tv Senators Rubio and Cardin Discuss Human Rights in Russia CSPAN March 31, 2017 2:49pm-4:28pm EDT
increasingly hostile to regular folks and increasingly interested in protecting corporations. >> watch sunday night at nine eastern on c-span2 booktv. >> senators ben cardin and marco rubio delivered keynote remarks this week about human rights in russia. they spoke and atlantic council hosted discussion here in washington d.c. focused on human rights abuses by the administration of russian president vladimir putin. after the remarks a prominent russian dissident who survived to assassinations by poisoning attempt spoke and took part in a panel discussion on the putin regimes human rights and abuses. this is about 90 minutes. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everyone. welcome to the atlantic council. i'm paula dobriansky, i'm on the executive committee of the atlantic council board and i would want to commend the councils eurasia center for today's program which is entitled the state of human rights and putin's russia. as many of you know the center has been extremely active and a
vigorous voice on a range of issues from russia's disinformation to the issue of ukraine, the scale and scope of the aggression in ukraine and the illegal annexation of crimea. today's forum is particularly timing. russia has experienced the worst crack that in human rights in decades. and we have three keynote speakers who will be up first, and all of whom are making a difference in their own way. their strong, outspoken advocates for freedom and basic human rights in russia. i'm going to introduce the first three and then will be having a panel afterwards which will be moderated by alina polyakova and she will introduce the pain of the spirit but first we're going to be hearing, i'm going to introduce all three, will be hearing from maryland senior senator ben cardin, ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee who just
this week condemned the arrest of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in moscow. he is the cosponsor of the global magnet ski human rights accountability act which empowers united states to deny human rights abusers and also those corrupt officials entry into united states and access to our financial institution. following him will be hearing from florida's senator marco rubio also a member of the senate foreign relations committee who earlier this year on february 27, the day that the former deputy prime minister of russia, boris, was gunned down right in front of the kremlin. senator rubio introduced legislation that would designate the street in front of the russian embassy as boris plaza in honor of the former deputy prime minister and opposition leader. the senator said quote
consecration of the plaza would permanently remind putin's regime and the russian people that their dissident views live on and the defenders of liberty will not be silenced. and then we will hear from vladimir, who is known to everyone in this room and out of this room whose life has been twice threatened. he was in russia just again recently and he was there traveling to sell the russian cities to present a documentary on boris. he abruptly became ill, was hospitalized. his friends, family, those of us in this room here that he was targeted with poison. and i have to say to all of us who know him and have worked with them, he's a man of courage. he's a personal strength of
convictions, deep convictions, and a very fervent desire to see a democratic russia where fundamental freedoms are protected. vladimir is vice chair of open russian movement and also chairman of the boris nemtsov foundation for freedom, and we are very honored that he is able to be here with us today. i also like to recognize his wife who also is here, it was also truly a person of courage as well in this fight. so without further ado please join in a very vigorous applause for these very three distinguished speakers. senator cardin. [applause] >> mattapan bassett are, first of thank you very much for the very generous and kind introduction. -- madam ambassador. particularly to be with my colleague and friend, senator rubio. one of the real great leaders in
the united states senate on so many issues but today on human rights. there's not a greater champion. i served with him on the senate foreign relations committee and i must tell you i'm so proud to serve on the committee with him. he raises to everyone who comes before us that the critical questions on support for basic human rights senator rubio, it's a pleasure to be with you as always, and thank you for your chairmanship on these issues. but to my friend, vladimir, two of us, senator rubio and i speak out that we know we are safe. you have the courage that is incredible on behalf of the russian people and the world community. and we thank you. we think your wife, what to do is an inspiration to all of us and it keeps us, gives us the energy to pursue these causes here in the united states, so thank you for being the person that you are. an inspiration. i see also my former colleague. nice to see you, that you're
here in the audience and it's good to be with so many friends. when history of america is written about this period of time, i believe it will speak very strongly about america's greatness and it won't be america's greatness for its military power. it will be america's greatness in promoting universal goals. the goals of good governance, anticorruption, and the goals of supporting human rights, speaking out on behalf of democratic institutions. and it was america's strength that brought down the grip of the soviet union and liberated central and eastern europe. that's what's going to be i think the key to how we're proceed historically as to what we did during this particular time. and we saw the power of those ideas. we saw the power of those ideas this past weekend when the russians took to the streets to protest against their corrupt government.
they were doing what my dear friend john lewis said here john and i came the congress the same time and he's an inspiration to me as a living legend to his fight on civil rights turkey said sometimes people just have to speak out. they have to raise their voices. they have to move their feet. and we saw that happen in russia this past weekend where thousands turned out to say no, we want a government that reflects the people of russia, not a corrupt government. and that action will bring about a change in russia. russia will return to its greatness of a country that respects the rights of its citizens. and vladimir is actions is helping bring that day a little sooner than it otherwise would be. human rights are not a western imposition but a russian demand. that's what we're trying to promote is it's not about the russian people. it's about mr. putin and his
corrupt system that we are fighting. this is not a new idea. 1975, the european community along with united states came together with a 1975 helsinki final accords. i've been active with the helsinki commission since my election to congress many years ago. it was a concept that pointed out that we have a right to expect that countries will adhere not only to military security and economic security but the basic human rights. and that's not just an internal matter. all the signatories to the helsinki have a right to challenge the commitments being adhered to by any member state, including their commitment to basic human rights. rush is violating those commitments every single day in somebody different ways. if you're a journalist in russia, you know that you cannot operate with safety.
