A democratic Russia may not emerge from coming crisis


Komsomolskaya Pravda has taken the unusual step of reporting on a speech Valery Solovey delivered in the provinces in which he not only denounced the Putin regime for wasting the oil income of the last two decades but spoke directly about the crisis Russia is facing and the likelihood of radical change in the next several years, Paul Goble reports:

The MGIMO professor says that “never was Russia in more favorable foreign policy and foreign economic conditions than in the first 15 years of the 21st century.” Oil prices were high, and the country earned “according to various data, from two to four trillion US dollars” over that period…..

Will Russia become a democratic country after this? I am not certain,” the MGIMO historian continues. “I do not believe that it is possible to assemble 100 of the best people of Russia and they will create a democracy for us. No, for Russia to be transformed into a democracy will require 12 to 15 years.RTWT

Acclaimed Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses documents the events that followed the unexpected resignation of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in December 1999 and brought Vladimir Putin to power, RFE/RL adds. Mansky filmed the transition in his capacity as head of documentaries for Russian national television, a position that yielded him unparalleled on- and off-screen access to Putin and the personalities who orchestrated his rise. Putin’s Witnesses, released to mark the 20th anniversary of these events, draws upon hundreds of hours of this original footage to provide a remarkably intimate portrait of Putin’s construction of power.

Says Mansky, “My testimony is very important not only for Russian society — to cure it from an advanced illness, but also to other countries — to prevent them from losing their freedom.

Putin’s Witnesses
[in Russian with English subtitles]

featuring award-winning director
Vitaly Mansky

Wednesday, January 16
National Press Club
529 14th St NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC

On January 16, the National Press Club (NPC), in cooperation with Current Time and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), invite you to a screening of Putin’s Witnesses, a documentary film that Variety called “riveting” and “incensed.”

Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion featuring filmmaker Vitaly Mansky; New Yorker columnist, CNN analyst, and co-author of Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution Susan Glasser; and Current Time Executive Editor/Features Kenan Aliyev. The discussion will be moderated by NPC President Alison Kodjak.


Current Time is a 24/7 Russian-language digital and TV network
led by RFE/RL in cooperation with Voice of America. For more on RFE/RL’s journalism and journalists, check out the “Press Room” page. Or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Media inquiries in the U.S. can be made to Martins Zvaners in Washington at zvanersm@rferl.org or +1.202.457.6948. In Europe, contact Joanna Levison in Prague at levisonj@rferl.org or +420.221.122.080.

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