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tv   Michael Mc Faul From Cold War to Hot Peace  CSPAN  July 22, 2018 1:02pm-2:33pm EDT

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"gaslighting america" is a great book. .. the white house, the supreme court, and public-policy events in washington d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. [inaudible conversations] >> okay, good evening.
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we are going to get rolling as people find seats. the last of you folks. i want to welcome you on behalf of the institute for international studies here at stanford. her name is kathryn stoner, and the other local scientist here at stanford that also works on russia. actually, there is more than just two of us. there are many of us. and i am sometimes the co-author of some of mike's books and articles. although he does pretty well without me. [laughter] it is rather productive without my help. i'm also senior fellow and deputy director of the institute for international studies. where our speakers this evening, ambassador professor, michael mcfaul stairs as director. it is my pleasure and sincere honor to introduce michael to you this evening. although, sanford in particular, mike is the man who really needs very little introduction. just in case, you do not know mike, or his work i will give you a brief intro.
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mike has a long and distinguished history at stanford where he first came as an undergraduate from montana in the autumn quarter of 1981. if you get a few beers and him you'll find out that he was housed and -- he is joined with his wife in whom he was married little more than 10 years later. he was a double major and slavic languages and international relations.he co-termed in western and eastern european studies also got an ma here in 1986. his first trip to russia as he tells you in his highly acclaimed new book, and long anticipated, especially those of us that work them. was in 1983 as a sophomore here at stanford. and a photo of him holding up a poster that says, russia or bust, in the middle of this book as he headed off to the soviet union for the first time
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is alone, let me assure you, worth the price of the book. [laughter] mike went on to oxford after stanford to receive -- in international relations and wrote a liberation movement in southern africa and particularly the intervention of the soviet union south africa. but even as a dissertation to south africa led him to the soviet union, as a researcher, which is where i first met him at a discussion section at moscow state university. where we talked very debated, democracy with our host. eventually, mike became an activist, helping to support place like the national institute and opened up the moscow office supporting russia's early democratic stirrings. mike then came back to stanford as an assistant professor of political science in 1995.
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to the hoover institution where he is now the peter and helen senior fellow and to the institute where he has served as director of the center on democracy development in the rule of law and the deputy director of the institute. again, a position i now hold. i feel that my trajectory is quite good! [laughter] since 2015 has been director of the freeman institute. mike's first trip to the soviet union as i mentioned in 1983, as a sophomore, would be the first of hundreds of visits to the soviet union and then russia, culminating of course, as his arrival in moscow as president obama is ambassador in january 2012. which he held until march 2014. although, as he is careful to note, and i can feel his presence here, he got out before crimea was taken by putin so it did not happen on
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his watch. [laughter] prior to that he served as a close advisor to obama during his campaign. flying with him on 0 force one. eventually with him on air force one. as senior director for russia and eurasia, all experience is recounted in highly anticipated and now we can safely say, highly acclaimed new book. "from cold war to hot peace" in american ambassador input -- putin 's russia. before he went into government he was undoubtedly, the best political scientist, writing on russia in a generation perhaps, rivaled only by prior generations, great scholar, and
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policy maker, george cannon. also of course, served as u.s. ambassador to the soviet union. michael mcfaul, like canon, is a rare academic who has also successfully bridged this often, to a wide gap between policy and academia. i will close by noting that it is a testament to mike's abilities as a diplomat, that he has managed to get no fewer than four secretaries of state, two democrats, two republicans, two women and two men. you have blurbs on his back cover. none even have a single secretary of state were being but needing a next one. it is my pleasure to introduce my friend, my colleague and our former ambassador to russia, and the united states, michael mcfaul. i urge you to buy his fascinating book at the end of the topic this evening. [applause]
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>> wow. thank you, kathryn stoner! after that we should just go to questions. summarize my life, that was so nice of you! thank you all for coming. i know i'm competing with warriors, the first game of the series. so i know that you really want to talk about russia. i actually would rather be watching the warriors right now. but i'm thrilled you're here. this book means a lot to me. it is a tragedy, as i will tell you in a few minutes. a tragedyby us/russia relations. a tragedy about obama was attempts -- i went over stories with him because he is writing his own book. thankfully, our stories overlap. i was a little nervous about that. in case we had a different memory of it. and somewhat of a tragedy of my own life, starting at here as a kid and having some ideas about
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russia. and ending in places i didn't want to do it. so what i'm going to do tonight, and this is a first time i've ever tried to do this. it may fail and it will correct and i will get it right by the time i get to harvard on wednesday. i'm going to try to leave the personal and analytic. i will lead on the analytic because this is stanford, after all. but i want to bounce back and forth. especially to bring a little stanford into the story because we are at stanford today. as said, i came to stanford as a 17-year-old kid. i first got in montana, sometimes we are thought of in certain ways. the red state, the flyover state. but junior year of high school, i joined the debate team. actually joined the debate team to get an easy "a" because i did not like to write back then.the topic was us, russia, how to improve u.s.
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trade policy. my debate partner and i, we ran what is called a swirly case. if there any debaters out there. you are nodding, right? squarely means obscure, strange, no one has any data on. we said we should repeal the jackson -- amendment to the 1974 trade out. as a way to increase trade to the soviet union. it was not at stanford, actually. that i started my interest in the soviet union. it was in montana. but the fall quarter of my freshman year, i registered into two classes and they change my life. and stanford really did change my life. first year russian and poly sigh 35. anyone have that? i know you did. it is called something else now, poly sci three now or something peer but those classes i took because i was scared. i was scared of the cold war.