you know that your life are at risk. if you're in opposition you know that you better watch your back, as we've seen assassination after assassination and intimidation after intimidation. if you're in gld know you will be, undesirable for organization even though you're there to promote global issues. you know that corruption in the judicial system, corruption is called the lubricant of the putin regime. it has enabled mr. putin to carry out his autocratic procedures and the way that he operates. the election system itself is fraud, guaranteeing that the results will be what mr. putin watts. minorities are not safe, whether they are lgbt community, ethnic minorities, migrants. all are in jeopardy in today's putin's russia. that needs to change. the question is why should we be concerned? there several reasons. first, this type of human rights violation, these types of
corruption lead to instability in regimes and will make our world less safe. and secondly, we've seen mr. putin is right to attack america. he did attack america. that is not even being disputed anymore i think by the president but mr. putin attacked us. attacked our free election system. mr. putin's active in europe, active in montenegro. he was active, he's acted out in germany and in france trying to influence those elections. he's trying to bring down our way of government to create more space so you can expand his influence, his type of leadership in europe and around the world. we cannot allow that type of debt to exist. we need to protect democratic institutions. so what should congress to? what should we do in order to stop that? one thing we've done is passed the law that makes it clear that those are participate in this
type of contact we are not currently within by allowing them to visit our country and assets enter banking system. today there are 44 individuals that are currently listed under that law. i want to thank tom for his incredible leadership on this issue in some other issues, income and out of government in helping us get this achieved. but there's more that we can do. and i along with 19 of my colleagues have filed the russian hostilities act. i want to thank senator rubio. it deals with the current challenges that russian is presenting to us. russia, yes, it is violating basic human rights of its citizens. it's also attacking us as they did in our free elections. they also are anything but the sovereignty of other countries. obviously we all know what they did in ukraine with the crimea
in eastern ukraine. also mulled over, georgia. threatening a lot of our european countries and of russian speaking populations. we need to make it clear to russia but that is not acceptable. sanctions are affecting russia so we can strengthen the sanction regime against russia and the legislation that we have filed will do that. and he goes into any areas that we can strengthen by going into the energy sector, going into heavy finance their sovereign debt, have a deal with privatization. we can strengthen the resolve against russia, and our european allies understand the importance of this. we need to work with europe. there's a second part of this bill which is equally important, if not more important. it defines an effort with our european allies to fight the russia, to so that we can sophisticated delay use all of our country together for strategy to counter allies that russia is doing in order to
cause instability in so many countries around the world. edit develops in a democracy initiative similar to security initiative that we have under nato to protect the democratic institutions of europe. they are under attack. we should share information. i met with the baltic leaders this week and he said that's great, we should do that. we have a plan but we haven't coordinated with europe. we should coordinated between the united states and europe, a plan to protect our democratic institutions from the type of attacks nursing from russia. it's not just taking cyber information and using it to cover my elections. it's also false also news. we need to work together and we also need to pass legislation that sender review has been actively engage with me on, and it is the syrian war crimes. mr. putin is committing war crimes in syria. he is using humanitarian targets as a way of advancing his
support for assad, and that type of conduct needs to be held accountable. let me just conclude by quoting a person who i have a great deal of respect for, and that's vladimir. vladimir testified before a committee in 2015. and he said then that he did not ask that the united states come to the support of russia. he wasn't asking for the turkey wasn't asking for our economic or military support. what he was asking us to do was not to make it easier for mr. putin to carry out his ideals. don't give him credibility. don't acknowledge what he is doing is right. just the opposite. stand strong on u.s. global principles because that's what the russian people need. they need america to be clear, strong, about the values that are universal that it made us the great nation that we are.
i want you to know, vladimir, that you have our commitment that we are going to just that, that we're going to stand up for the values of america. we're going to stand up for why this nation is a great nation it is. we're going to stand up to our helsinki commitments and we are going to stand strong with the people of russia. thank you. [applause] >> i want to thank senator cardin for his kind words and for his introduction here today. yes indeed been a part in many of these issues, so much so in the hallways of the senate when approached by the press and ask me, can you comment on the billiard and with senator cardin, which one? we worked on some of these issues that are so critically important it truly is an honor to work with him on these. at the outset, i was told vladimir i think cindy deckard has the same issue. in addition to a 10 o'clock vote
in us that we are two important hearings going on at the same time on two committees on the number of. what is the foreign relations committee with senator cardin is a ranking member on. the general topic of america's engagement in the world. then the senate intelligence committee as a public hearing today on the topic that, well, i think you know what it's on. and so we will need to get there on time. i also want to thank the atlantic council for hosting this event. the state of human rights in putin's russia. i don't quarrel with the title. i understand the point but it's not putin's russia. its russians russia. vladimir putin happens to have control of thegovernment today but rush is not a vladimir putin. russia is an ancient, proud culture and tradition embedded in its people. vladimir putin just happens to be a tyrant that today controls its government. but i thank you for inviting me to participate in this event. i also course and proud to be
with vladimir kara-murza you all know well adequate of a chance and honor to introduce them shortly. when we talk about evil around the world who risk their lives in the event of freedom, vladimir is an example of how true this is. his brave fight for democracy and freedom in his country is truly an inspiration. we have an award in america called "profiles in courage" and it's hardly given to someone who took political risk. might've lost an election took on some nasty critters and in the press for doing something. and i understand, relatively speaking that is, courage in the american political system. real courage is knowing that your position on politics could have you killed, exiled, or both, and poisoned not once but twice. i'm honored to be with him today. the stated human rights and a vladimir putin inrush of course has long been severe decline, deterioration is only settlement in recent years as putin and his
cronies have cracked down on civil society company d, anyone critical the russian government when times are tough in russia of course are now, this happens and this is what happens there, and abysmal human rights situation that becomes even worse. yet seen over the last number of years vladimir putin's critics mysteriously poisoned, many occasions on multiple occasions thrown out of windows, murdered. all this just this year alone and we are only in march. vladimir recently survived a course a second, his second apparent poisoning attempt. the government has implement it dr. cohen in-laws attempting to bar public dissent. just as we can we watched as thousands of her dumbly very young russians took to the street to protest corruption within the putin government. to make clear that the people of russia and what they want is a transparent government that respects the voices in shaping the future. so what was the response of the putin government?
the arrested and detained hundreds of people. this is only the latest incident reminds us how critical it is that the united states stand with the russian people in their fight against a brutal, corrupt, oppressive regime. this behavior by the putin regime is nothing new. in 2015 russian authorities began intimating a 2012 lot of places in advocacy group that accepts foreign funding on a list as foreign agents. many non-governmental organizations either spend resources defending themselves against these attacks and labels of being a foreign agent, or they simply close. each year he tightened his grip on the country as he tries to mask the abuses against his own people with aggression outside of russia. globally, putin has made clear his intention on the world stage. he wants to establish spheres of influence in europe, and now the middle east. and what that is meant is him aligning with the most brutal
tyrants and regimes in the world to undermine not just america, but the peaceful nations of the world interests. and in the process to perpetuate war crimes. he's actively working to drive a wedge between western allies and within western institutions such as nato and the european union. he directly interfered with nations looking for the aligned themselves with democratic values. and with the united states. we should under no false illusions. putin's dreams of restoring what he sees as the days of the russian empire are what tries him and his goals, and it's an important to remind us that russia as a citizen nation and people that should be very, very proud of its history, should be very optimistic about its future given the chance, and u as so mh to contribute to the world. it does not need a tyrant in order to achieve these things. we all have read and heard and will continue to hear in the weeks and months to come about putin's efforts to meddle in the elections of our democratic allies in europe, just as he
attempted to influence our own elections here in the united states last year. in the middle east is engaged in a bloody military campaign in syria, partnering with iran and with the assad regime. he claims to be fighting isis but it's clear their efforts have deliberately targeted civilians. they block the provision of food and medicine as well as efforts by the united nations to end the suffering of the syrian people. he's worked with assad and is inflicted thousands of civilian deaths and injuries and contribute to the refugee crisis. as even more refugees flee the ever-increasing instability. all this chaos makes it of course easier for the world to overlook the ongoing abuses of the putin regime against his own people. but we cannot allow that, and that's why it's important for us to have gathered here today to renew our commitment for the cause of human rights in russia, and remind people like vladimir and others, and of the brave democracy activists that we truly do stand with them.
