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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Free Russia Foundation demands Navalny’s immediate release

Jan 17 2021

On January 17, 2021, Putin’s agents arrested Alexey Navalny as he returned to Russia from Germany where he was treated for a near-deadly poisoning perpetrated by state-directed assassins.

Navalny’s illegal arrest constitutes kidnapping. He is kept incommunicado from his lawyer and family at an unknown location and his life is in danger.

Free Russia Foundation demands his immediate release and an international investigation of crimes committed against him by Putin’s government.

The European Court of Human Rights Recognizes Complaints on Violations in “Ukraine v. Russia” as Admissible

Jan 14 2021

On January 14, 2021, the European Court of Human Rights published its decision on the case “Ukraine v. Russia”. The Grand Chamber of the Court has recognized complaints No. 20958/14 and No. 38334/18 as partially admissible for consideration on the merits. The decision will be followed by a judgment at a later date.

The case concerns the consideration of a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights related to Russia’s systematic administrative practices in Crimea. 

The admissibility of the case is based on the fact that, since 2014, the Russian Federation has exercised effective control over the territory of Crimea, and, accordingly, is fully responsible for compliance with the norms of the European Convention on Human Rights in Crimea. The Court now needs to determine the specific circumstances of the case and establish the facts regarding violations of Articles of the Convention during two periods: from February 27, 2014 to March 18, 2014 (the period of the Russian invasion); and from March 18, 2014 onward (the period during which the Russian Federation has exercised effective control over Crimea).

The Court has established that prima facie it has sufficient evidence of systematic administrative practice concerning the following circumstances:

  • forced rendition and the lack of an effective investigation into such a practice under Article 2; 
  • cruel treatment and unlawful detention under Articles 3 and 5; 
  • extending application of Russian law into Crimea with the result that, as of  February 27, 2014, the courts in Crimea could not be considered to have been “established by law” as defined by Article 6; 
  • automatic imposition of Russian citizenship and unreasonable searches of private dwellings under Article 8; 
  • harassment and intimidation of religious leaders not conforming to the Russian Orthodox faith, arbitrary raids of places of worship and confiscation of religious property under Article 9;
  • suppression of non-Russian media under Article 10; 
  • prohibition of public gatherings and manifestations of support, as well as intimidation and arbitrary detention of organizers of demonstrations under Article 11; 
  • expropriation without compensation of property from civilians and private enterprises under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1;
  • suppression of the Ukrainian language in schools and harassment of Ukrainian-speaking children under Article 2 of Protocol No. 1; 6 
  • restricting freedom of movement between Crimea and mainland Ukraine, resulting from the de facto transformation (by Russia) of the administrative delimitation into a border (between Russia and Ukraine) under Article 2 of Protocol No. 4; and, 
  • discriminating against Crimean Tatars under Article 14, taken in conjunction with Articles 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the Convention and with Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the Convention.

Cases between states are the rarest category considered by the ECHR. Almost all cases considered in Strasbourg concern individuals or organizations and involve illegal actions or inaction of the states’ parties to the Convention. However, Art. 33 of this Convention provides that “any High Contracting Party may refer to the Court the question of any alleged violation of the provisions of the Convention and its Protocols by another High Contracting Party.” In the entire history of the ECHR since 1953, there have been only 27 such cases. Two of them are joint cases against Russia, both of which concern the Russian Federation’s aggression on the territory of its neighboring states, Georgia and Ukraine.

New Year’s Blessings to All

Dec 30 2020

While 2020 gave us unprecedented challenges, it created transformative changes in the way we work and communicate. The hours of Zoom calls seemingly brought us all closer together as we got a glimpse into each other’s makeshift home offices along with interruption by kids and the family pets. Remote work also made us appreciate human interactions, in-person events and trips much more!

As 2020 comes to an end, we want to especially thank our supporters who continued to believe in our mission and the value of our hard work, and we hope the coming year brings all of us progress and growth for democracy throughout the world. We’d also like to thank our partners and staff in the U.S. and abroad, and we know how hard everyone has worked under difficult world changes to achieve so many of our objectives this year.

We send our best wishes to all who have stayed in the fight for democratic reforms and for the values of basic human rights. We look forward to a new year with the hope of many positive changes to come.

– Natalia Arno and the Free Russia Foundation team.

International Criminal Court Asks for Full Probe Into Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Dec 14 2020

On December 11, 2020, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda, issued a statement on the preliminary examination of the situation in Ukraine by the ICC Office of the Prosecutor.

According to the findings of the examination, the situation in Ukraine meets the statutory criteria to launch an investigation. The preliminary examination of the situation in Ukraine was opened on 24 April 2014.

Specifically, and without prejudice to any other crimes which may be identified during the course of an investigation, Office of the Prosecutor has concluded that there is a reasonable basis at this time to believe that a broad range of conduct constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the Court have been committed in the context of the situation in Ukraine.

These findings will be spelled out in more detail in the annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities issued by the Office and include three broad clusters of victimization:

1.     crimes committed in the context of the conduct of hostilities;

2.     crimes committed during detentions;

3.     crimes committed in Crimea.

These crimes, committed by the different parties to the conflict, were sufficiently grave to warrant investigation by Office of the Prosecutor, both in quantitative and qualitative terms.

Having examined the information available, the Prosecutor concluded that the competent authorities in Ukraine and/or in the Russian Federation are either inactive in relation to the alleged perpetrators, or do not have access to them.

The next step will be to request authorization from the Judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court to open investigations.

The Prosecutor urges the international community, including the governments of Ukraine and Russia, to cooperate. This will determine how justice will be served both on domestic and the international level.

We remind you that on September 21, 2020, Free Russia Foundation sent a special Communication to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (the Hague, the Netherlands) asking to bring Crimean and Russian authorities to justice for international crimes committed during the Russian occupation of Crimea.

Comment by Scott Martin (Global Rights Compliance LLP):

As Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reaches the end of her tenure as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, she announced yesterday that a reasonable basis existed to believe that a broad range of conduct constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed in relation to the situation in Ukraine. One of the most consequential preliminary examinations in the court’s short history, the Prosecutor will now request authorization from the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber to open a full investigation into the situation.

Anticipating that the Prosecutor’s request will be granted, the ICC Prosecutor’s office will be investigating the second group of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Russian Federation (the situation in Georgia being the other). This would make Russia the only country in the world facing two separate investigations at the ICC for crimes under its jurisdiction.

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.