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there is enough gray hair in this room that you know what i mean. but there are enough young people here to remind you that it was a scary time. and i had a theory. that if we could just engage with the russians, we called them the soviets then. and get to know each other, we could reduce tensions in us/ russia relations.that was my initial theory. i played with it for a while. sophomore year, there it is, that is the photo. i was not sure i should include that in the book. my publishers wanted to. there i am. sophomore year. i can see -- i actually had just got a haircut. my hair was a lot longer back then. imagine, my sophomore year. most will go to florence, paris, london, to campuses there. it is most certainly where my girlfriend went. she went to florence, i went to moscow and 85. you should see who is a smart one in our family. but i was going because i had
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never, i'd never been abroad before. never been abroad! and imagine that phone call to my mother in montana. by the way, thought california was a communist state. [laughter] a bunch of hippies and i will come back some communist and sure enough, came back with long hair. i wanted to go to the evil empire. that is what ronald reagan called the soviet union back in 1983. and there i am at the airport on my way. that is why went. that is why i got interested. for me, the end of the cold war was a glorious moment. and i want to emphasize that. this was good news! i am not part of this part of history that somehow this was a bad deal for america. and russians, gorbachev, all of these people. if you look hard you can seem i'm actually at the demonstration. they were partners in ending the cold war. they too, want a world where we
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would be closer together. at least some of them and actually several hundred thousand of them. and also ukrainians and georgians and lithuanians and alaskans and estonians. if you look hard you can see the flags in this meeting too. it is easy to forget about. and putin wants you to forget he wants you to think we were always in this confrontational relationship. but that is not how it was in the late 80s and early 90s. to remind you of that and then to remind you of the horrible place written today in terms of confrontation with russia. two years ago, then, the prime minister said, we are just like it is the cold war. and notice he invoked in 1962, just a couple of weeks ago, of course on twitter, our president said it is even worse than the cold war. our current moment today. now, we could have a semantic
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debate about if it is worse or better and if it is hot versus cold, cold war versus hot piece. i'm happy to do that in questions. i use this phrase, hot piece deliberately to echo the past peer because some of the things are similar. history does not repeat itself but it rhymes. i think that is true here. some of the aspects of the hot piece are worse. or dangerous or frightening. even then, birds of the cold war. we used to have a big quantitative arms race and now have a qualitative arms race which is biggest carrier. it is great, we do have communists and capitalism but vladimir putin is fighting ideological struggle against the west. the decadent and liberal west, that is the way he describes it. better or worse? i don't know. some things that we thought were over, that we had gotten
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rid of. annexation. for many decades annexation was in part of the struggle back and forth.now it is back. and on our side, never in history of the cold war, has so many people been on the sanctions list. the chief of staff of the kremlin, never was on a sanctions list during the cold war. and it's gotten so bad that i am on the sanctions list. i no longer can travel to russia. i'm in good company, george kennan was last former ambassador to be on the list. i saw his daughter two days ago. she has a new book coming out herself.and she said, welcome to the club, mike. i was on the list for long time. keep the faith you might get on again later. i think we can all agree this is a confrontational moment in the u.s. and russia relations. for me, i want to add adjective, tragic confrontation. what i want to do is, i just want to explain this photo.
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this photo. -- what happened? [laughter] what happened? how did we go from that moment to this moment? by the way, i was at that meeting but it was in mexico of all strange places to have a summit.flew there from moscow and let me tell you, the meeting was much worse. much worse! all right, for the next 15 or 20 minutes i want to explain that. what happened? did i want to take your questions. when we get questions i want to be clear, i'm talking pretty analytically now but i want to make sure that we can talk about anything. we can talk about all of the other chapters in the book, some of the later chapters. i have heard that some of you all already read lots of the book. it is great! please recommend it to your friends, your wives, cousins. fathers and cousins, don't forget! so we can talk about the
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two-step, we can talk about obama is jump shot, not as good as he thinks it is. [laughter] but i want to keep with the more conceptual piece as i work to the expiration of this. what happened? and i'm going to oversimplify but i think there are three big arguments out there. theories, if you will. explanations.i want to walk you through all three of them. my bluff for those of you who worked in the pentagon, you know what that is. bottom line, upfront is that the third explanation does most of the work here. but the first two, let me walk through it and will end with that. first one, structure of the international system. this is poly sci 35, structural realism if you remember all of that. this is a argument that focuses on power. power between the states, balance of power international system. and we see here, this is just some history, racing through.
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five, 12, 20. you can get the idea. what's going on here is countries are getting more powerful and other countries are getting weaker. as a result, there is confrontation and at times, borders change. it will take a long time before crimea gets to russia, by the way. we will not go through this all that way. and so, this theory says what we are seeing today is just normal, great power politics. it goes on for hundreds, thousands comic mother back to thousands of years of history. nothing new under the sun here. right? russia was weak, so the union collapse. no rush is back, it has power and they are participating like a great power again. nothing new under the sun. by the way, that is how all great powers including the united states act. and i want to say first, part of this theory, part of this explanation, is true. power matters in the international system and power
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matters for the story in my book. i'm a little worried to say this. i usually pause here and to anyone from moldova? good! i worry there will be someone here from there tonight given that we are at stanford. that came off wrong, i love mulled over. i went there with the vice president in 2011 and he spoke before 50,000 people. which is probably the largest audience he'd ever had because you know, you don't get that chance during the vice presidential, they loved him. don't get me wrong, i love mulled over, i urge you to go. but -- we not talking about mulled over today because mulled over does not have the power to threaten europe, to redraw borders. and you know, weak states sometimes create problems for the united states as we have learned tragically on september 11. but we are talking about russia tonight and i read about russia in the book because russia has
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power to do things in the world. to annexed territories, support people like assad and intervene in our elections. but, there are two but 's i want to focus on. i can think of great powers that rose up and did not annexed territory of their neighbors. that did not threaten the international liberal order. japan, germany comes to mind. you know, if i feel good and may even add poland to this list. poland is way more powerful today and yet no one is worried about them invading their neighbors. and even china, which i put there is a teaser. this notion that it is inevitable we will have a war or conflict with china because of this rising power, i do not believe that. i think other variables come into play. and i don't want to get ahead of predicting that. but i want to focus on, it is not inevitable. there must be something more to the story in order to have a complete picture of why we are in this confrontation with russia today. and the second reason i feel even more strongly about is because when i was ambassador, the number one project for
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putin, was creating something most of you have not heard of. i can see some ukrainians here. there are people that know it. this is a weird crowd, i don't usually talk, there's a lot of people here that know a lot of things about international relations.but it is something most of you have never heard of called the eurasian economic union. it was his answer to the eu. he wanted to gather up all of the countries of the soviet union and be kind of a bull against the eu. in critical, absolutely critical to making that thing work was to have ukraine join it. he had belarus, kazakhstan. but as we are writing memos focus on this, nobody read the memos. they are called cables, right? i don't know why they are called cables. we send emails but i get it is left over from a time earlier. trying to say people, this is the most important thing to put in. nobody paid attention. but for him the focus was on ukraine.
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and here's why. anybody by anything with a label on the back of it. notice i said that, made in russia. in the u.s.? what did you buy? caviar? are you sure it was legal? a lot of illegal caviar. we can buy caviar. anything else? it is not really made in russia it is packaged fish in russia. what about products made in russia? vodka? okay. you can buy vodka. i've been to -- you can purchase beer. i would encourage it. it is not very good. i purchase it every now and then for nostalgic purposes. my point is, there's not a lot of made in russia being salty because russia does not make a lot of good that we want to buy here. but in ukraine, there are a lot of consumers that buy russian goods. and so, back then, to get ukraine to join, is key to making this thing whole.