that we will use every tool at our disposal to old putin accountable, and that we will not allow the brake ask of people like boris nemtsov and others to been in vain. the most brutal reality of the human rights situation in russia is that critics of the putin machinregime into being targetee worse as i said, i die. last month is a two-year anniversary of the assassination of boris nemtsov pic he was murdered on a bridge in moscow in plain sight of the kremlin. that was two years ago. no one has been held to account. we must continue to call for justice and honor these brave individuals in russia who stand up to putin and his cronies. that's why on the anniversary of his assassination i introduced a bill to rename the street in front of the russian embassy boris nemtsov glasser. you go to my twitter account this morning and you'll see we've taken the liberty to use photoshop or some other app i'm sure it's photoshop but to actually show you what it's going to look like on the day that we achieve that. some ask what impact is this
going to have? well, as vladimir alec will he put "washington post" recently he will remind and regimes are on the wrong side of history and i believe it will be assembled o the russian people that these dissidents voices live on and that defenders of liberty will not be silenced. as vladimir told me a few moments ago, the current regime in russia will be angry about the naming of that street. but hopefully a future democratic government in russia will be proud that the street in front of their embassy there is the name boris nemtsov. as a new administration continues to shape its foreign-policy and a sash is your strategy, i couldn't believe it's critical for include human rights and democracy as core elements of any broader engagement with any country in the world. and russia is a perfect example why this is true. i'm proud to join senator cardin and introducing comprehensive sanctions on putin that will target his regime cyber attack aggression can destabilize activities in the united states and against our allies.
additionally the rule of law accountability act is one valuable and critical tool but the united states has to address human rights abuses by vladimir putin. we also need to continue adding individuals to this list and holding those complicit in human rights abuses directly accountable. we should also consider new measures that target the state sanctioned corruption at the top of the putin government, the corruption that brought thousands of russians out into the streets this past weekend. these young russians realize their country is a huge opportunity to join the rest of the world, to embrace democratic values and the respect for the rule of law and protect the human rights of all their citizens. sadly, russia's trip leader has chosen the path of aggression and instability. his actions in the region and his own country pose a national scree threat to the united states, and undermine our interests and interest of all freedom loving people abroad. as long as he continues to
choose to go down this path, we must choose to strengthen the relationship with our allies in the region and with the russian people, and to support them as they confront these progressions. our country the united states of america must stand with the russian people in their fight for freedom. now, it is to limit honor to introduce vladimir kara-murza who is here with us today, after surviving an apparent attempt to poison him last month. the second time as us an earlier in recent years this has happened. he has made russia's future and the cause of promoting silicide and democracy in russia the work of his life. and despite being a target he continues that work undeterred and as passionate as ever. vladimir, you are an inspiring example to all of us here in the united states, and i believe to the russian people come to people everywhere. it's my honor to introduce you to those who are present here today, and those who may be watching from home.
ladies and gentlemen, vladimir kara-murza. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so very much, and i want to think first of all the atlantic council for hosting and organizing this very important discussion and for the opportunity to participate in it. it. and i am especially honored and very, very humbled to be speaking after two such distinguished leaders on global democracy and human rights in the united states senate, from two different sides of the aisle, as it should be. and i want to take this opportunity to thank senator marco rubio and senator ben cardin for the work and for the commitment to the principles
that are so often forgotten and overlooked in this age of realpolitik, but are so important to so many people. thank you. it seems that there should be little new to say about the state of human rights in russia. after 17 years of vladimir putin's rule. and yet there always is and there never is the shortage of news or discussions on the subject. it has not been that long, 17 years since the famous question was asked at the world economic forum at davis, who is mr. putin? and effect of those were paying attention and noticing the early signs, mr. putin provide the answer very early on, action before it was even asked in davos, before he became president of russia. i often think back to one particular day, december 20, 1999. mr. putin was still prime minister. it was the last couple of weeks of boris yeltsin presidency. december 20 is the day of the
annual commemoration astonishingly of the founding of the bolshevik secret police in 1970. still officially marked in russia. and on the day mr. putin did two things. in the morning he unveiled a memorial plaque to his mentor jerry and drop off, the longtime soviet kgb chairman best of establishing a special director within the kgb into targeting and suppressing dissent. and also for authorizing the practice of punitive psychiatry when dissidents were declared mentally insane and committed to psychiatric hospitals. and that same evening he went to gathering of kgb veterans and the address them and he told them publicly this in front of tv cameras with a smile on his face. he said i can report to you that a group of fsb officer sent to us undercover in the government of the russian federation is a filling its mission. and there were still some of the time i thought this was a quite joke.
of course every single thing mre done since then has been fully in line with that promise and with a mission. the suppression silencing of independent media. the consistent and continuous rigging elections. the crackdowns and freedom of assembly, the blacklisting of ngos. the revival of politically motivated imprisonment. we now 100 political prisoners in our her country. this is according to the leading human rights group. by the way just to compare, 1975 when he wrote his nobel peace prize acceptance speech, he listed by name when hundred 26 political pressures in the soviet union. that was an exhaustive list come just the people he knew about probably this one is not exhaustive either. and we can totally see that the numbers are becoming a lease comparable. that was of course the soviet union. which was twice as big as russia in terms of population these political prisoners today
include oppositiooppositio n activist and the family members such as sergei. they include regular citizens jailed for participating in peaceful street demonstrations. they include ukrainians arrested after the annexation of crimea including the filmmaker. as well as alex, the last remaining hostage that some russia's largest oil company dismantled and effectively seized by the government and its ceo in prison for more than a decade for having the capacity to support opposition parties and civil society groups. while imprisoning its political opponents carry some risk. we live in the information age after all, in the age of new technology, growing importance of international public opinion. and political prisoners can actually sometimes turned the tables and use proceedings against them to expose the regina. by continuing their struggles
from behind bars nestlé people about in the soviet times and today. by continuing to take a stand people being imprisoned. i can tell you there's not much of a stand you can take when you're lying on the floor, struggling to take a breath, unable to move, feeling your heart racing away and her whole body just giving up. one organ afternoon and then spent weeks in a coma looked up to two and life support. i had to do this twice that in the last two years. both sides in moscow, both times as a result of an undefined tocsin. that's what the medical diagnosis said. both times doctor said my chance of survival at about 5%. i really mean this when i say i'm happy to be here with you today, and also very grateful and also very, very fortunate. many of my colleagues and friends have not been unfortunate. they have not had 5%. boris didn't have 1% when the ty put five bullets in his back on that bridge, 200 yards from the
kremlin. the leader of the russian opposition, former deputy prime minister, the most prominent opponent of vladimir putin. and two years on this total impunity for those who ordered and organize the killing. not identified, not apprehended. if you can kill the leader of the opposition in front of the kremlin and get away with it, i think it becomes pretty meaningless to talk about the state of human rights or any other kind of human rights abuses. but i want to talk also today about the other side of the story, about what is happening despite the repressions and the crackdowns and the threats. last sunday tens of thousands of people went to the streets across russia to say no to the pervasive government corruption, to the impunity to this corruption, to the authoritarian rule, to the lack of accountability and, frankly, against the arrogance of the
same small group of people whose health power intercountry now for 17 years. most of those rallies were quote-unquote unauthorized, in violation of the russian constitution accords which guarantees the freedom of assembly in article 31. but nevertheless, local authorities went to great lengths to say that these were unsanctioned, unauthorized, illegal. and indeed in many places including a moscow protesters are met by riot police and by the national guard which by the way was set up a couple years ago by putin with exact purpose of putting down opposition rallies. and yet the people still came out across the country. what was most striking about these demonstrations was the scale and the composition. this was the most widespread opposition action i think since the early 1990s, since the breakup of the soviet union. bigger even than the winter purchase with five years ago following the raid on a metric
