional, Washington, DC
Lina Bernstein, Professor Emerita of Russian and Comparative Literature at Franklin & Marshall College, Amherst, MA
Yakov Brayer, Senior IT professional at major Financial organisation, New York, NY
Michael Belkin, Chief Information Officer, Union for Reform Judaism, New York, NY
Greg Bratshpis, Director, Deutsche Bank, New York, NY
Irina Brovina, Actress, New York, NY
Vlad Burlutskiy, Independent political consultant, New York, NY
Kira Chernyak, Ultrasound Technologist, New York , NY
Marina Chernyak, Register Nurse, Valley Home Care, NJ
Vladimir Davidenko, Artist, Brooklyn, NY
Regina Davydova, Travel consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Lev Deych, PhD. Professor of Physics at Queens College of CUNY, New York, NY
Eugenia Dimant, Librarian, Boston, MA
Oleg Dmitriev, Senior IT Analyst, Tampa, FL
Katherine Dovlatov, Translator, editor, manager of the Dovlatov estate, Forest Hills, NY
Elena Dubinets, VP at Seattle Symphony, Bellevue, WA
Sergey Dubinets, Senior software engineer at Microsoft, Bellevue, WA
Anzhelina Fesun (Zeppieri) Travel consultant, Queens, NY
Maina Finkelshteyn, Veteran of public education in Russia, Brooklyn, NY
Alexander J Flint, Blogger, columnist, NY
Vladlen Fridman The author of “HEM Nanoconcrete” technology, retiree, Blakeslee, PA
Igor Frolov, IT Professional, Lead Developer, Ivyland, PA
Boris Frumin, Professor Tish School of the Arts, NYU, New York, NY
Yevgenia Frumin, Real Estate Specialist, Miami Beach, FL
Tatiana Gaines, ESL Instructor, Bethel Board of education, CT
Dmitry Garanin, Professor of Physics at Lehman College of the CUNY, Fellow of the American Physical Society,
Russian poet and essayist, NY
Alim Gelyastanov, Data analyst, Austin, TX
Alexander Genis, Writer, essayist, literary critic, broadcaster, radio host, NJ
Irena Genseruk, Home inspector CPI, Philadelphia, PA
Vitaliy Genseruk, Independent Contractor HVAC, Philadelphia, PA
Olga Gilpatrick, Speech-Language Pathologist, M.S., CCC-SLP, Brooklyn, NY
Alex Goldfarb, blogger and author, President of Litvinenko Justice Foundation, MA
Vladimir Golovanov, Professional in Financial Services, NY
Yelena Goltsman, Founder and Co-President, RUSA LGBT, New York, NY
Lyosha Gorshkov, PhD, Co-President, RUSA LGBT, New York, NY
Irina Gorskaya, Hypnotherapist .Brooklyn, NY
Andrew P. Grigorenko, BSEE, MSEE, IT specialist, Human Rights activist, trilingual author and journalist,
president of General Petro Grigorenko Foundation, New York, NY
Helen Groysman, IT professional, New Jersey
Tamara Gruzbarg, Big Data Specialist, Head of Industry Insights at ActionIQ, New York, NY
Vladimir Gurin, Professor, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Co-Founder and President of Russian-American Music Association, Boston, MA
Alexander Ivanov, MBA in Finance and Investment, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, Senior Accountant, New York, NY
Pavel Ivlev, Executive director of KRES Poliskola Russian-Speaking School, New-York, NY
Natalia Kamyshnikova, Professor at the University of Tennessee, PhD, author, Knoxville, TN
Henry Kapkanov, Driver, Philadelphia, PA
Yana Karlson, Scientific employer, Brooklyn, NY
Alexander Kashapov, Musician, journalist, observer at Radio Philadelphia, PA
Ana Khatsansky, Senior IT Professional, New York, NY
Kseniya Kirillova, Journalist, columnist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), expert at Free Russia Foundation (USA), WA
Andre Kleyner, PhD. Automotive Technology Leader, Indianapolis, IN
Rodion Kolesnikov, PhD, MBA, Business Improvement Expert, Brooklyn, NY
Victoria Kolesnikova, PhD, DVM, Veterinary Doctor, Brooklyn, NY
Vitaliy Konnov, Asst. Vice President in Barclays Capital, Sr. IT Consultant in TIAA-CREF, PhD in Mech. Engineering, retired, New York, NY
Igor Jerry Kuras, Russian poet, editor of the Etazhi magazine, MA
Alex Kuzmin, Member of the Anti-Putin movement, New York, NY
Elena Larchenko, VNSNY, HCC business development. Home Care Consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Gleb Latnik, Program director RUSA LGBT DC, Washington, DC
Dora Lauren, Senior Business Analyst and Data Analyst. Express Scripts, Fair Lawn, NJ
Igor Levin, PhD in Aerospace and energy efficiency. KS
Elena Leyderman, Software Engineer, retired, Brooklyn, NY
Miron Leznik, Senior IT Professional, West Milford, NJ
Eugene Linetsky, Blogger, columnist, Staten Island, NY
Alexander Lisyansky, Professor of Physics at Queens College of CUNY, NY
Pavel Litvinov, Member of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, veteran of Soviet human rights movement, NY
Leonid S. Martynyuk, Author, investigative journalist, co-author with Boris Nemtsov, NY
Maria Medvedeva, Certified Professional Coach, New York, NY
Stella Melamed, Licensed English-Russian/Ukrainian Medical and Legal Interpreter, Philadelphia, PA
Alexander Mikishev, professor at Sam Houston State University and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Houston, TX
