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.

[emailpetition id=”1″]

[signaturelist id=”1″]

Lukashenka’s Ryanair Hijacking Proves Human Rights is a Global Security Issue

May 24 2021

The forced diversion and landing in Minsk of a May 23, 2021 Ryanair flight en route from Greece to Lithuania, and the subsequent arrest of dissident Roman Protasevich who was aboard the flight, by the illegitimate Lukashenka regime pose an overt political and military challenge to Europe, NATO and the broad global community.  NATO members must respond forcefully by demanding (1) the immediate release of Protasevich and other political prisoners in Belarus, and (2) a prompt transition to a government that represents the will of the people of Belarus. 

The West’s passivity in the face of massive, continuous and growing oppression of the Belarusian people since summer 2020 has emboldened Lukashenka to commit what some European leaders have appropriately termed an act of “state terrorism.”

The West has shown a manifest disposition to appease Putin’s regime —Lukashenka’s sole security guarantor. It has made inappropriate overtures for a Putin-Biden summit and waived  Nord Stream 2 sanctions mandated by Congress. These actions and signals have come against the backdrop of the 2020 Russian constitutional coup, the assassination attempt against Navalny and his subsequent imprisonment on patently bogus charges, the arrests of close to 13,000 Russian activists, and the outlawing of all opposition movements and activities. All this has led Putin and Lukashenka to conclude that they eliminate their political opponents with impunity.  

Today’s state-ordered hijacking of an international passenger airplane—employing intelligence agents aboard the flight,  and accomplished via an advanced fighter-interceptor—to apprehend an exiled activist, underscores that violation of human rights is not only a domestic issue, but a matter of international safety and security.  Western governments unwilling to stand up for the victims of Putin’s and Lukashenka’s regimes are inviting future crimes against their own citizens. 

Absent a meaningful and swift response, the escalation of violence and intensity of international crimes committed  by Lukashenka’s and Putin’s regime will continue, destabilizing the world and discrediting the Western democratic institutions. 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – THE KREMLIN’S INFLUENCE QUARTERLY

May 20 2021

The Free Russia Foundation invites submissions to The Kremlin’s 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 Kremlin’s 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 Kremlin’s 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.

Criminal operations by Russia’s GRU worldwide: expert discussion

May 06 2021

Please join Free Russia Foundation for an expert brief and discussion on latest criminal operations conducted by Russia’s GRU worldwide with:

  • Christo Grozev, Bellingcat— the legendary investigator who uncovered the Kremlin’s involvement, perpetrators and timeline of Navalny’s assassination attempt. 
  • Jakub Janda, Director of the European Values Think Tank (the Czech Republic) where he researches Russia’s hostile influence operations in the West
  • Michael Weiss, Director of Special Investigations at Free Russia Foundation where he leads the Lubyanka Files project, which consists of translating and curating KGB training manuals still used in modern Russia for the purposes of educating Vladimir Putin’s spies.

The event will take place on Tuesday, May 11 from 11 am to 12:30pm New York Time (17:00 in Brussels) and include an extensive Q&A with the audience moderated by Ilya Zaslavskiy, Senior Fellow at Free Russia Foundation and head of Underminers.info, a research project on post-Soviet kleptocracy

The event will be broadcast live at: https://www.facebook.com/events/223365735790798/

  • The discussion will cover Russia’s most recent and ongoing covert violent operations, direct political interference, oligarchic penetration with money and influence; 
  • GRU’s structure and approach to conducting operations in Europe
  • Trends and forecasts on how data availability will impact both, the Kremlin’s operations and their investigation by governments and activists; 
  • EU and national European government response and facilitation of operations on their soil; 
  • Recommendations for effective counter to the security and political threats posed by Russian security services. 

YouTube Against Navalny’s Smart Voting

May 06 2021

On May 6, 2020, at least five YouTube channels belonging to key Russian opposition leaders and platforms received notifications from YouTube that some of their content had been removed due to its being qualified as “spam, deceptive practices and scams”. 

They included: 

Ilya Yashin (343k YouTube subscribers)

Vladimir Milov (218k YouTube subscribers) 

Leonid Volkov (117k YouTube subscribers)

Novaya Gazeta (277k YouTube Subscribers) 

Sota Vision (248k YouTube Subscribers)

Most likely, there are other Russian pro-democracy channels that have received similar notifications at the same time, and we are putting together the list of all affected by this censorship campaign. 

The identical letters received from YouTube by the five account holders stated:

“Our team has reviewed your content, and, unfortunately, we think it violates our spam, deceptive practices and scams policy. We’ve removed the following content from YouTube:

URL: https://votesmart.appspot.com/

YouTube has removed urls from descriptions of videos posted on these accounts that linked to Alexey Navalny’s Smart Voting website (votesmart.appspot.com).

By doing this, and to our great shock and disbelief, YouTube has acted to enforce the Kremlin’s policies by qualifying Alexey Navalny’s Smart Voting system and its website as “spam, deceptive practices and scams”. 

This action has not only technically disrupted communication for the Russian civil society which is now under a deadly siege by Putin’s regime, but it has rendered a serious and lasting damage to its reputation and legitimacy of Smart Voting approach. 

In reality, Smart Voting system is not a spam, scam or a “deceptive practice”, but instead it’s a fully legitimate system of choosing and supporting candidates in Russian elections who have a chance of winning against the ruling “United Russia” party candidates. There’s absolutely nothing illegal, deceptive or fraudulent about the Smart Voting or any materials on its website.

We don’t know the reasons behind such YouTube actions, but they are an unacceptable suppression of a constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the Russian people and help the Kremlin’s suppression of civil rights and freedoms by banning the Smart Voting system and not allowing free political competition with the ruling “United Russia” party. 

This is an extremely dangerous precedent in an environment where opposition activities in Russia are being literally outlawed;  key opposition figures are jailed, exiled, arrested and attacked with criminal investigations; independent election campaigning is prohibited; and social media networks remain among the very few channels still available to the Russian opposition to communicate with the ordinary Russians.

We demand a  swift and decisive action on this matter from the international community, to make sure that YouTube corrects its stance toward Russian opposition channels, and ensures that such suppression of peaceful, legal  pro-democracy voices does not happen again. 

FRF Lauds New US Sanctions Targeting the Kremlin’s Perpetrators in Crimea, Calls for Their Expansion

Apr 15 2021

On April 15, 2021,  President Biden signed new sanctions against a number of officials and agents of the Russian Federation in connection with malign international activities conducted by the Russian government.

The list of individuals sanctioned by the new law includes Leonid Mikhalyuk, director of the Federal Security Service in the Russian-occupied Crimea.

A report issued by Free Russia Foundation, Media Initiative for Human Rights and Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union in December 202, identified 16 officials from Russian law enforcement and security agencies as well as the judiciary operating on the territory of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula currently occupied by the Russian Federation. These individuals have been either directly involved or have overseen political persecution of three prominent Crimean human rights defenders – Emir-Usein Kuku, Sever Mustafayev and Emil Kurbedinov.

Leonid Mikhailiuk is one of these officials. He has been directly involved and directed the repressive campaign in the occupied Crimea, including persecution of innocent people on terrorism charges and massive illegal searches. The persecution of Server Mustafayev was conducted under his supervision. As the head of the FSB branch in Crimea, he is in charge of its operation and all operatives working on politically motivated cases are his subordinates. 

Within the extremely centralized system of the Russian security services, Mikhailiuk is clearly at the top rank of organized political persecution and human rights violations.

Free Russia Foundation welcomes the new sanctions and hopes that all other individuals identified in the report will also be held accountable.