elections in 2011. the rallies were bigger and most of the time but not as geographically widespread this time. it was 82 towns and cities across russia, large and small across the 11 time zones east to west. and it was of course striking because of who are dissipated in the protests. the vast majority of those who came out to the streets of russia last sunday were young people, university students, high school kids in many cases, people in her 20s, early 30s, meaning in their teens. this is the putin generation. these are the people certainly raised in many cases born under vladimir putin regime. people have never known any other political reality, who don't know what it's like to have free elections, realistic parliament are independent television. from the 1990s are something out of a history textbook. who have watched the same face on television screens for their entire lives, and, in fact, who
have long stopped looking at those television screens. this is the generation that trust twitter and youtube much more than it trusts any other kremlin controlled national television channel. and it is this new generation that is increasingly growing to realize that the putin regime is robbing them not just literally in terms of the matter of corruption which is the reason for the protest, but also is robbing them, the young generation of russians, other prospects and other future. and there's really not much mr. putin can do about that, about from now the national guard and riot police. the day after these protests took place i was asked by a journalist whether i was surprised. have to admit i was surprised about the scale, but just how widespread and geographically diverse this was wha but i was t surprised about the participation. because i've seen these people. over the last three years since we have relaunched open russia,
first as a pro-democracy egl and later as a full-fledged pro-democracy movement, i've traveled across the country him across the regions. to be honest i haven't paid as far as -- but from the baltic, and we've been holding events across the country, public events to try to maintain and keep that space for public discussion in our country that is being increasingly shop and squeezed and attacked. you know, public lectures, seminars, roundtables, debates, film screenings and such. every time, almost every time the authorities tried to sabotage and present and stop her from taking place by bogus bomb threats or police arrived and were a mandatory evacuation. they switch off electricity in the building. but the people refuse to leave. we've never had an event counseled -- canceled. we'vwe held a debate in a swimmg pool once. we've had events in cafés, in the streets. one of my favorite was a couple
of years ago we had an event in st. petersburg, a prominent russian political analyst. after 11 or 12 locations rejected, you know, as trying to rent or lease a halt or a room we just did find, we will just do it outside on the street. this was st. petersburg, in the spring, pretty cold. that was fine and a hundreds of people. we just took a sound system, a loudspeaker and we're standing there and he began reading of poetry. he decide to have a political thing to do that. this is in st. petersburg, and russia. this was one of the best events we had. ..
>> excuse me. so every time we held our event and the people didn't leave and they came and they participated. and i've seen them and i've seen how their growing self-awareness as citizens and their interests including their interest in civic participation became stronger than their sense of fear and that was really helpful. and in fact most of our work is directed at this new generation. the new generation of
democratic activists in russia. these are the faces of the future post putin russia. a russia that we want to see based on the rule of law. based on democratic institutions, based on respect for human rights and it's the russia that will continue to work for. mister putin and his regime would like the whole world especially the west, certainly the united states to think that russia is just about him and his regime area and in fact, one of his closest aides was recently on record saying there is no russia if there is no putin, there is a direct quote. and apart from being deeply offensive in my view, this is also patently not true and i think we all saw that in display across the country. because russia is so much more than us, it's so much bigger.
so much different and frankly, so much better. then that face we've all been looking at for the past 17 years. thank you very much, it's a pleasure. [applause] >> thank you so much for those inspiring remarks. i'd like to ask the rest of our panelists including yourself to join us for a discussion . . >>.
>> so i also want to thank senators carter and senators rubio and ambassador dobriansky for their remarks. i'm director of research for europe and greater here at the atlantic council and its an honor and a pleasure to host this distinguished panel were here with us today for this very important economy that we were planning this particular event, we did not anticipate the race across such as this past weekend but this makes it much more timely and absolutely thrilled and very happy to see him with us today for many reasons. i will introduce him again, i think both centers and the ambassador for their wonderful job but i think i speak for all of us here at the council when i say that we admire you a great deal
for your courage and your incredible perseverance in the fight for the freedom of your people so thank you so much for being with us. >> and to my left, i have mister paul gershwin was the president of the national endowment for democracy. the national endowment has been the primary vehicle for supporting pro-democratic civil societies in fledgling democracies of the former soviet union elsewhere in the world and we are grateful for your work as well. thank you for joining us. and last but certainly not least, i have mister malinowski. he is the former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor at the us department of state. he also served as the washington director for human rights and various posts of the state department policy staff before that and tom has been the leading voice on human rights particularly in
russia, west and central and eastern europe and we appreciate the hard work you've done for us in service of this country so thank you. i wanted to have a conversation to some of the points you brought up, irena. you talked about the devastation and who was there and the belief you have in the future of russia because of how widespread and how highly participatory the demonstrations were. and the most interesting point i'd like to have you hear more about is the people who are on the streets in almost 100 russian cities from west to east who are very young, raised by himself. so in your view, from what you know about who was there, what was there to demand? i know the devastation was part of the anticorruption movement but what can you really tell us about the stability of the regime and where the next generation of
russian stands today.? >> it's good to be here again and we have reason for the process before, the anticorruption drivers certainly that was released a couple weeks ago by the anticorruption foundation so the mass wealth of our prime minister and former president clinton. it's $1 billion worth of expansions in york, some just in russia by the way. it goes to this point of the introduction speech about the role of the west and these people and some of them holding the trust camp. >> the americans which is a very nice place but that's still better than before. it's also seen by just last night about 13 million people on youtube. if you watched russian state tv, you wouldn't know any of this existed, and of course needless to say there were no official reaction, nothing
from the government to any of this. the only reaction was on his instagram page, that was the only response. and of course i think that was the immediate trigger for the project. which to me in a way makes it similar to what happened five years ago after the parliamentary elections. >> the government is wiping its feet on them, everything is so great and in your face and there's no reaction, nothing. they don't even feel the need to account for this. and why should they? they haven't had to face a real election in 17 years, they don't have any checks and balances, they don't have an independent parliament. so why should they be accountable? this new generation, young generation, the people have never seen anything except his regime is state proceeding and they want to be citizens. they don't want to be a spaceman wet wipe your feet on and this again was the revolution of dignity that
people in ukraine in 2014. i think the feeling is the same, this is a very strong feeling of dignity, i think it goes for all of the mass protests against authoritarian rule and certainly enough dignityfive years ago after the parliamentary elections . it is certainly about dignity again now and it's not just about corruption, that was the immediate reason but if you look at what all these protests, all these videos from acrossrussia , they are upset about the candidates and their trust. >> so rehabilitation, basically they're going to be here for a while now but if you watch these rallies and speeches and the slogans and placards, it's something about corruption but people also know more. >> russia without the region and the main thing that people chanted was russia will be free and that's the main message. >> all these slogans go back to the earlier protests about
which didn't include asmany young people so that was the interesting thing . about these slogans, that russian will be free are resonating across generations and i think that is a really important point for all of us to remember that even in places where the grip on power by authoritarians seems to be so strong and so totalitarian, there's always protest when people don't feel satisfied with the so-called social contract they been forced to. >> and they had because they were born whenthat social contract was made 18 years ago. so they are not in a way bound . >> thank you and carl, i want to bring you into this conversation as well because the national endowment for democracy has worked across central eastern europe or many decades, the democratic values and principles. and you know, we're talking about russian now that i think in many ways russia is also, is particularly, the