Natasha Novitskaia-Adams, Award winning opera singer, dramatic mezzo, New York, NY
Galina Ocheretyansky, Fairfiels, CT
Karina Avanesian-Weinstein, DM, piano teacher and collaborative pianist, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Mikhail Oganov, CAMS technician, WA
Boris Palant, Attorney at Law, the first President of the American Association of Russian-Speaking Attorneys, lecturer. New York, NY
Svitlana Pavlenko, Financial accountant at a Law firm, Portland, OR
Anna Pervukhin, Attorney at Law, Eugene, OR
Eric Pervukhin, Professor at Missouri State University, Master of Fine Arts, Director of MFA program, Springfield, MO
Alexandre Peshansky, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Lead Bioinformatics Analyst, Emerson, NJ
Yulia Pessina, MBA, retired, Aberdeen, NJ
Andrei Piontkovsky, Senior Adviser, Free Russia Foundation, Washington, DC
Liudmila Poliakoff, Manager, Business Development Manager at IT ERP-Projects, retired, New York, NY
Elena Prigova, Journalist, owner of advertising agency, Staten Island, NY
Valeriy Privis, Entrepreneur, Miami, FL
Galina Rabinovich, Office manager, Reston, VA
Yuri Rashkin, Blogger, broadcaster, instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Rock County Supervisor, interpreter, WI
Vladimir Raskin, Senior Environmemetal Engineer, Philadelphia, PA
Michael Rorer, Mathematician, Data Architect, IT consultant, retired, Princeton, NJ
Alla Roytberg, Principal Attorney and Mediator, The Law Firm and Mediation Practice of Alla Roytberg, P.C., New York, NY
Vitaly Rozenshain, Sr. Construction Cost Consultant/Civil Engineer, retired, Brooklyn, NY
Lisa Salkin, IT professional, Boston, MA
Evgeny Salnikov, Principal Robotics Engineer, Amazon, Seattle WA.
Michael Salop, Journalist, IT tester, Chicago, IL
Nikolay Sergeevykh, Psychotherapist in private practice, Baltimore, MD
Victoria Seltser, Senior Business Analyst, Fair Lawn, NJ
Naza Semenoff, Management Consultant, NY
Irina Serova, Writer, homemaker, VT
Nina Serova, Musician and Piano Teacher, Los Angeles, CA.
Malka Shahar, Psychologist, Political and Public figure, Brooklyn, NY
Dmitriy M. Shenker, RA, AIA, Director of Architects Council of NYC, AIA Brooklyn President 2006-07 & 17, AIA NYS Director 2008-11, NY
Larissa Shenker, Research Scientist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Sergey Shilnov, Enterpreneur, NY
Yulia Shilnova, Sales representative, NY
Katia Shraga, Philologist, museum and exhibit content developer, archivist, Columbia University, New York, NY
Tetyana Sirman, Preschool director, Brooklyn, NY
Serge Skorodinsky, Software/hardware engineer, Brooklyn, NY
Sofya Slavina, Senior Database Analyst, Enterprise Data Architect, New York, NY
Irina Smirnova, Senior Software Engineer, Houston, TX
Lora Soroka, Assistant Archivist, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, CA
Ed Sorsher, Web development company, owner, NY
Aleksandr Spivak, senior developer, IT ADA, Chicago, IL
Yelena Starostenko, Accountant, payroll coordinator, JVS of Metro Detroit, MI
Galina Strukova, Physicist, North Potomac, MD
Inna Subotin, MSW, psychotherapist at Advanced Center for Psychotherapy, Forest Hills, NY
Alexandra Sviridova, Award-winning writer, award-winning movie- and TV-filmmaker, journalist, New York, NY
Yulia Timashpolsky, MD, New York, NY
Leonid Timashpolsky, MD, New York, NY
Anzhelika Tkachenko , Chemist, Staten Island, NY
Yuri Tkachenko, CAD operator, Staten Island, NY
Igor Tsesarski, Head of the Kontinent Media Group, Chicago, IL
Alexei Tsvetkov (Алексей Цветков), Russian poet, prose writer, essayist, reviewer, translator, NY
Alexandra Yarmak, Radiologic technologist, VA Medical Center, New York, NY
Dmitry Valuev, Community Development and Outreach Coordinator, Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Nadia Valueva, Community Development and Outreach Coordinator, Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Alexander Vinitsky, PhD, Affina Biotechnologies, President, New York, NY
Tatiana Yankelevich, former Director of Sakharov Program on Human Rights at Harvard University, Boston, MA
Igor Yarmak, Senior IT professional, New York, NY
Irene Vesne, Business banker at Santander Bank, NY
Alexander Weitsman, IT Manager, New York, NY
Igor Yevmenenko, Manager at the New York City Transit Authority, NY
Sergey Yudin, Self employed professional, Fort Mill, SC
Andrei Zagdansky, Award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer, Rockefeller Fellow, NJ
Sergey Zaitsev, President of SVZ Technologies, Minneapolis, MN
Alexander Zaporozhtsev, Sports trainer, human rights activist, Brooklyn, NY
Yulia Zaporozhtseva, Science teacher, Brooklyn, NY
Ilya Zaslavskiy, Head of Research, Free Russia Foundation, Washington, DC
Sergey Zatsepin, Director of Radio NVC, broadcaster, radio host, Chicago, IL
Alla Zeide, Cultural historian of Post-Revolutionary Russian emigration, New York, NY
Nina Zheltova, PhD in Economics, retired, NY

