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March 12 @ 5:00 pm

 |  FREE


March 12
5:00 pm
Event Category:


Cambridge Forum
3 Church St.
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

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Tuesday, March 12 at 5 pm

Russia will always matter, said Fiona Hill, former White House Russian expert, at the Harvard Kennedy School, only last month. This is due to its strategic location, it enormous land mass and its environmental impact, all of which make Russia impossible to ignore.  The sudden death of Alexei Navalny, Russia’s opposition leader, coupled with Ukraine’s recent setbacks, America’s political turmoil and the coming presidential elections in Russia, have all conspired to boost Putin’s reckless confidence.  Is he anticipating a new phase of global aggression, perhaps? And does his current political posturing signal the death knell for democracy?

Cambridge Forum considers what future prospects exist for Russia, post-Navalny, pre-election and what the global response should be in light of America’s ambivalence about the future of NATO.  Can anything substantial be done to strengthen the democratic values of the Western alliance and counter the creeping worldwide shift toward autocratic regimes?

This week saw several thousand Russians brave the extreme cold and the real risk of arrest, to attend Navalny’s funeral in Moscow, giving mixed messages to the Kremlin. Was this gesture indicative of a deep political rift with Putin’s presidency or merely a last-ditch attempt to register dissent against all odds?

What should America’s role be in the Ukraine? Do you fear an escalation if we do not act decisively?

Peter Pomerantsev is a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and co-director of the Arena Initiative.  Born in Kyiv, Ukraine  Peter grew up in the U.K.  He is the author of three books about Russian and other authoritarian propaganda, his latest, How to Win an Information WarThe Propagandist who Outwitted Hitler has just been published.

Alexandra Vacroux is Executive Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. She lived in Moscow from 1992-2004.