leader of the country has become a symbol for many integral leaders and essentially eastern europe as well. >> and they're destined to be a growing trend towards authoritarianism, running from the west where other political leaders have the state, they see themselves as illiberal states. >> you see the trend happening across these new democracies that we saw or people moving towards liberal democratic ideologies and is there a backlash and if we can relieve the symbols we are looking to? >> you know, when you have a country that is able to expand its geopolitical influence that has political consequences and you also have russia very deliberately and systematically using the information space that exists, not just in central
europe but here as well to nominally project their own views but to undermine the more out and divide the countries in the west and then you have on top of that a piracy, not just stealing from the people but also using the proceeds without stealing to increase their influence both at home and abroad. and together with the help of western enablers and in fact the western financial system. and i think we and people in europe just have to know what we're dealing with.and i don't think we fully realize what we are dealing with when vladimir before was talking about the events of december 20. there were events that took place before then which in a sense are even more eye-opening than what you described in december 20, i'm talking about what happened in september. to the apartment bombings and in my view, there's no question as to what happened there. >> when the fsb was
discovered to bebehind the attempted bombing , after the first four bombings. and they were using the same material and 293 russians were killed there, nobody knew who was before and how you get somebody from going from two percent popularity and nobody knew who he was representing the fsb becoming known by everybody as the savior of chechen terrorism which is how they portrayed the apartment bombings and that's what it was. >> and he became you know, the war and the second war in chechnya the day after the bombing was discovered so if people didn't pay attention to it, they eliminated all the people who were trying to write about it including malinowski so we are up against something serious here and you know, people in the west have to get over the
illusion that you know, that we are dealing with a normal country. we are not and we have to protect ourselves more and we also have to deal with our own internal problems, we've got serious internal problems which then a regime like putin is using the information space, using the resources, the stolen resources to exploit. we have, it's not just a matter of showing solidarity with people like vladimir which you have to do and i have to say that every time i hear him speak, i realize that these got a rare space, rare voice and it's so important for the future. >> but you know, it's, we have to protect ourselves and i think the learning lead, we have a long way to go. >> one of these things reporting to is that while there is some appeal in the strong leadership, authoritarian that is
spreading i think across some parts of eastern europe, we have to do our part to expose and undermine the rottenness of that regime and the disservice that it does to the people who have to live in that. >> my sense is, this is maybe my typical wishful thinking but i thinkthis problem is speaking , my hope is that he is not going to win the election in france. and it's beginning to speak and but democracy has to revive itself from within if we are going to be able to become real allies of people like vladimir and that was the message i thought by the way last month senator rubio tell the hearing in the senate and gary sparta testified and i urge people to look at his testimony because it really was a clariion call to us to recover our will and our awareness.
>> and leadership. so thank you carl, you brought the instrument information space and i want to bring you into the conversation tom. vladimir, you mentioned the generation trust on twitter, the state-sponsored media and i think this is an important thing to remember that people have access to information but at the same time i think the regime and not just the russian regime but other authoritarian regimes see information as a danger to the stability and as a result we see many western organizations being forced and expelled out of russia who have private support in independent media and civil society so tom, you are assistant secretary in the last administration until very recently. given the political climate, the international organizations which supported independent media in russia are no longer able to operate there, what else, what can the us do to try to support these kinds of democratic
movements, independent media, in places like russia and other authoritarian countries? >> well, i think there's still a great deal that we can do and when russia made it, the russian government made it difficult but not impossible for the united states to direct toward independentcivil society, inside russia . i think we had a number of second efforts, certainly to the deep sense of security that putin felt and continues to feel. i think the increase in repression in russia over the last several years as a sign of the insecurity of the regime and an interesting point that we should always remember even as we look at the strong facade that putin projects that underneath that
facade must be a tremendous amount of insecurity. so we were not able to continue to do a lot of the work inside of russia that we were doing but that doesn't mean that we can't work from the outside. to maintain a connection to solidarity with and direct support for russian accidents or independent media, working from outside the country. it doesn't mean that we cannot work with the russian-speaking population and enabling countries in the ukraine and baltic states and so forth. in terms of more broadly how we handle response to what's happening, i think we do have to be brutally honest not only about the political developments in russia over the last several years but also the development by the united states. >> when bad things happen in
other countries, our instinctual response in america is to appeal to our government and particularly to our president. to say something and to do something. >> when i was in the obama administration, many of you guys came to us and whether it was russia or ukraine or burma or china or any number of places to take a tougher stand and you were right to do so. >> behind the democrats when we had the bush administration i didn't much like the bush administration but i absolutely believe that president bush thought the united states should be a force for good in the world. and i was routinely at the state department and national security council urging those folks including paula who is still in the room to take a stand on this or the other. >> i don't feel that way about the current document of
the white house. >> i think that we have to be open about this and think about what it means. >> there were a number of people this week who criticized president trump for not calling for the release and condemning these protests. i found myself not sharing that criticism. >> i don't want them to be calling for the release of anticorruption protesters. >> it would be hypocritical to do so. from my standpoint, the thing, he in many ways represents some of these young people in russia were protesting against. >> he has told us very clearly and we need to listen to what people tell us that he doesn't really believe that the united states can or should be a force for good for other countries, we have an america first
foreign-policy today and when confronted with evidence of putin's abuses against his people, his instinct has consistently been to repeat russian propaganda of the lack of moral authority of the united states for these kinds of actions. basically talking down american democracy by saying that our system is ready, our system is corrupt and so forth is exactly what russia today and exactly what russian diplomats would say to me when i was assistant secretary whenever i tried to push an agenda of human rights. >> i think what this means for the rest of us is that the traditional model of petitioning the white house for help in these situations have to be replaced by a model in which we all take greater risks on our own children. >> weather institutions that we represent our sold to citizens or other parts of
the us government and other branches including the congress and i think most important thing for example that the congress should do and dissenters alluded to this is to respond to what russian activists and asking us to do for three years, to make sure the united states and western countries cannot be a safe haven or dirty money coming out of russia. and the numerous efforts in the u.s. congress for example to close the loophole that would allow russian thugs and any other bad guys in the world to put up an anonymous shelter for theunited states which amazingly is still , that is easy and american to do as it is in the cayman islands and the seychelles or other places. that has to stop. we can continue and should continue financial support for civil society organizations working on human rights in russia and around the world. we can't do that at the state department. the folks if you care about this, you got to care about that so our members of congress have got to ensure
not only that country and administration behaves as projected but that we have an increase the programs that are in greater demand today and civil societies under attack in some of these countries. my form of bureau, the human rights bureau will do its job and they will with other resources they are given, do everything it possibly can to put these great rows in russia and around the world. >> our duty is to make sure they get those resources despite very clear intentions that the president can deny. >> i would focus on those two things. >> i will say that it seems that congress has taken a much stronger and assertive role in pushing the administration in the right direction so i think giving us some time, we will see what happens. the fact that we had a senior democratic senator and a republican senator here with us today brings a strong symbol that there is bipartisan support for