by Dmitry Valuev, the community development and outreach coordinator at the Free Russia Foundation in Washington, DC.

[emailpetition id=”1″]

[signaturelist id=”1″]

In response, an independent group of Russian-speaking immigrants has released a letter that disputes these claims. Well-known human rights activists, filmmakers, writers, journalists, lawyers, scientists, engineers, university professors, medical doctors, artists, professionals in various areas, and ordinary Russian-speaking Americans have signed the response, which says that the Congress of Russian Americans (CRA) does not represent them or their values. Calling the CRA letter “yet another act ” in Russia’s ongoing info war against the United States, its 142 signatories say that they are “are appalled by the CRA’s audacity in their attempt to create an impression they speak for the entire Russian-speaking community.”

A copy of the letter follows. 

—-

April 16, 2018

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We, the undersigned, are Americans who immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union and Russia. We come from different professional spheres and we do not represent any interests of the Russian government or its proxies.

We are addressing you in reaction to the letter reportedly sent to you by the chairperson of the Congress of Russian Americans (CRA), a seemingly pro-Kremlin organization. Broadly circulated in various media and social networks, and supported by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin-controlled propaganda networks, Sputnik and RT (Russia Today), that letter claims to represent the opinion of “5 million Russian-speaking Americans.” It deplores the state of Russian-American relations, the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, and emphatically denies Russia’s involvement in recent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, UK. The letter also maintains that the negative connotation of Russia in American media leads to the discrimination of Russian-speaking community in the USA. There is little doubt that the CRA letter is yet another act in an ongoing informational warfare waged against the United States by the Russian government. We are appalled by the CRA’s audacity in their attempt to create an impression they speak for the entire Russian-speaking community. Likewise, we find it troubling that the CRA letter received wide coverage in the government-controlled media inside the Russian Federation, adding to its relentless manipulation of public opinion.

The segment of Russian speakers that we represent does not share any of that text’s claims. We do not support actions and activities of the Russian government and President Putin, which threaten peace, stability and democratic values whether in Georgia, Ukraine, the Middle East, Europe or USA. We fully support the measures by the American administration against the Russian ruling elite, including expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats. We strongly condemn unlawful actions of the Russian government for its various acts of aggression against its neighbors, its shameless interference in political affairs of many countries and its acts of terrorism abroad, especially its recent chemical attack in Salisbury, UK. We also draw your attention to the unlawful repressions of internal dissent, and persecution of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians in illegally annexed Crimea. We expect the US administration to develop a consistent policy on Russia founded on respect for human rights and centuries-long American democratic values.

Finally, none among our numerous respondents reported any incidents of discrimination due to their Russian origin. Despite all the tensions and complications caused by the current Russian leadership, we feel welcome in America and appreciate freedom and opportunities in our new American homeland.

