NEW YORK (March 14, 2018) – This Friday, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is hosting the world’s first Putin Conference (PutinCon) amid chilling developments, including the poisoning of a former Russian agent and his daughter in Salisbury; the suspicious strangling in London of a Russian oligarch granted asylum by the United Kingdom; and recent daring tests of a hypersonic missile Vladimir Putin has called “invincible,” while claiming it would render NATO defenses “completely useless.” “Russia still has the greatest nuclear potential in the world, but nobody listened to us. Listen now,” Putin exclaimed.
“HRF has been listening for some time to Putin’s unchallenged invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, his war crimes in Syria, and his assassinations of journalists and political opponents across the democratic world,” said Garry Kasparov, HRF chairman and author of “Winter Is Coming.” “So we’re gathering the world’s top experts on the Russian dictator in New York to discuss how the free world could address the monumental challenge that Putin presents to international peace and security as well as human rights in Russia itself.This is a one-day master class on Putin from prominent public intellectuals, statesmen, biographers, and even some survivors of his brutality.”
PutinCon will take place two days before the upcoming Russian presidential “election,” which will fortify the dictator’s rule over at least the next six years. The event (which will be livestreamed at putincon.com) will be the first ever to offer a true 360 of Putin's character, KGB history, accomplices, policies, and Putin’s unraveling. The 25 speakers will include former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, Estonian President Toomas Ilves, Magnitsky Act advocate and “Red Notice” author William Browder, “Mafia State” author and Guardian journalist Luke Harding, KGB scholar Amy Knight, former head of Ukraine’s state security service Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, neuroscientist James Fallon, and civil society organizer Vladimir Kara-Murza.
HRF’s conference will take place in the wake of a rhetorical offensive by Vladimir Putin against NATO and the West. Putin’s bombast has been accompanied by a new wave of suspicious killings and assassination attempts of Kremlin targets.
British Prime Minister Theresa May appeared before the British Parliament on Monday, days after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, and stated: “Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent […], our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent [...], Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations, and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations, the government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act.” After providing Putin with a 24-hour deadline to explain the incident, May called a U.N. Security Council meeting and ordered the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom when he failed to respond to the allegations.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies, including Russia.