democracy, of values in our principles and promoting those values and principles abroad. and i think i would like to see more of that as well, i know you have been very active in trying to nudge congress in the right direction and thank you for doing that as well and i think tom, you're so right about that. at the same time, correct me if i'm wrong about this but i think that while despite everything i think it's a very optimistic system of the future that things will change in places across russia. that perhaps there seeing this wave of authoritarian populism hitting it speak and it will decline. that these are movements that will not last in the long term. but at the same time, i think tom, you put in a little note of maybe cynicism into this fixture. >> that if we don't have
civic engagement, participation from the citizenry, we are not going to see these changes take place so i guess my question to you is how does democracy get its closure back in this political climate? >> how do you get people to become disenchanted with these ideas, to reengage. >> well, i'm actually not that pessimistic. >> i was trying to be an honest and point to a very deep problem that we have to confront. >> that i also think that this is a clarifying moment for a lot of people. >> i think that there was a lot of complacency in this country and in western europe and in many parts of the world about the inevitability of democratic institutions lasting forever.>> a lot of complacency about the
strength and vitality of our own democracy here in the united states and also about the threat of our democracy poses by autocracy in countries like russia. >> even in the state department, i have to say we were deeply concerned, extremely nervous about the impact of things like fake news anddirty money might have on democracy . we weren't really thinking about here or france or germany and now we know. and i think it may well be that every generation or two, there needs to be a shock to the system to scare people straight so that we have to work our asses off to protect democracy in our own country, it's a never-ending struggle and be that if america is not
a force for good in the world, if we are not using our moral influence to stand with those who share our values, our grandparents generation had that shock in world war ii. which was the event that defeated the first america in this country, it was not an eloquent counter argument made by people in panel sessions, it was pearl harbor and we now have a political crisis in this country and in the western world that i think is scaring a lot of people straight and i saw a lot of young professors at the rallies after the trumpet administration waving signs about putin. you know, and a funny face on his name and clever slogans and all kinds of things and you wouldn't have seen that level of interest four or five years ago in this country about what is happening to people and the
assassination of boris blanco. people get that connection about what is happening now. our job is to sustain that awareness and to help translate it into a political agenda, a policy agenda and over the next several years will win out in this country and i think we can do that. >> so i want to get your reflections to what tom laid out, are we at a turning point? at a turning point for russia, seeing young people engaged in politics and civil participation? are we going to a turning point in other parts of eastern europe or what is your take on that. >> do you believe that we are in a crisis whether it's the turning point, i don't know yet. it's a crisis does present an opportunity that people are
realizing we have a problem. and we have to address that problem. i'm not sure i agree with tom that arguments are not important, you need just the attack on pearl harbor and 9/11 to make people really wake up. i think it's important now for people who care about the values of freedom and democracy to come together and to begin a campaign to argue for these values, to reaffirm the first senses of democracy which are being not only ignored but also demeaned. and exploited, in other words the putin is actually using the openness of our society to undermine the very principles of openness and i think it's important which has not been done by any political leaders, not just this administration but no democratic political leaders who are strongly affirming the values, principles of
democracy and i think it's not just intellectuals but civil society and i think it can be helped that people like vladimir and the people who are in the struggle for freedom because they don't take it for granted, they are not jaded by the problems we have and we have very real problems, i think as important in many ways as a video about the status and the corruption, is this nine minute video that came out of briand's, there's a school in briand's which is about 350 miles southwest of moscow. and one of the students in this high school had been trying to rally students to participate in the protests last sunday and he was picked up by the police. and the principal of the school, this is all on a video because one of the students shot the video but the principle of the school then darted lecturing to the kids for the students about true patriotism and why they
were supporting you know, chaos and division in war. and she says what do you want? and one of the students said we want justice so what do you mean by justice and he said justice is when the authorities care about their people. this is a high school student in a small town of 350 miles from moscow but they care about their people and not about themselves, and they care about ordinary citizens and not about their millions of dollars. >> many people want to live in a free state in a free country. this is coming from a high school student. when you have voices like that that speak up or prepared to take risks, go into the streets when they know what the risks are and you have articulate voices in high school, i think they can help rally people here. >> and you have to find ways, new ways of connecting people.
the internet can be very helpful, watching the videos can be helpful. we have to think about ways of doing that and then people who think about these issues, people who shape opinions, they have to begin to formulate arguments as to how to respond to the propaganda coming out of moscow and reaffirm that there's principles at the core of our democracy and that you might have to cross the political division.have a of ideas that we have to wait and we have to do it with effectiveness, we have to do it with encouragement, intelligence and dedication. >> the ideas still matter. >> fundamentally, ideas matter fundamentally. the whole idea freedom, that's what these young kids are fighting for, the idea of freedom and everything related to the idea. that's what vladimir is giving his life for. >> i just thought i'd heard everyone to watch that exchange because we're translating it into english and of course in many websites because i think it's really punishing. >> these are 15-year-old kids
in small provincial towns in southern russia. and they are looking back, this is been going on all over the place not just in schools but these protests and in many cases across the country, especially philadelphia there was st. petersburg, one in siberia, the traditional alex of liberal tradition and the professors, or whoever, i gather a partisan end in some cases the whole force investigating these programs so they are gathering these people and saying how much were you paid from washington? we're not making these things up, there are seriously people who are supposed to be professors and their asking how much money you got from russia and . >> they said they were private, they both said they were private. >> he believes it but those people look like they did and
that's what's amazing. it's really the class of generations and if you just see those exchanges andlisten to what these kids, listen to what they're saying, that is amazing . >> and to your question, i think yes, this is a turning point.and primarily at the turning point for demographics. >> again because of the age, because this is the tomorrow of these people. >> these on the faces of tomorrow and when you have protests caused by particular grievances not just general political protests, you can set aside concessions on particular issues. you can scare other people, but that five years ago. the real progress in 2012. >> they are really scared and i remember the last few days, and it turns out we were a little overoptimistic but of course, you remember handing
out one concession after another, they were still going to do elections immediately, a few days after the letter happened and just a year and a half before that, or a year before that, they were in the airport saying they will not restore elections in russia. >> the senate is 100,000 people stood up and took him five minutes to restore. >> they were also a lot of opposition parties but there were some concessions and of course crackdowns in may 2012. >> and they beat up peaceful protesters and arrested dozens and many people are still in prison five years after taking part. >> you can do that, you can grab concessions and still pressure somebody else.>> last for generations stood up to you, there's not much you can do. we just had i don't think it
was open russia but we had just this morning online. we had in preparation for the next wave of protests which are being at the end. >> and it doesn't have a sophisticated message. it's just a picture of vladimir putin 's mouth covered. and just one word, ideal, let up. these other people who live their whole lives with him, they walk through anything except him and that exchanging grants is how it's referred to, that principle saying why are you unhappy? why do you want this? and a lot of the questions, you've thought about them. but she said who is better, which government that you live is better? how do they know? all they know is him. people who come to vote next month in the russian presidential election will have been born under putin, the people who turned18 . they will be born under him. . so that's a whole new generation. that simply stood up, seeing one face on the streets.