We trust that our voice is heard and accorded the most serious attention for the sake of security and prosperity of this country of which we became its legitimate and proud constituents.

Most respectfully,

Г-н. Президент!

Мы, нижеподписавшиеся, являемся жителями США, эмигрировашими из бывшего СССР и Российской Федерации. Мы связаны с различными профессиональными сферами и не представляем какие бы то ни было интересы Российского правительства и его представителей.

Мы обращаемся к Вам, считая необходимым отреагировать на письмо, которое, по сообщениям СМИ, направлено Вам председателем “Конгресса русских американцев” (КРА), по всем признакам, прокремлёвской организации. Это письмо, широко распространяемое в СМИ и социальных сетях, при содействии Российского МИД и контролируемых Кремлём пропагандистских каналов, Sputnik и RT, претендует на то, чтобы выражать мнение “пяти миллионов русскоговорящих американцев”. Авторы письма сетуют на то, что высылка 60-ти российских дипломатов негативно влияет на российско-американские отношения; они отрицают российское участие в недавнем отравлении Сергея Скрипаля и его дочери в британском городе Солсбери. В письме также утверждается, что в результате негативного изображения России в американских СМИ русскоговорящие американцы испытывают дискриминацию. Очень мало сомнений в том, что письмо КРА представляет собой часть информационной войны, которую российское руководство ведёт против Соединённых Штатов. Мы глубоко возмущены наглостью КРА, осмеливающейся выступать от имени всего русскоязычного сообщества Америки. Мы также обеспокоены тем, что письмо КРА широко распространяется внутри Российской Федерации государственными СМИ, расширяя и усугубляя манипулирование общественным мнением.

Та часть русскоязычного сообщества, которую мы представляем, не разделяет утверждений, содержащихся в тексте упомянутого письма. Мы не поддерживаем действия и акции российского правительства и президента Путина, которые угрожают миру, стабильности и демократическим ценостям – будь то в Грузии, Украине, на Ближнем Востоке, в Европе или в США. Мы полностью одобряем меры, предпринятые Вашей администрацией против российской правящей элиты, включая высылку 60-ти российских дипломатов. Мы решительно осуждаем противоправные действия правительства РФ, которое осуществляет агрессию против соседних государств, беззастенчивое вмешательство в политическую деятельность других государств и акты терроризма за рубежом, особенно недавнюю химическую атаку в Солсбери. Мы также хотим обратить Ваше внимание на репрессии в отношении внутренней оппозиции и преследования крымских татар и украинцев в незаконно оккупированном Крыму. Мы рассчитываем на то, что администрация США будет проводить последовательную политику в отношении России, основанную на уважении к правам человека и на многовековых американских демократических ценностях.

И, наконец, никто из наших многочисленных респондентов не сообщал о случаях дискриминации, обусловленных ассоциацией их с Россией. Несмотря на обострение напряжённости между США и Россией, созданное нынешним российским руководством, мы ощущаем себя в Америке как дома и благодарны за предоставленную нам свободу и широкие возможности, которыми мы пользуемся на нашей новой американской родине.

Мы верим, что наш голос будет услышан и со всей серьёзностью принят во внимание – ради безопасности и процветания нашей страны, частью которой мы себя с законной гордостью считаем.

С наилучшими пожеланиями,

Письмо подписали:

(144 signers)

