The Russia Disruption 1: Assassination at Home and Abroad
February 24, 2021 - 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM MST
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Russia stands accused of assassinating regime opponents at home and abroad in a campaign of terror and political repression. Alexei Navalny, one of President Putin’s fiercest and most creative critics, recently returned to Russia after narrowly surviving poisoning with Novichok, a military grade chemical weapon. Navalny’s immediate detention by Russian authorities and quick sentencing to prison has sparked protests across Russia resulting in thousands of arrests. What do these developments mean for Russia, for President Putin’s hold on power, and for Parliamentary elections scheduled in September 2021? Does Navalny’s brave stance have a chance of succeeding in changing Russia’s authoritarian system, or will Putin’s crackdowns on protest and dissent again succeed in solidifying his grip?
Speakers: Paul Kolbe is a veteran CIA officer and executive with 25 years of service in the Directorate of Operations and led operations in Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Following his CIA career, Mr. Kolbe was Director for Intelligence at BP where he focused on geopolitical threats, strategic cyber threats, and support to commercial operations. Paul is currently the Director of the Intelligence Project at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Shaun Walker is a foreign correspondent for The Guardian based in Budapest. He spent more than a decade reporting from Moscow and was The Guardian‘s bureau chief there between 2013 and 2018. His book The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. Yevgenia M. Albats is a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author, and radio host. Since 2007, she has been the Political Editor and then Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The New Times, a Moscow-based, Russian language independent political weekly. Currently she is a Senior fellow at Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, working on her new book.
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