every single day. >> so yes, this is a turning point i really believe. >> i think your comments are so,they are prescient . but the second is goes to the point that he was making that this is an insecure regime . >> totalitarian regimes are stable until they are not. and i think that is the point we have to remember, we're thinking about this whole by russia to us and thinking how it's a disruptive strategy against the regimes for our national security interest in the united states and also the national security interests of our allies in europe area i want to give a little bit of time for questions for the audience that's eager to ask questions but before we do that i have to ask you if you are planning on going back after this. >> i do want to go back. there's a moral differential, i went back almost immediately and i probably
won't but i did go back after the reports. i did go back last time and this time i will go back but i'm going totake some time . i feel that a better way to go for the economy and i might as well say it, the doctors are better inmoscow . so if you have a third time, that will be the last one so they really wanted to me to get 100 percent as much as i can before i go back so i think i will keep the advice this time and be more obedient to what they have to say but i want to go back and i will go back because i think the work is important. i think what we do is important. judging from the reaction, i think it all is important and i think we have a moral right. to point out, to protest. and spread the national government and that we have responsibility for those people. to continue, not to hide, not
to run away, not to give up. there's something in that not to give up and we're not going to give it up. >> thank you. like i said, i think all of us are here because we admire your courage and the courage of your family as well so i want to give a couple questions, i want to take questions all at the same time. but mike is going around, please introduce yourself and ask a question, not a lecture but mister ambassador. >> chair from the united council, thank you for being here. the biggest action that the west has taken, the united states and germany has gone along have been economic sanctions against russia and we've had the oil price drop. we noticed just recently with
the evaluation, russia's notion of pep has fallen below south korea now so there's real impact there. so the question i would have to for the panel is is this a viable strategy as the main tool to try to bring about change along the lines that we all like to see. >> i will take a few more questions. the gentleman in the glasses? >> my name is briggs burton from the victims of communism memorial foundation. my question is whether or not there is any value in coordination between the human rights activists in russia and in china, in cuba and in countries across the world and trying to really globalize the human rights movement. even in those individual instances. >> thank you. and we are question here, a general . >>.
>> is a question about participation of religious minorities, we know that they are persecuted, in the nontraditional villages of minorities, one of them is all witnesses, there are a minister of justice is going to file the parliamentary claim to ban these groups so we won't know what kind of executives are agreed to freedom in russia. what's your position? what's the opposition agreement. >> so a question on sanctions bringing about change, whether it should be coordination, global movement and then religious freedom so who wants to take one of those? >> let me take the first two and, might want to say something about the third. >> there are a lot ofthings that we can do , i think there are sections that we
now have that are minimal, absolutely minimal. but you know, we have to protect ourselves and protect the information space. there are issues having to do withmilitary support , which is not allowing these planes to be bonding security and in the ukraine. but probably the most effective thing to do is to really cut off access to our investment system with the stolen resources and it's a little disorganized crime and corruption, reporting projects which just came out with a report that the guardian reported on the subject of $20 billion documented of money, could be as high as $80 billion. >> the video that they did about this data had $1
million. >> was much more than that. >> these are enormous sums of money. >> and you know, no matter how much we speak about human rights and defend human rights, our system is also underwriting these authoritarian systems by taking the money, wondering it, protecting it but also the enablers who do that, this is well documented and it's our congress and political system along with europe can really quire that if anybody wants to invest money, they cannot do it anonymously. these anonymous companies, shell banks and so forth to tighten it up and have transparency and knows who's investing and not to accept stolen money. i think that would do more than anything else to affect the power and influence of these autocratic countries, regarding coordination, a lot of coordination does take place already and there is something that we provide as
the secretary for the national endowment, call the world movement for democracy, they together democracy activists but there can be coordination of the human rights level. i know at the end of the day vladimir will be at the meeting in oslo which provides for a kind of coordination to human rights activists. un watch in geneva as an annual human rights meeting which does something like that. >> i think we support that and i think you now have a tool with the internet and social media to try to strengthen that coordination and make it regular and it should also involve common actions, coordinated actions to try to free political prisoners. >> i think the united states has done the least on your fourth point in terms of legislation. >> and it is a great deal more that could be done beyond, the relatively weak sanctions. >> it's an emerging issue i think and i think there's a readiness now to take this issue seriously and i call
attention to the quick talk or see in washington, that work of charles davidson, alex bullock, ben judah, all these people becoming really specialist that we are documenting the problem. >> and tom, do you have those questions? >> coming on the sanctions, i think it is extremely important that the sanctions be sustained and i think there's a little complacency about that right now because i think we all are under putting the scrutiny into the allegations of the connection between the trump campaign and russia which are hard for the administration to do a grand bargain which the sanctions go away. >> that said, sanctions should be maintained to remain effective.