Joseph Adelsky, PhD in polymer chemistry, retired. New York, NY
Albert Akselrod, Chief designer in the shipbuilding industry, retired, Atlanta, GA
Leonid Aptekar, Senior IT professional at major financial companies, retired, Staten Island, NY
Natalia Arno, President of Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Oleg Asaulenko, Chief Cameraman at RTN Channel, documentary filmmaker, photographer, Brooklyn, NY
Igor Baboshkin, Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots in U.S.A., Chairman, New York, NY
Michael Berg, Center Associative scientist at Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, MA
Yaroslav Beklemishev, Journalist, broadcaster, radio host, Boca Raton, FL
Stella Belenkaya, Senior IT Professional, Washington, DC
Lina Bernstein, Professor Emerita of Russian and Comparative Literature at Franklin & Marshall College, Amherst, MA
Yakov Brayer, Senior IT professional at major Financial organisation, New York, NY
Michael Belkin, Chief Information Officer, Union for Reform Judaism, New York, NY
Greg Bratshpis, Director, Deutsche Bank, New York, NY
Irina Brovina, Actress, New York, NY
Vlad Burlutskiy, Independent political consultant, New York, NY
Kira Chernyak, Ultrasound Technologist, New York , NY
Marina Chernyak, Register Nurse, Valley Home Care, NJ
Vladimir Davidenko, Artist, Brooklyn, NY
Regina Davydova, Travel consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Lev Deych, PhD. Professor of Physics at Queens College of CUNY, New York, NY
Eugenia Dimant, Librarian, Boston, MA
Oleg Dmitriev, Senior IT Analyst, Tampa, FL
Katherine Dovlatov, Translator, editor, manager of the Dovlatov estate, Forest Hills, NY
Elena Dubinets, VP at Seattle Symphony, Bellevue, WA
Sergey Dubinets, Senior software engineer at Microsoft, Bellevue, WA
Anzhelina Fesun (Zeppieri) Travel consultant, Queens, NY
Maina Finkelshteyn, Veteran of public education in Russia, Brooklyn, NY
Alexander J Flint, Blogger, columnist, NY
Vladlen Fridman The author of “HEM Nanoconcrete” technology, retiree, Blakeslee, PA
Igor Frolov, IT Professional, Lead Developer, Ivyland, PA
Boris Frumin, Professor Tish School of the Arts, NYU, New York, NY
Yevgenia Frumin, Real Estate Specialist, Miami Beach, FL
Tatiana Gaines, ESL Instructor, Bethel Board of education, CT
Dmitry Garanin, Professor of Physics at Lehman College of the CUNY, Fellow of the American Physical Society,
Russian poet and essayist, NY
Alim Gelyastanov, Data analyst, Austin, TX
Alexander Genis, Writer, essayist, literary critic, broadcaster, radio host, NJ
Irena Genseruk, Home inspector CPI, Philadelphia, PA
Vitaliy Genseruk, Independent Contractor HVAC, Philadelphia, PA
Olga Gilpatrick, Speech-Language Pathologist, M.S., CCC-SLP, Brooklyn, NY
Alex Goldfarb, blogger and author, President of Litvinenko Justice Foundation, MA
Vladimir Golovanov, Professional in Financial Services, NY
Yelena Goltsman, Founder and Co-President, RUSA LGBT, New York, NY
Lyosha Gorshkov, PhD, Co-President, RUSA LGBT, New York, NY
Irina Gorskaya, Hypnotherapist .Brooklyn, NY
Andrew P. Grigorenko, BSEE, MSEE, IT specialist, Human Rights activist, trilingual author and journalist,
president of General Petro Grigorenko Foundation, New York, NY
Helen Groysman, IT professional, New Jersey
Tamara Gruzbarg, Big Data Specialist, Head of Industry Insights at ActionIQ, New York, NY
Vladimir Gurin, Professor, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Co-Founder and President of Russian-American Music Association, Boston, MA
Alexander Ivanov, MBA in Finance and Investment, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, Senior Accountant, New York, NY
Pavel Ivlev, Executive director of KRES Poliskola Russian-Speaking School, New-York, NY
Natalia Kamyshnikova, Professor at the University of Tennessee, PhD, author, Knoxville, TN
Henry Kapkanov, Driver, Philadelphia, PA
Yana Karlson, Scientific employer, Brooklyn, NY
Alexander Kashapov, Musician, journalist, observer at Radio Philadelphia, PA
Ana Khatsansky, Senior IT Professional, New York, NY
Kseniya Kirillova, Journalist, columnist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), expert at Free Russia Foundation (USA), WA
Andre Kleyner, PhD. Automotive Technology Leader, Indianapolis, IN
Rodion Kolesnikov, PhD, MBA, Business Improvement Expert, Brooklyn, NY
Victoria Kolesnikova, PhD, DVM, Veterinary Doctor, Brooklyn, NY
Vitaliy Konnov, Asst. Vice President in Barclays Capital, Sr. IT Consultant in TIAA-CREF, PhD in Mech. Engineering, retired, New York, NY
Igor Jerry Kuras, Russian poet, editor of the Etazhi magazine, MA
Alex Kuzmin, Member of the Anti-Putin movement, New York, NY
Elena Larchenko, VNSNY, HCC business development. Home Care Consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Gleb Latnik, Program director RUSA LGBT DC, Washington, DC
Dora Lauren, Senior Business Analyst and Data Analyst. Express Scripts, Fair Lawn, NJ
Igor Levin, PhD in Aerospace and energy efficiency. KS
Elena Leyderman, Software Engineer, retired, Brooklyn, NY
Miron Leznik, Senior IT Professional, West Milford, NJ
Eugene Linetsky, Blogger, columnist, Staten Island, NY
Alexander Lisyansky, Professor of Physics at Queens College of CUNY, NY
Pavel Litvinov, Member of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, veteran of Soviet human rights movement, NY