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if that is your gain, your main strategic goal, how is it that you would invade ukraine and sees crimea? guarantee i think forever, ukraine will never join what was back then, the biggest project. to answer that question, we need some more proximate variables. we need something closer to the events that happened. all right, argument number two. it is all our fault. we americans, we scrub everything everywhere. and we are responsible for everything everywhere. and here, this is another instance of u.s. foreign policy, screwing everything up. so, we lecture them about markets and democracy. i was part of that crew. in the early 90s as kathryn said with an expanded nato. we bombed serbia, we invaded iraq, we allegedly, we didn't ã but we allegedly supported revolutions in georgia 2003, ukraine 2004 until putin just
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had to push back. finally, he just said i'm not going to take it anymore. i'm pushing back on all of this. imperialistic activity in the united states in the 90s and 2000. and i want to underscore all of these things happened, this, these are facts. most of them, all of them, actually, created tensions in us/russian relations. that is all true. but in between all of this, and the current moment of confrontation, there was cooperation. we called it the reset. and during this period, after all the stuff up and we sat down first with president-elect, obama. president-elect obama, by the way was the first person use the word reset in december 2008. andy told him about the history and he said come on man. i am the new guy. why do have to worry about something that happened in ancient history to get in the way of our interest? and he would turn to me and say, do the russians want iran to get a nuclear weapon?
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i said no, mr. president, they don't. so why can't we work together on this? do the russians want terrorists to win in afghanistan? no. and what about nuclear weapons? don't they want to reduce them? and we said yes. so in the course of this policy review, there is not a lot of evidence of that happening in washington these days but for better or ill we were joking about it. we were process oriented folks. and we came up with a pretty simple idea. that, let's work with russia where our interests overlap. and what the president called a win-win outcome. and at least of the difficult issues, let's not link them. we deliberately did not do linkage to other kinds of issues in us/russian relations. and there we go! off to the races. the third day of office for, fourth day of office for both of us. he is about to call the
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president for the first time to lay out the reset. i was going to make a joke about his hair but i won't do that. that's not fair. i walked out by the way, after that. so all of the bush folks and secret service folks tell me you're not supposed to touch the desk. i don't know if that's true. but nobody briefed me about that before. all right -- you know, i'm not going to go through this list in detail. i want you to read the book. there are chapters on it. but i want to remind you that we got some big things done in this period. not holding hands and singing kumbaya and wanting a better relationship. let's have a piece of chocolate cake and everything was good and we love each other as friends. no! it was about really, concrete things that we thought were in america's national interest. and we assumed that the russians, would not sign up for
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them if they were not in russia's national interest. so this was a great day for me. this is a fantastic day. we are in prague, they signed the start agreement. reducing by 30 percent, the number of nuclear weapons in the world. allowed in each country. this was the day it was ratified. at the end of the year, the last day of the senate winter break we went down and watch the vice president presided as we got 72 votes. i remember vividly, watching senator mccain walked down the hall and had his finger like this. then he got up and went like that! and he voted against us. but he is a good guy and he was very good to me, by the way throughout my entire career. including as u.s. ambassador. and again, you know, i love my job here at stanford. i'm grateful, this is paradise. and i will be there for the rest of my life. but some days here at stanford, the years are kind of blurry. like what did i do in 2003?
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you know?i plugged an article in the journal of democracy. i see larry diamond here. maybe i do that but i cannot remember which one. even in government, government is really hard to do anything! most people just be, im! deputy assistant secretary. or i was deputy to the deputy assistant secretary. it is so hard to do anything. you know the interagency process, you work through it. we finally get agreement and then the other side gets a vote. the russians get a vote, chinese get a vote, the iranians got a vote. 2010 we did something big. the vice president would have said that is a big word that begins with -- deal. i just cannot say words like that. and i felt, it is pretty good. that is what i did in 2010. i get rid of 30 percent of the nuclear weapons of the world. what did you do? that is a big deal! that is a big deal! remember, that was a big deal!
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and we did a bunch of other things. that people forget about. we opened up a supply route to afghanistan. true russia and central asia, at the peak of it i was kind of in charge of it at the white house. ... you needed to reduce the dependency we had on pakistan, when i came into the white house over 90% our supplies went through pakistan. as you may recall, we had an idea to take the war effort into pakistan from time to time, including very dramatically on the day in 2011 when we killed
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osama bin laden. could not have been able to do that operation had not reduced dependence. in fact the day before i was in the oval office, i was with -- summoned to the oval office on a saturday by one of my bosses, denis mcdonough, and he said we have to do some business today with kazakhstan, and i was like, why today? it's saturday. and you're spending squall time with people in the last five days. he said, get down here. we have to do this. and enhancement in the end. and i was giving argument, well, you're not understanding the domestic politics of kazakhstan and this is not the right to time to do this. propose we do this six weeks later an an election and he said i'm pretty appreciative,mer professor, don't want to be called a professor when you're working at the white house. i'm really appreciative of all
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you intimate knowledge of kazakhstan politics but we're doing this deal today. get your ass down here, the president will be calling kazakh tan. the next day was the operation to kill osama bin laden. third, iran sanctions. i'll go faster here. most comprehensive set of sanctions in the history of the u.n. security council, led to what i think was terrific deal with iranians which the presidenters to fores tore, and it's important to remember the nonevents in history. they are written out easily. 0 for me in the scariest day by far was in the spring of 2010. the president overthrown kyrgyzstan. 1 people died, others fled into
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neighboring uzbekistan and i felt like we were on the verge of a civil war and you may not think that's a big deal but imagessed, manas air base would change the anytime make it more adopting for the russians back in 2009, when it was transit center, and a lot of airplanes there. over 95% of our troops went through manas on the way to afghan. this was very -- it felt like another color revolution, i mentioned those earlier. hospital been any acrimony, and obama got on the phone and said our countries don't have an interesting in this thing blowing up. let's work together to resolve it and you never heard but a horrible genocidal war because we helped to diffuse other. i just like to remind people, you just five years ago, this -- it's in colorado springs,
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russians and americans jumping out of airplanes, doing counterterrorist training to. we did a bunch of economic things. for most people these thing small but every one of those boxes reps literally thousands of hours of my life. that cease ya regime was a associationive the russians and dhs. had everything working on the right -- there's dmitry medvedev speaking at stanford. wanted to build a silicon valley-like thing we said in order to do it you have to have a university, a school of technology. these were some pretty good da days of cooperation. >> and it showed even in society. over 60%, roughly 60% of russians had a positive view of the united states, back then, at the peak of the reset, and almost a similar number of americans had a positive view of russia back in the peak of the reset. and i want to remind you, all of
