Anyone who has paid attention to Russia in the last several years is well aware that the regime of Vladimir Putin has seriously cracked down on civil society and freedom of speech in the Russian Federation, notes Adam Reichardt. Last week, these crackdowns hit a little close to home, he writes for New Eastern Europe:
On February 11th 2016 Russian authorities in St Petersburg put a stop to the printing of a collection of essays by Jan Nowak-Jeziorański; seizing any copies that were already printed. The collection was the Russian translation of a book that was published in Polish by the same publisher as New Eastern Europe – the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe in Wrocław. The translation was funded by the Polish Institute in St Petersburg.
Jan Nowak-Jeziorański is a legend in Polish history. During the Second World War, Jan Nowak (as he was known in the underground Polish Army) smuggled information and intelligence in and out of occupied Poland. Known as the “Courier from Warsaw”, it was thanks to Jan Nowak-Jeziorański that the Allies were able to get real intelligence about the situation in Poland, which was occupied at the time by Nazi Germany. He was also a participant of the Warsaw Uprising. After the war, he stayed in the West and for many years worked as the Polish head of Radio Free Europe. After the fall of communism, he returned to his native Poland and became involved in Poland, as well as setting up the College of Eastern Europe foundation in Wrocław, which became the publisher of our magazine – New Eastern Europe. RTWT
In a submission to Echo Moskvy, Leonid Gozman, democratic activist and a fellow of the National Endowment for Democracy, argues that Putin should resign as his authoritarianism and failed governance will not deliver Russia from its emerging crisis.