Leonid S. Martynyuk, Author, investigative journalist, co-author with Boris Nemtsov, NY
Maria Medvedeva, Certified Professional Coach, New York, NY
Stella Melamed, Licensed English-Russian/Ukrainian Medical and Legal Interpreter, Philadelphia, PA
Alexander Mikishev, professor at Sam Houston State University and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Houston, TX
Natasha Novitskaia-Adams, Award winning opera singer, dramatic mezzo, New York, NY
Galina Ocheretyansky, Fairfiels, CT
Karina Avanesian-Weinstein, DM, piano teacher and collaborative pianist, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Mikhail Oganov, CAMS technician, WA
Boris Palant, Attorney at Law, the first President of the American Association of Russian-Speaking Attorneys, lecturer. New York, NY
Svitlana Pavlenko, Financial accountant at a Law firm, Portland, OR
Anna Pervukhin, Attorney at Law, Eugene, OR
Eric Pervukhin, Professor at Missouri State University, Master of Fine Arts, Director of MFA program, Springfield, MO
Alexandre Peshansky, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Lead Bioinformatics Analyst, Emerson, NJ
Yulia Pessina, MBA, retired, Aberdeen, NJ
Andrei Piontkovsky, Senior Adviser, Free Russia Foundation, Washington, DC
Liudmila Poliakoff, Manager, Business Development Manager at IT ERP-Projects, retired, New York, NY
Elena Prigova, Journalist, owner of advertising agency, Staten Island, NY
Valeriy Privis, Entrepreneur, Miami, FL
Galina Rabinovich, Office manager, Reston, VA
Yuri Rashkin, Blogger, broadcaster, instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Rock County Supervisor, interpreter, WI
Vladimir Raskin, Senior Environmemetal Engineer, Philadelphia, PA
Michael Rorer, Mathematician, Data Architect, IT consultant, retired, Princeton, NJ
Alla Roytberg, Principal Attorney and Mediator, The Law Firm and Mediation Practice of Alla Roytberg, P.C., New York, NY
Vitaly Rozenshain, Sr. Construction Cost Consultant/Civil Engineer, retired, Brooklyn, NY
Lisa Salkin, IT professional, Boston, MA
Evgeny Salnikov, Principal Robotics Engineer, Amazon, Seattle WA.
Michael Salop, Journalist, IT tester, Chicago, IL
Nikolay Sergeevykh, Psychotherapist in private practice, Baltimore, MD
Victoria Seltser, Senior Business Analyst, Fair Lawn, NJ
Naza Semenoff, Management Consultant, NY
Irina Serova, Writer, homemaker, VT
Nina Serova, Musician and Piano Teacher, Los Angeles, CA.
Malka Shahar, Psychologist, Political and Public figure, Brooklyn, NY
Dmitriy M. Shenker, RA, AIA, Director of Architects Council of NYC, AIA Brooklyn President 2006-07 & 17, AIA NYS Director 2008-11, NY
Larissa Shenker, Research Scientist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Sergey Shilnov, Enterpreneur, NY
Yulia Shilnova, Sales representative, NY
Katia Shraga, Philologist, museum and exhibit content developer, archivist, Columbia University, New York, NY
Tetyana Sirman, Preschool director, Brooklyn, NY
Serge Skorodinsky, Software/hardware engineer, Brooklyn, NY
Sofya Slavina, Senior Database Analyst, Enterprise Data Architect, New York, NY
Irina Smirnova, Senior Software Engineer, Houston, TX
Lora Soroka, Assistant Archivist, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, CA
Ed Sorsher, Web development company, owner, NY
Aleksandr Spivak, senior developer, IT ADA, Chicago, IL
Yelena Starostenko, Accountant, payroll coordinator, JVS of Metro Detroit, MI
Galina Strukova, Physicist, North Potomac, MD
Inna Subotin, MSW, psychotherapist at Advanced Center for Psychotherapy, Forest Hills, NY
Alexandra Sviridova, Award-winning writer, award-winning movie- and TV-filmmaker, journalist, New York, NY
Yulia Timashpolsky, MD, New York, NY
Leonid Timashpolsky, MD, New York, NY
Anzhelika Tkachenko , Chemist, Staten Island, NY
Yuri Tkachenko, CAD operator, Staten Island, NY
Igor Tsesarski, Head of the Kontinent Media Group, Chicago, IL
Alexei Tsvetkov (Алексей Цветков), Russian poet, prose writer, essayist, reviewer, translator, NY
Alexandra Yarmak, Radiologic technologist, VA Medical Center, New York, NY
Dmitry Valuev, Community Development and Outreach Coordinator, Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Nadia Valueva, Community Development and Outreach Coordinator, Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Alexander Vinitsky, PhD, Affina Biotechnologies, President, New York, NY
Tatiana Yankelevich, former Director of Sakharov Program on Human Rights at Harvard University, Boston, MA
Igor Yarmak, Senior IT professional, New York, NY
Irene Vesne, Business banker at Santander Bank, NY
Alexander Weitsman, IT Manager, New York, NY
Igor Yevmenenko, Manager at the New York City Transit Authority, NY
Sergey Yudin, Self employed professional, Fort Mill, SC
Andrei Zagdansky, Award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer, Rockefeller Fellow, NJ
Sergey Zaitsev, President of SVZ Technologies, Minneapolis, MN
Alexander Zaporozhtsev, Sports trainer, human rights activist, Brooklyn, NY
Yulia Zaporozhtseva, Science teacher, Brooklyn, NY
Ilya Zaslavskiy, Head of Research, Free Russia Foundation, Washington, DC
Sergey Zatsepin, Director of Radio NVC, broadcaster, radio host, Chicago, IL
Alla Zeide, Cultural historian of Post-Revolutionary Russian emigration, New York, NY
Nina Zheltova, PhD in Economics, retired, NY