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these things happened, everything i just described, happened after nato expansion, after the orange revolution, after the iraq war, in fact i was o on every single phone call with the president with medvedev and putin during this period. well, nil went to become ambassador and at most meetings, and anyway to expansion never came -- anyway to expansion never came up, not once. all of this. better bill am republican friends criticized but it was -- these issues were a drama in our relationsonship to getten in a in mcfaul's class -- my students are here -- you cannot cite those variables as an explanation for today's confrontation without having an explanation for that creation. that makes no sense. we're fighting about nato expansion when we had a period
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when nobody was think but nato expansion. brings me to the third and last argument which is the heart of the matter. russian domestic politics. here there's lots of variables and they're in the book, please buy the book. all the knew ons in there but two really important events that happened here. by the way, both of these events happened between the time that i signed up the ambassador, and i agreed i would do the job, and my arrival. i want you to think about that as we go other slides. they happened after i had agreed serve as ambassador. one, in november of 2011, putin decides the wants to be president again. tired of medvedev being president. and in september 2011 they do this little switcheroo and he starts running for president. the election was in march of 2012. we got to know putin pretty well
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during this period, not as well wise have liked. what we came to learn these two gentleman actually had rather radically different world views. in fact, the day this happened -- actually wasn't the day. two or three days later, went in to see the president, about something else, can't remember what. and after the meet, he held my arm and pulled me back into the oval office and said, what do you think? what are we going to do about this and i initially kind of gave him the party line, which is putin is a big dog, he is a big decisionmaker, that's what everybody said at the time. right? they all said to us, you're naive dealing with medvedev. putin is always making the decisions so i repeated that and said of course your personal capital built up with medvedev you can't use that but we'll get on with what we have to do. and he look at me and said, come on, man, you don't really
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believe that. and i said no, i don't really believe that. they're going to change. we're going to have a lot harder time with this guy because i have known putin since spring of 1991, and i wrote my first article warning the world about putin in march 2000, and of course, i knew things would get more complicated, and fundamentally, if medvedev is welling to see win-win outcomes with the united states. in fact in that signing ceremony, when we're in prague, he did his remarks in russian and right at the end he turned and he smiled to obama and he said in english, barack, the is win-win outcome, and barack said -- that was the phrase he used a lot of time. none of the world sees this way. these world in zero sum terms. plus to or two america and -- he sees us as a competitor on a
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good day, and an enemy on a bad day, and in particular the third one is the one i want to focus on. he thinks that america uses overt and covert power to overthrow regimes we don't like. guess what? a lot of empirical data to support that hypothesis about american power over 70 years. it's true. he tried to make an argument we are different. in fact the first meeting between president obama and prime minister putin, i was sweating bullets because i'm a notetaker and as my family know is can't read my own hand writing and that becomes the record. the meeting was supposed to last for an hour and 55 minutes into the meeting the president had not spoken because putin had big speech he had to give and i was supposed to read it tout the press. i'm think what aim going to tell
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them? for 55 minutes my guy said nothing. i went three and a half hours and we had something to say. the essence of the meeting was the following. putin wanted to lecture the new guy about all the mistakes the bush administration had made and he had a long speech. he had many, many instances that he -- he comes prepared for meetings. note to president trump, he comes prepared for meetings. you better, too if you're going to do business with this guy and walked through the lit notify mistakes and when we got iraq, he says you guys were idiots. you don't understand the middle east. look at the mess you have made. and obama said, you're right. i agree. it was like, hey, i'm playing the russians and you're playing the americans. those are my talking points, and he didn't say that but like, looked at him a little funny and obama said you may have forgotten or didn't know but
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well before it's popular i was against the war, and was kind of interesting for putin. he was like, maybe this guy is different. he looks different, talks different, maybe this is a break with the past and as we walked out to the car, they're bantering back and forth. i got the sense that putin had an open mind. maybe have a way to work with these folks. don't work with medvedev. not going to have another reset. i did that it with bush. work with president medvedev and see what happens, two years later lots of evidence that obama was just like bush, egypt, libya, in fact let me say more about libya. all n all of these instances in the year 2011, massive demonstrations against out thattic regimes. we did nothing, nothing, we
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reacted to them and i was still working white house at the time. in many ways these were a distraction from the bigger things we were trying to do. when we got libya in particular, we felt that there was -- we were on the verge of genocide in benghazi and he wants to take military action, but because obama believed so strongly in international institutions he said as a precondition we have to get a security council resolution. and in march 2011, we did that. i was at the meeting with medvedev in moscow, this time with the vice president, when he said you're right, regimes are corrupt. we have to be on the right side of them. and for the first time ever in soviet or russian history, they an stained on the security council resolution, 1970 and 1973, authorizing the use of force in libya. and in many way dish have a whole chapter on this in the book -- the height of
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cooperation nell reset. imagine russians and americans agreeing to use force inside the sovereign country of a dictator to save lives. also the end of the reset. a few days later, in public, not just privately, med met made a mistake. he should never have done that. and i think that's when he decided, this guy's been drinking too much reset kool-aid. i'm going to have to come back and take over. and it continues. syria, the longest chapter in my become he, the most tragic because of the mistake we made but this is the 2011 demonstrations are happening all over the middle east and then we get to the last month, 2011, russia. second major factor here, coming back, demonstrations, and what happened here? normal election, falsified, that kind of normal levels, 5%,
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normal for russia, back then. that was our assessment. that wasn't their assessment. with their smartphones, with the contacts, with twitter, the evidence of multimix case, spun i around and then 50 and 100,000 and eventually 200,000 people went on at the streets of moscow, first say, give us back the vote, and then later, as what happens when you get that many people together, started to criticize the putin regime. russia without putin became one of the cheers. remember, the last time that many people were on the streets of moscow, 20 years earlier, the soviet union collapsed. the event called the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. think about that. that's what the thought, seeing those crowds, he needed a new game plan how to deal with the
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crowds the first reaction was anger. saw him at a meeting and he's like, to the kid, called them the creative class. made them rich. brought them off thunder knees of hear their fancy iphones and laptop because of me. how do they betray me. he was upset. and you look at the demographics, it was the young people and his next reaction was fear. a replay of 1991. so he began to create an argument, undermined their legitimacy to call them a myriad -- the puppets of the west, and to do so he had to revive us, the united states, as the enemy, to say that we were controlling these people. we were sending them money. america, obama. want it to say for the record this started before i got him get to moscow in january 2012.
