Last night I attended an incredibly lively, and quite moving discussion which focused on ‘Russia Today’, hosted at Pushkin House.
The talk was given by Ben Judah, author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin (2014), and Tonia Samsonova, a Russian foreign correspondent who is currently investigating her country’s corruption.
Taking it in turns to voice their thoughts on the state of Russian affairs, followed by a heated Q&A, Ben and Tonia were able to give both an inside and outside perspective of the current situation affecting Russia and it’s peripheral states, whilst giving particular attention to the future of Chechnya and the Ukraine.
Ben revealed from below the weakness of the Russian state and its ethnic tensions, showing that anger was increasing in the peripheral states because Putin and his regime had “failed to engage ordinary Russians.” Whilst Tonia agreed, she noted that the blame couldn’t be attributed to one individual, arguing that state propaganda obscured the view of modern Russia and prevented any form of real political debate. Although she was optimistic that the younger generation will bring about change, it seems unlikely that this will happen in the time frame they hope for.
I’m looking forward to attending future events!