by Dmitry Valuev, the community development and outreach coordinator at the Free Russia Foundation in Washington, DC.

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Call for Submissions – The Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly vol. 3

Oct 26 2020

The Free Russia Foundation invites submissions to The Kremlins Influence Quarterly, a journal that explores and analyzes manifestations of the malign influence of Putin’s Russia in Europe.

We understand malign influence in the European context as a specific type of influence that directly or indirectly subverts and undermines European values and democratic institutions. We follow the Treaty on European Union in understanding European values that are the following: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. Democratic institutions are guardians of European values, and among them we highlight representative political parties; free and fair elections; an impartial justice system; free, independent and pluralistic media; and civil society.

Your contribution to The Kremlins Influence Quarterly would focus on one European country from the EU, Eastern Partnership or Western Balkans, and on one particular area where you want to explore Russian malign influence: politics, diplomacy, military domain, business, media, civil society, academia, religion, crime, or law.

Each chapter in The Kremlins Influence Quarterly should be around 5 thousand words including footnotes. The Free Russia Foundation offers an honorarium for contributions accepted for publication in the journal.

If you are interested in submitting a chapter, please send us a brief description of your chapter and its title (250 words) to the following e-mail address: info@4freerussia.org. Please put The Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly as a subject line of your message.

Free Russia Foundation’s Press Release on Submission of Article 15 Communication to the International Criminal Court

Oct 06 2020

On 21 September 2020, the Free Russia Foundation submitted a Communication to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Office (in The Hague, Netherlands) seeking accountability for Crimean and Russian authorities concerning international crimes perpetrated during Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea. The Communication was prepared in cooperation with Global Rights Compliance and Center for Civil Liberties and is based on a focused inquiry conducted over the past year. In our inquiry, we documented crimes as part of a systematic, planned attack by the Russian state against civilians and groups in Crimea in order to discourage them from opposing the illegal occupation of Crimea and to force their departure from the peninsula. Crimes against civilians included unlawful arrests, beatings, torture, enforced disappearances, and other inhumane acts causing severe mental and/or physical pain. In particular, the crimes targeted the Crimean Tatars, a native ethnic group who had only recently returned to their homeland, having previously been forcefully and brutally displaced by the Soviet Union in 1944.

One of the principal coercive acts was the illegal detention and concomitant violence before, during, and after the imprisonment of political prisoners. Most of those detained were arrested by Russian and Crimean authorities on terrorism charges, but it was their legal, pro-Ukrainian advocacy that led to their imprisonment. In addition, trials of those arbitrarily detained were conducted in wholesale disregard of their fair trial rights. For example, some of those illegally imprisoned were denied a speedy trial, access to independent lawyers, and the opportunity to defend themselves against their arrest in a courtroom.

In order to force those illegally detained to confess to crimes they did not commit, Russian and Crimean authorities also perpetrated acts of torture and cruel or degrading treatment, the levying of additional charges against them, even more inhumane prison conditions, denial of communications with their families and threats made against them, enforced disappearances, and even, in at least one case, a mock execution.

Other inhumane acts include “punitive psychiatry” and the denial of adequate prison conditions, including the following: (i) feeding people inedible food or, at times, no food at all; (ii) facing severe overcrowding in prisons; (iii) denial of regular water supply; (iv) threats of assault against them by prison cellmates; and (v) adding pork to food – prohibited for observant Muslims. Further, medical attention was systematically inadequate or denied for many individuals.