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for the record, i didn't cause all this mess. he started saying these things well before i showed up. that's vladimir putin speaking. when i did show up i became the poster child for this kind of criticism. in fact, one of the campaign folks that worked for him said to me, somebody i've known a long time, mike, remember, putin is running for re-election right now? and, mike, you're like manna from mean,ow showed up at the right time because you look like an american, you talk like one and have been striving about democracy and revolution. don't take it personally when we go after you, right? don't take it personally we'll take some shots at you. it will settle down after the election but bear with us. we're going to use you. the person i'm accused of creating here, i tried to joke on twitter, he went to yale for six months and they said mcfale orchestrated a secret
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training program for him and i tweeted out how would a stanford guy send anybody to yale. they didn't get the joke on twitter. during this period, i wasn't joking when i said in the poster child, i literally became the poster child. this is a calendar put out in 2012 in english and russian, all the months of the year are various leaders, mcfall's girls and then you heard but disinformation information, fake news, something we now come to understand that the russians are pretty good at. several years earlier they were also doing that am little cruder back then. much more sophies tick indicates now. for those that don't read russian, on the left, postes put up at a bus station and it says -- may 201, the political circus is coming again toking and and i'm surrounds by opposition figures and i'm
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lithias the artistic -- that was the day that there was violence and people were arrested in some of them are still in jail today. the other photo is me allegedly campaigning for nivaldi when he ran for -- in 2013. i hope that's obviously photo shopped. i do not have hands that bit. i wish die. i'd be a much better basketball player. just to givation flavor, this is the news. turn it up. [speaking in foreign language] [speaking in foreign language] >> you basic story, removed as ambassador because i failed to bring about revolution. you see i'm an expert in dish
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did not have a plane like that, by the way. it was a horrible video. the last side of this -- and came out on youtube and -- i have some friend at google and they pulled it down. but then it appeared on other
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web sites in russias. this toe this day, googly name, mcfaul, pedophile, three million hits. and i tell you that, one so you know how nasty it got, and b., how difficult this is. you get on twitter and say i'm not a pedophile? and you're like, back and forth, arguing about a nonfact. and this is part of how this morphed. i had good company. here's the president, and now you can laugh at this. you don't know the story becauseow don't read russian. people laughing over there. this is channel 1 news, the comparing -- at first you may not think that obama is the same -- has the same ideology as the leader of isis, that's who is on the right, but if you look closer, barack hussein obama has the same world view, the same
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ideological orientation as as as him. and then notice a pattern. big crowds demonstration again regimes. this now ukraine. we actually -- the story is yanukovych wouldn't sign -- join the expo thing goes masty, hundreds 0 were killed scour goal in this was to solve the crisis. maybe that was bad. either way the ukrainians criticized it what we did but joe biden was trying cut a deal between yanukovych and the opposition diffuse the conflict and push it down the road. february 21st, we had thought
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we had a deal. way at the olympics and then i got another e-mail saying, yanukovych, president of ukraine,ed had appeared in russ. i don't know why the went to rostov. i have some theories but curious why he fled after they cut a deal. but putin, a replay of the same old, and when he lost his guy, that's when he decided to go into ukraine. and crimea when it was cheap to cheap, in my mind went into eastern ukraine and that to me was the end of the cold war period and the beginning of the hot peace. and then he went on the offensive.
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going to continue to do that issue think, for as long as he is in power. all right. i went on longer than i thought because i was telling too many stanford stories. the good news, if you accept my argument, is i don't believe putin has a master plan to recreate soviet union. i see no evidence of that. it's emotional guy, tactical, willing to play his card width more aggression than ever before. more risky with time. but i don't see a grand plan to recreate the soviet union. nor die -- nor do i see cultural or balance of power arguments that we woo destin to us be in con flix with russia together. my story is one of people. individual matter. power matters and individuals matter, too, and outcomes matter. you know, no demonstrators in
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ukraine. maybe our relationship is different. no demonstrators in russia. maybe our relationship was different. we're not the only actors in the world. that's one thing learned clearly, win you sit the white house and think you control things, there's a lot of things you don't control. mine is a contingent story. the bad news is i don't see putin changing his view about us because it's not about policy tweaking. it's much more fund. al. he just wag re-gnawing it'sed, reininaugurated and he works out three hours a day, spender egg morning working out. i think tragically, obviously not where i wanted to end in the u.s./russian relationships in 1983 but i think that means we need to develop a comprehensive strategy, bipartisan -- can i say that 40,000 times --
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bipartisan strategy for how to deal with put's russia, which i think mostly containment when we must, occasionally cooperation when we can, and sometimes we just have to not give putin and his antics as much time and attention as we sometimes. do if you want to dig into this stuff, one thing you have to do and you know what it is. i'll end here, you have been very patient. [applause] jive you could just introduce yourself and then make sure wore we're asking questions. if you waugh want to give speeches, hit me on twitter.
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>> i'm the class of '65 at the business school. i want to thank you for your comments today and for all the time is heard you on npr and the television programs where you provide your expertise. >> great. >> i wish i could spend three weeks at your feet listening to everything you have to say but because i only have a limited time for a question i want to focus on the state department and i'm absolutely aghast how they are desecrating that entire organization, are we going to see a permanent degradation of that or can we recover? >> well, secretary tillerson made a mess of it. i'm exterior be so -- sorry to be so blunt. didn't know hem permanently but i knew his company well. worked with. the because they cut a beg big deal while i was working in government, and i kept an opened mind because some other people around here were more supportive of him than i was but at the end of the day he didn't understand what he was doing, and it was horrible.
