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Published on May 21, 2015
Chapters: ---------------- Introduction: 0:00 Ilya Ponomarev's Personal Background: 1:58 Taking on Putin: Why Ponomarev Has Been Expelled from Russia: 9:21 What is the Current Atmosphere for Dissent in Russia?: 21:19 What Does the State of Putin's Popularity Mean for Russia?: 27:01 Ponomarev's Views on the State of Ukraine: 33:55
Audience Questions --------------------------------- Question 1: What Does Putin Really Want?: 37:43 Question 2: What is the Level of Freedom of the Press in Russia?: 42:07 Question 3: What are the Effects of Putin's Propaganda Campaign?: 46:56 Question 4: What are Ponomarev's Thoughts on Kremlin Politics Aimed at Fomenting Division Between Russia and the West?: 52:17 Question 5: Will Russia Repeat Offensive Measures Used in the Ukraine in the Baltic Regions?: 56:07
Last year, Russia surprised the world by seizing control of Crimea. When the Russian parliament voted on this military action, there was only one dissenting voice – Ilya Ponomarev. Now, living in the United States, barred from returning home, Ponomarev has continued his political participation in absentia.
In Putin’s Russia, acting in opposition to the government can be a risky choice. In 2012, two members of a punk band called Pussy Riot were arrested for their performance in a Moscow cathedral. Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny was placed under house arrest in 2013. And in March, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was fatally shot just outside the walls of the Kremlin. How long can this government maintain control by silencing these voices of opposition? Can military action in Eastern Ukraine and elsewhere succeed in drawing attention away from mounting economic and political challenges? With elections scheduled for next year, what is the future of Putin’s government? And what is the future of relations between Russia and the United States?
Speaker Ilya Ponomarev is a member of the Russian State Duma.
The conversation will be moderated by Edward W. Walker, Executive Director, Program in Eurasian and East European Studies, University of California, Berkeley.