Concerning acts of torture, it was perpetrated by different Russian authorities, including the FSB. Allegations include the use of electric shocks in an effort to get an accused to confess. One was beaten in the head, kidneys, arms and legs with an iron pipe. With another, fingers were broken. Still another endured spinal bruises and having a plastic bag placed over his head to the point of unconsciousness. Further, threats of sexual violence against a detained man were made. Murder as well. Hands were broken, teeth were knocked out in still another.

Trials were largely held behind closed doors for illegitimate reasons, and many of the witnesses were secret not only to the public but also to the Accused. Further, credible allegations exist that, at times, there were FSB or other agents in the room, silently instructing witnesses what to say and how the judges should rule. This adds credence to words, according to the Kyiv Post, heard by Arsen Dzhepparov from a senior FSB lieutenant who stated “I will prove by all possible – and impossible – means that [an Accused is] guilty – even if he isn’t guilty”.

Concerning the crime of persecution, nearly all of these deprivations of fundamental rights were carried out with discriminatory intent. Specifically, these groups were targeted due to their political view – namely, by peacefully opposing the illegal occupation of their country. Some were targeted on ethnic grounds or religious grounds on the basis of their Crimean Tatar background.

War crimes, another group of crimes punished at the ICC, were also perpetrated in addition to or in the alternative to the crimes against humanity. This includes the crime of torture, outrages against personal dignity, unlawful confinement, wilfully depriving protected persons of the rights of a fair and regular trial, and the transfer of the occupying power of parts of its population into the territory it occupies or the deportation of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory.

All these crimes had the ultimate objective of the criminal enterprise – the removal of pro-Ukrainian elements out of Crimea and the annexation of Crimea into the Russian Federation without opposition, including the installation of pro-Russian elements, which include the emigration of more than 70,000 Russians, the illegal imposition of Russian law in the occupied territory, forcing Russian nationality on many Crimeans, and the appropriation of public property.

Ultimately, we hope that all the information gathered by the ICC in the context of its preliminary investigation will lead the ICC to investigate mid- to high-level Russian and Crimean officials on this basis. The international community expects responsible global leadership that follows the rule of law and expects it – no matter the situation – to be respected, especially from a state that is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. When this fails to happen, the international community must demand accountability. We hope that an investigation can be opened and responsible officials of the Russian Federation will be investigated. After an investigation that conforms to international best practices, responsible persons should be charged with the systematic perpetration of international crimes.

Novichok Use Implicates Putin’s Government in Navalny’s Poisoning

Sep 02 2020

Today, the German government has announced that Russian pro-democracy leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned by Novichok. Novichok is a deadly nerve agent developed by the Soviet government chemical weapons program and used on several occasions by the Russian government to kill its critics in the recent years.

To restate the obvious, Novichok is a poison that can only be accessed with the authority of the Kremlin. Therefore, today’s announcement by German officials  directly implicates the Kremlin and Putin in the high-profile assassination attempt on Navalny.

The choice of Novichok was not just a means  to silence Mr. Navalny, but a loud, brazen and menacing message sent by Putin to the world: dare to criticize me, and you may lose your life.

The announcement by the German government of its intent to formally notify the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (‘OPCW’) of the use of Novichok against Navalny is a meek bureaucratic half-measure that fails to acknowledge the extraordinary threat to human life posed by Putin’s regime everywhere. Taken together with Angela Merkel’s promise earlier this week to help Putin finish his Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite an international outcry amounts to condoning the poisoning and normalizing it into a new modus operandi where Putin’s murders go unpunished. Free Russia Foundation urges the leaders of the EU, its Member States and the U.S. Government to take an urgent and drastic action to punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime not only to serve justice, but to establish a powerful deterrent against new attacks by Putin’s regime globally.

Free Russia Foundation Statement on Kremlin’s Interference in Elections in Georgia

Aug 26 2020

We are deeply concerned with information recently distributed by the well-respected authoritative source Center “Dossier.” According to “Dossier,” the Kremlin is using Russian political expert Sergey Mikheev and consulting company “Politsecrets” to manipulate Georgian society, distribute disinformation and anti-democratic narratives, undermine Georgia’s Western aspirations, and interfere in free and fair elections in Georgia scheduled for October 2020.

More

Free Russia Foundation Calls for Investigation into Alexey Navalny’s Poisoning

Aug 20 2020

Free Russia Foundation is gravely concerned about the life and safety of Alexey Navalny. More