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i know a lot of people, hundreds of people that work in that building and these are -- bothers me a little bit. you have given me a chance to get on my soap box. i always worked with some women and men in the military, serving our country overseas. i love being on the team. just love being on the team america with all these people. but we always say, thanks to the service of our women and men overseas, in military, well, there are women and men, men and women, working for the state department, working for usaid, and they are just as great americans as those people in uniform and they're part of the american theme, and so when he went after them to cut them, while we're building up the military, is not in america's interests to do that. and i'm glad that has stopped. what i hear -- just in d.c. a couple days ago, met with folks in the state department. that pompeo, the new secretary, is reversing that, and i have a lot of disagreements with
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secretary pompeo about big policies issues. i'm -- i think they made a huge mistake with iran and i'm nervous but north korea but i'm glad he's bringing that attention because those people deserve it. especially working in moscow. showed you thing that happened to me. that happened to my staff as well. those people need our support. [applause] >> yes. isaac. >> hi, i'm one of your students. you list the libyan intervention as one of the success office the reset. and u.n. security council resolution 1973 which you dwis got medvedev to support. it gives the international community permission to protect civilians. the obama administration took it's step further and attacked moammar gadhafi's convey and let to his death. is it possible you went -- the obama administration went too far in pushing medvedev in this
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situation and if you hadn't, heed still be president after this decision? >> yeah. it's a good question. good one to write your paper about. so i say two things. i want to be clear. i'm not sure this was the moment that putin pushed medvedev aside. that's my speculation. putin never told me that. we're not exactly facebook friends. actually maybe we are facebook friends, right? given all the trolls out there trolling me every night. think i'm talking to somebody and turns out it's putin. who knows. and most certainly medvedev thought he had a shot for a second term, all the way up to september. maybe he was being delusional but he thought he was in the game. as i used to say, putin -- medvedev wants to run for re-election, and he just has
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to win one vote, to win, putin's, and his argument was, i can be the good face of russia while you do this other stuff internally and that's why i think libya was a turning point because i think putin thought issue can't trust this guy. doesn't understand these americans the way die. to your second part, yes, it was not our plan to do regime change in libya. i want to say that emphatically. that was not our plan, hour plan was to stop gadhafi's army from slaughtering people in benghazi. and over the course of those -- once you intervene, once you get into the mix, as my mother from montana would say, shit happen and it got out of control. we didn't kill gadhafi. we had had nothing to do with his murder. we tried to work if the russians and a guy named margalev, my
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friend to try to figure out way to get gadhafi out of the country because we were worried exactly about the scenario that happened. and we even cleared air space so he fly in on a government jet into triply and -- tripoli bus he knew gadhafi and didn't work. i say that about a lot of things in government. you have your game plan and sid in the windowless room in the white house, you run through 28 contingency what you think will help and then the point of can tact and run thing play, a lot of things happen you're not prepared for, and there's no doubt that medvedev was very disappointed in what happened. in fact near in france, remember it vividly, pretty calm, cool guy. kind of like obama, very rational, not a lot of drama. but in that meeting, he was upset, and he felt like we had
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bow trayed him betting the mission creep. good luck with the paper. >> i wonder if you can comment on the nation nate tower of russian collaboration in the cold war and the hot peace. flint the cold war we had a russian jewel in the crown of the cia, polikov. what is the prospect theoretically and the necessity actually for this type of co lan operation going forward? >> spies, you me. most of what i know i'm not stupid enough to talk about right now. it's called classified and i take that very seriously. actually got my book cleared twice because i would so afraid some of classified information dripping out, and i wanted to make sure that didn't happen. all i would say -- one chap in the book is called, burgers and
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spies. and talks about a spy swap we did in 2010, later created -- was inspirational for somebody to do this tv program called "the americans." so i know him. he -- we should get some royalties for that because we did that. and i would just say then, two things. one, spying is part of the business and all countries have the capacity to do it and i'm glad we have that capacity. russia has a lot of gasty. i'm sure they're with us right now. this first time i was read into what they can do wait astonishing to me and when we lived in russia, i had to assume that every e-mail, every phone call, that i made, every movement i made, was recorded.
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and if you're at any hotel in russia, to think about where -- you should assume everything is recorded. we even had a special room -- i think this is in the book, i hope it's not confidential. should i say it or not? i don't think it's confidential. they told you and you're -- you didn't have a security clearance. when they -- yeah. [inaudible] >> donna is always urging on the side of caution. but they briefed us. going through our briefing and super excited -- we lived in this fabulous house. if you get the chance to be ambassador anywhere, do it. but we lived in this fabulous house, look it up on the web and i want to make clear -- i've been on the negative stuff but some of thing of being ambassador, it was awesome. i'm going to come back to my wife in a minute. going to make sure i got
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permission. but here's what -- my day job meant things like -- what's a good example -- oh, you know, we hall a ballroom, seats 600 people. my job was continue vote my best friends to have herbi hancock play a concert in hi house kid lovedded the day we hosted the nba at my house. that was nice. and just the honor in case i forget to say this, the honor of being your representative in russia, the americans' representative in russia, president obama's -- that was just an honor of a lifetime. in fact we got in a fight one team early on, with my body guards about flying the flag. ambassador car cars are cadillac and there's a little place for the flag be on the left-hand side, the american flag and all
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this harassment stuff was going on and my bodyguard said we think we should take that flag down so we can travel around the city and people won't know who we are. and i was like, sergei, you got be kidding me, man. we're driving around in this giant black cadillac with two suburbans follow us, you think they don't know i'm the u.s. ambassador? we're going fly the flag because i'm proud no fly the flag while i'm here. the anecdote about the spies war remember they said if you ever need to argue -- is in the book -- okay, so got cleared by the state department you. hear a marital spat we have special room that you can do that in, please don't do it in spasa house but there's a special secure room you can have your argument. and i just want to report for the record, thankfully, never had to use that room. right? sir. >> hi, mike --
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>> i can't see good to see you. >> how are you? so, i mean issue didn't read the book yet, but the -- >> have you bought it? >> i will. >> excellent, okay. >> i want you to sign i. >> i care more that you bought it than if you read it. [laughter] >> i was waiting for you to sign it. okay, so, the way you characterize it here, it sounds like putin is rather one-sided. that he made a decision that he was going to go nationalist, going to -- >> yeah. >> -- restore russian prestige, et cetera. isn't putin a little bit -- isn't there more contradictions in the whole process? >> yes. >> he wants to modernize russia, too make russia a really modern economy -- >> no i'm not sure about that. >> well, he does certain things to make it seem like he wants to do things within russia that do that. i realize his power, you ended
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up that it's russian politics that are driving this. >> right. >> internal politics. >> i got the question. let -- it's a good question. putin is more complex than the way i described and that's why it takes me 500 pages to the the story but 50 pages are footnotes because i'm an academic about you right. didn't start out here and i talk about that in the book. when i first met him, he was working for -- who was the democratically elected mayor of moscow weapon meant in spring of 18991. and he was working with them as part of the democratic movement at the time when august, that coup attempt happened. he loses his job in st. petersburg, an interesting fact that people forget. for free and fair democratic election. kind of cool. there has to be losers and competition so he votedded out
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of posterior and looking for a job, and one of his liberal reformer friends, not some kgb guy, gets him a job working in the kremlin for boris yeltsin. think about that. put is a completely accidental president. chosen out of nowhere. in the wake of the august 1998 financial collapse. the heir apparent back then and i -- actually another -- a person i knew well before his assassination, boris -- and he was a charismatic, pro democratic, pro liberal leader, governor, and at thing high of economic depression in russia, he managed to be reelected out in the hinterland at a time when liberals were not popular, and
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proudly jewish, so the notion people won't vote for russian leader, he did. yeltsin named him first deputy prime minister and he was the heir apparent. and yeltsin said it many times inch between choosing him and the next -- the presidential race, there's this financial collapse, all over the world, august 1998. comes to russia so shock in the language of political science, wasn't predicted, the government has to resign and in the wake of that, he chooses this obscure guy that was working in his -- in the kremlin at the time he was made prime minister in august, he had a 6% or 7% recognition rate. most russians could not even recognize the guy. let alone plus or minus. chosen, i think, mostly to protect the property rights of yeltsin and his family, not because he was going to be some
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reformer. so there wasn't some societal demand for him. so back then to your point, he was not anti-western as much. i think his analytic frame pushing was put in place in the kgb school. if you're a young man like him, joining the kgb when he did, that means you've have a certain political orientation and he didn't take poly sci but it was more complex and in early phases he believed in markets, he cut taxes, 13%, flat tax, back then. cut corporate taxes. was a modernizer, was a modernizer back then and had people around him that i considered economic modernizer. he was never for democracy, he that that down but with the west
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and markets he wasn't dug in. over time he has up more conservative in terms of his values. he really does believe that he is the leader of a world conservative movement, orthodox value, christian values, family values as define i by him and is pushing back against the deck cat liberal -- decadent liberal west and has allies and is spending billions to propagate those ideas. that took place over time. with respect to the economy, it is a more complex story but i think the simple view if he didn't push for rule of law, he didn't try to guarantee the permissive conditions for investment, instead he redistributed the thing that are worth owning, so, today, there's 20 percent more property owned by the state than there was when he took over.