they do need to remain on the books, they have to be enforced vigorously and we have to watch very carefully to ensure that the treasury and state department actually do the work to continually renew the sanctions, that are supposed to be in a major package that the treasury department under normal circumstances would do in july that would add on to the current sanctions list and we make sure that happens, we need to make sure we are lobbying our european partners particularly some of the countries that are more under's influence right now like hungary. to vote for the renewal of the eu sanctions when they, for review also. all that said, let's remember the sanctions are not meant as a response to repressions inside russia, they were not intended to try to change russia internally, they are a
response to russian aggression in the ukraine and the future of crimea. >> and were those issues to be resolved somehow, sanctions would necessarily go away. so we need to keep our focus and it turns out these issues again on the broader set of answers of these measures that our congress has within their power to put in place and my hope is that as the senate investigations into russian interference in our election and possible collusion with the administrations continue, that there will be a legislative agenda that goes along with that as members ask the question how can we better protect ourselves. >> against that kind of interference in the future whether it comes from russia or china or any other country. and i think if they ask that question the natural answer will be i think all of us and
said to break the rules against the anonymous laundering of money in our financial and political system. we know how to do that, we need the political will. >> thank you, i'd like to quickly address the questions. on religious freedom, if you believe on whether russian institution, i guarantee you that our country as well as the international litigation that we take in the counselor europe. >> on the cooperation between different human rights movements, i think it's a good idea because i know the issues are the same, the challenges are the same. and i think there is cooperation going on but i think it's also especially cooperation with countries that are experienced very similar situations to what we have and also the countries of course ukraine is the main one here.i think and i said
many times that i think the primary motivation for putin's aggression against the ukraine that began in 2014 was not politics, it was fear of influence, it was because of an analogy. >> was too close to call, almost to boom. >> the college, boarding a plane's and thousands of people were standing on the streets of tf. >> a corrupt authoritarian strongman forced out of power, and ukraine. a country so similar to russia culturally with historic traditions in terms of religion, heritage, language that this was based on health and human for him and this is why also we need to be cooperating and we are. >> there are very close links between the democracymovement and human rights groups in russia . >> and on the sanctions, that is a very important question. first of all, the biggest sanctions, the most hitting sanctions against the russian people were introduced bought
by vladimir putin in the summer of 2014 when he imposed the blanket man on food imports on the european union of america and other countries which contributed massively to the loot infestation in russia in the past years and is especially affecting particularly regions if you think about in this year, for leningrad but the polish border. obviously all of the food supplies from the european union are surrounded by them and have to fly from turkey and from china and you can imagine how it contributes the place. >> last year or the year before, after the taxes. the organization in the future those inside the courtyard, you have these cards that have all these school ages brought from across the board in holland, this is something i remember from my childhood. >> so these are the toughest sanctions. which by the way, the current propaganda trend has sanctions imposed by the left. but as far as western
sanctions go, i would like to offer the russian perspective. the opposition of the russian perspective, where again are sanctions against russia and the russian people and this is an important point for us and we had the opportunity to present by the senate yesterday, there's an appropriations subcommittee hearing about the situation in russia and possible ways forward and the chairman of the subcommittee lindsey graham was the lead sponsor of the sanctions act was introduced and i said to him that it's very important to be careful about the language. it's essential that the us does not seem is seeking to punish the russian people for the actions of a regime that they can neither unseat in a free election because we don't have any and cannot fall for account through independent media because we don't have any either. very important, this goes back to the same point on sanctions easier not equating
russia and the putin regime. and i think the most effective section and frankly the most criticalsanctions are the individual ones . the magnet ski act introduced more than four years ago. the chief sponsor of that act is here today and when the magnitsky act was passed we were sitting in the house visitors gallery and it was november 2012. the third anniversary of magnets death in prison. and congress was voting and there was a massive majority in both houses. the most pro-russian law in the history of any foreign parliament and it really is because it targets both people who abuse the right of russian citizens and who plunder the money stolen in the russian people from russians today and there are now 44 people sanctioned under the magnitsky act and a bunch of names came in mid-january, before the administration was still in place just in time and i have to say this is a very
important day because the customer was related in the position because we had conversations about this. it was a general treaty for the investigative committee. this is a person who was basically tailor-made for the magnitsky act. he was in charge, supposedly in charge of all the political motivation prosecutions of the opposition act area and he was in charge of the u cost k. he was in charge of the volleys case, the first one and a few years ago he took a leading independent journalist in russia to the forest near moscow and threatened him with murder. he said i'm going to be the one in charge of the investigation, so don't worry about it. he admitted it, it's not in dispute. he said it afterwards but i think that's not enough frankly and he was part of that list and he's the most high-ranking official who was
on the list.and we really hope that despite everything, this continues to be a management and it'sheartening to see other countries beginning to follow . it's taken us years and the first european union was estonia, a lot of the grand countries in europe but a tiny former soviet republic on the border with the region was the first european union country to have the tenacity to say no, going to block these men rights abuses and now we have the kingdom and that would really be a potential game changer because that is the destination and i think it's those type of factions, not against russia, not against the russian people but against a specific individual in and around putin's regime who engage in human rights abuses, engaging corruption and yet who abuse for years the western financial system . send their families to real estate, policies and as they found out.
and having these other types of sanctions were right in principle and while we were working with the house passing the magnitsky act, he said once we have the rule of law and democratic human government again in russia, i will be the first one, about himself he said i'd be the first one to go back to the us and get a repeal of the magnitsky act because we don't need it anymore. we will have our own system of the rule of law and we will be able to bring our own councils to justice and unfortunately that day is not yet here and is for us to carry on . but i think similar hopefully, one day he will be coming here for a repeal but that day is not here. >> thanks to center curtain we now have a global so the legacy of this great session who sacrificed his life for
this cause is now a law that enables us anhuman rights violators and corrupt officials throughout the world. but we're not going to appeal that even if russia becomes a full-fledged democracy. >> i think we would know we have to unfortunately wrap up but the young people will carry on. there are other suites in moscow so thank you again for being with us today, thank you tom, thank you carl d thank you to our audience. please join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] >>. [inaudible conversation]
>> the supreme court is considering a case over when police can be sued for excessive force. two homeless people sued after police shot them in a shack behind the house. the police were searching for a parolee and came across the couple. the man was holding a bb gun used to shoot rats. the couple one of $4 million award. these are oral arguments in the case of los angeles county versus mendez tonight at the eastern. the confirmation process for joint you were set to reace antonin scalia on the supreme court continues ãweek. the senate judiciary committee monday and if approved the nomination goes to the full senate. a final vote is planned for friday, april 7. we will have live coverage of the senate debate here on c-span2.
>> live sunday at noon eastern, investigative journalist and best-selling author annie jacobson is our guest on both tvs in depth. >> from these documents what is clear is that it's moving humans in the military environment towards being comfortable with this idea of merging man and machine. >> liz jacobson is known for her writings on war, weapons, purity and government sequence and will discuss her recent book area 51, operation paperclip. the pentagon's brain and pulitzer prize finalist and her mo recent common phenomenon. when our life three hour conversation with eddie jacobs with your emails, tweets and facebook questions live sunday at noon eastern on tvs in depth on c-span2. >> nfl players has one bolden and michael jenkins took part in a congressional forum on ways to improve community
police relations and the criminal justice system. they share their first-hand experiences with congress and outlined efforts to build greater trust on police and minority communities. before him was cohosted by the house oversight mmittee. >> this is an hour and 45 minutes. >>. >>. >> good afternoon and welcome. to this congressional forum entitled nfl players. first-hand experienc and costs between communities and police. >> tay's forum is an opportunity for nfl players to provide their own phase i, what it was like for them growing up in their hometown communities.