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that's not modernization, that's going backwards and some of the big projects that medvedev tried go, which was to try to bring investment in the high-tech world, he shied away from that. he has become more suspicious of independent economic actors and some of them he has arrested and put in jail. a guy i used to know well ended up in jail a month ago, victor, has been in the news a lot lately. well, you're no. not reading -- in russian he is in trouble. had a couple of people arrested by put there think about how bad his life is. the governments of america sanctioned him, they're arrest his people in russia and mule mueller is after him. not a good troika. wasn't inevitable it would happen and between 2012 and 201, when i was ambassador, there
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were pockets of cooperation with him. did the syria chemical weapons deal with him. that's when the signed the exxonmobil deal. annexation, he said i've had it it with these american. i don't want to join their club us. over here. >> thanks. i'm margaret. >> good to see you. >> an a master student ofous. i you can talk bull to the role of american public opinion or perception in u.s.-russian relations. you mentioned as high school student in montana you feared the tension between our countries, your mom saw the soviet union as an evil "empire." today that more or less consensus -- i don't think it existed our own president you're not sure if he sighs putin as a friend 0 adversary. how does that impactors foreign policy and impact president putin's ability to carry out his ideology campaign against the west. >> that's big, hard question.
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you're not writing a term paper for me. that's that sounds like a good thesis. i don't have a sound bite answer to that. i do know that there is a causal relationship, which is to say when societal attitudes are in a more positive way it gives you more freedom to maneuver in termites more audacious things and when it's negative, it con strained you. when i was in the government, we're often times constrained by republicans in congress, certain things they would not let us. do missile defense cooperation, for instance. one of dish have chapter in the book. we had pretty ambitious plan to try cooperate with them. and those that were more suspicious of russia -- this is still the medvedev days -- were suspicious of that cooperation. in fact, we spent some quality months in the mariott hotel
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waiting to go to moscow, quality months with my family because we thought we would be on our way but there was a hold put on my nomination the leader was senator mark kirk from illinois, republican, and he said to me, well, the first meeting went pretty bad. i'm doing the rounds and my handler at the time was a guy -- denis mcdonough who is the chief of staff help says you job is to sit and say that's a very interestingism look forward to get back to you on that. that's what i was coached to do. and i went in and -- i don't want to put words in his mouth but basically said, your boss is a traitor and i can't trust him, and i kind of pushed back and the meeting lasted 45 seconds and he said i think we're done here, and i called dennis and said, the meeting only lasted 345 second, probably not a good
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sign him said, yes, you screwed that up. but i later made peace with senator kirk there was a domestic political constraint and he got his act that required to us give the senate information before we would get if to russians. that would be a check on them and that was a quid pro quo. so putin has a different problem. putin today has the numbers now are like negative 80, right, in terms of how russians think of us. the pulled the story for several years they've been fighting a war against us. nazis and nato, right? the two n-words. in the embassy. and the war in ukraine is not with ukraines, with with us a, and that's had a rallying around the flag effect it does all over
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the world but it's hard to pivot away from that and say we're any struggle against nazis and american imperialism and all of a sudden we've move the other way. he can other do it bus it's not a democratic society but die think it creates constraints, and susceptibly, there's a group around him that don't have an interest in cooperation with us. they like this isolation. that is a way for them to keep their property rights ump they don't want competition in the market and prefer to be isolated and that's another set of interest groups that also put pressure on him, and i think occasionally -- can't prove this -- i think occasionally do audacious things and sometimes even abroad, not ordered by putin but as way to keep him captive in this condition front additional relationship with -- confrontational relationship with us. >> how about last two questions and then we're done. katherine just gave me the signal. >> great. >> last three. you have been sitting there patiently.
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i want to take them alling to and i'll -- is that okay? okay. you're the authority here, not me. i'll take them all three, and we'll end. >> i'm mckenzie, student in your class. >> yes. >> sorry, this is -- my question was, i was really struck by the story you told of put's reaction to the 2011 gathering of mostly young people, this idea of these kids and putin's reaction and this idea of anger in that -- i made them rich, and i was wondering, can you speak to any other elements where you think that putin actually has felt betrayed or didn't get credit for the things that he thought he actually was doing for the russian people. >> good question. okay. over here, yes. >> i'm anna. i'm a masters student.
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so, -- >> only russia, by the way. >> my question is more about the process of writing a book. >> okay. >> so -- >> it's hard. >> yes. >> i've been on the interviews and the all say you're labor of love. i said no, it's labor. no love involved. >> probably gets even hard inher you're writing a book during the period of time when the russia-american relations deteriorating faster and faster. wondered whether that -- i would imagine that would give you kind of an urge to go back and to rewrite thing or add something or edit something. as a reaction, like, subliminal reaction to what is happening. was there -- was this the case and maybe you can share some examples. >> okay. good. >> ambassador, appreciate your comments tonight. some great insight from you. my question is about the recent appointment of the prime
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minister of russia, dmitry medvedev. why was he reappoint as prime minister? what does it mean for russia, what does it mean about putin's world view. >> great last questions. i'll take them a little different order so i can end where i want to end. on the medvedev, there are lot of rumors because who is going to be the next prime minister and a lot of hope among the business community, both in the american and russian, that there's going to be a new reformer, back to the conversation with martin. and the former finance minister was one name floated. another who runs a bank, his name was floating and the fact he went back to medvedev and didn't choose the other guys, and -- the thought would get a big jo and u.s. and announced he'll have a small job running the audit chamber. noting and being prime minister.
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suggests to me that continuity and stability is more important to putin than trying to pivot in this more liberal course and some of the people he fired were the more pro-western people, so those are not optimistic kinds. and don't take my word for it the american business community had a lot of optimism this would be a moment for change issue saw many of them last squeak they're pretty despondent by that choice. second, mckenzie's question. it's a good question. he think for him i left out -- where did you -- okay. you know, where i think he has a legitimate complaint is after september 11th, he was run thief first leaders to call the white house. actually got condi first and later talked to president bush
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saw this as a moment where we had common enemy, terrorist, and he learned in and experienced terrorism in his country and said i'll do whatever i took help you. back then, not everybody supported him to do that. and he did several things that were important, help us with the northern alliance, for instance. their allies that later became our ally us. he cooperated with us. opening up the base manas that it appeared mentioned. that happened with putin, and putting pressure on the government to open up bases and cooperate with us. i think the fact that we were with him then, and then kind of forgot about his assistance, that's a chip on his shoulder he told president obama about it in that same photo i showed you, but i think that's legitimate, and had we cooperated more closely them on that, even on iraq he intimated, you treated me as partner instead of telling
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me that would do i might have been able to good along with you on that. that's fair. think it's an overstatement, however -- give me a chance to say this -- to claim he is the one that brought economic growth to russia. that's just not true. the economic reforms, the painful economic reforms that were nut in place over the 90s, including the last year and a half by liberal reformers, that was the precondition and all post communist countries went through the period of economic depression. nothing unusual or different for russia and then they started to grow the year before putin came back so growing had turned around above he came back, then right hayes appeared oil prices went -- skyrocketed. oil and gas prices. and a former colleague of mine, egore, the first deputy prime minister took over, the first reformer, and he used to joke, anybody can look like an economic genius when the price
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of a barrel of oil is $100. i was prime minister when it was at $9. so think but that. so it happened on your watch you get credit bit it would have happened whoever was there if boris had been president, would have happened on his batch would get credit for it. last one. thing is would have done different my in terms of the story. i didn't -- there's an epilogue in the book on i don't see -- way in the back, wow, i can barely see you. i didn't even want to write -- the epilogue i called "trump-putin." didn't want to write it. my publishers thought it was good idea to include it and helped with allowing me to be on an anderson cooper and jake tapper and without that it wouldn't be on there. i didn't want to write that. the story is too contingent would be out of date but there's one part as i look at it, flying
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back here the other day, that it kind of -- i do kind of regret and i would have changed -- i got it right but -- you asked we what i'd do different. this is it. i started this talk saying this is a tragedy. right? tragedy in u.s.-russia relations, the obama administration and myself. we should be judged by our results, not our intentionsment doesn't matter if you tried really hard playing basketball. if you lose a game you lose a game, it's in the loss column. so no a's for effort in international diplomacy. as far as i'm concerned. but i'm not as actually pessimistic as the end of of the book might sound. i love russia. i love russians, and just because i disagree with the policy's the person who is in
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the kremlin, i'm not going allow those people to deny me that right to continue to love russians and russia. and it happens to me. i'm being attacked all the time now for this book, russia russie phob and i'm not. as americans wen khris cited trump. doesn't mean we don't love america. give me a break. the second thing, eman opt myself about russian, an opt must but issue/i russian relationships. maybe because i was born in montana has nothing to do with being -- analyzing things. but i'm an optimist for two reasons. i want to end with two anecdotees. one, noodlehead proffer from stanford and, two, anecdote from being ambassador. as a professor, i'm sure some of you have taken frank's class --
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you know that there's theory that is very robust, modernization theory. the more well to do a society is the more likely likely to become democratic and that hat happened over the last couple hundred years, fits and starts, and we don't know how it guesses going but i don't think russia is going to buck that trend. russia is moving in that direction, being more well to do and there's no accident that the wealthiest, mored of indicated, most urban people are also the ones that are protesting. that is a trend you see all over the world. nothing russian about that. we have seen it in taiwan, in korea, we have seen the all over the global it's waning now because of democracies not doing well but i don't see russia escaping those kind of structural conditions. right? but then i want to end with an
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anecdote. i was at a high-tech company. that's part of your job, you go around and meet people and i met lots of people, lot 0 russians -- you would be surprised how many oligarchs i know. kaspersky, he's in a lot of trouble. ... i ask people in the audience it felt like a typical silicon valley scene, right? they look like silicon valley engineers. i said how many of you were at that protest? and they all raised their hand. they are all there.
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creativity. then there was another one coming. and i said, how many of you plan to go to that? and only three people raised their hand. all young men. and i must have reacted to it. i must have pulled back or something. because a young woman saw my reaction and she said, mr. ambassador, i did not raise my hand. i have two kids. i am the bread winner. my good for nothing husband couldn't take care of my kids if i got arrested. she didn't say exactly that but hinted at that. i cannot go to jail right now. i got to show up to work to pay for my family. but don't think for a minute, that i have changed my preferences about this regime. i'm not going to demonstrate tomorrow. and she probably did not demonstrate last week but people were being arrested. but i think we make a big mistake if we think that we
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have the whole society locked up and they want to be on this path for many years. i don't think he has but the institutions in place for putin-ism. i think there will be change coming. and it will not be clear whether those liberal people working for a high-tech company will succeed or the moorish nationalists will succeed. but you know, just last week, 85 people arrested in -- b,12 were arrested last repair you arrest a trouble for protesting. article 31 of the constitution. a constitutional right. do you think you'll ever vote for putin? do you think you'll ever go to his side and so you know, in the long run, i am in
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incredibly optimistic about russia's future and therefore the future of us/russia relations. i just don't know when that long run begins. thank you all, you have been great! [applause] >> thank you all very much. thank you michael. i have a feeling, if you want to buy the book, you can do so on your way out. i believe mike is going to stay around for a bit up there. we will sign a book for you if you would like. thank you very much! [inaudible conversations] >> booktv is on facebook. like us to get publishing news,

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