Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog

Politics, Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

Speaking & Listening in the US

with 15 comments

I spent last week in the USA. I was invited by Principia College in Illinois to participate in their Lucha Noerager Vogel Program on Moral Courage. I had a speech there devoted to my experience of nonviolently opposing authoritarianism in Russia, and I also mentioned the experience of Belarus and Ukraine. Apart from that, I met with a lot of student at classes and gave an interview for the college’s Internet radio (downloadable here). The guys there are very thoughtful and polite; their interests and questions were very different from political science students who I used to talk to.

Before coming to Illinois, I spent a few days in Washington, DC. I attended a brilliant panel on rule of law in Russia organized by Cato Institute. Karinna Moskalenko and Robert Amsterdam, both prominent international lawyers and both very active in their defense of Russian citizens from political repression (e.g. Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a client of both of them), as well as Andrei Illarionov, one of the Russia’s most respected economists, discussed prospects for Russian democracy as well as US-Russia relations. This discussion’s video posted by Bob Amsterdam is highly recommended.

I also had a panel of my own at American Enterprise Institute. I was talking about the numerous problems with freedom of assembly in Russia, from vague legislation to police brutality to violent assaults on protests. I am also going to talk about this issue next week at the Washington Human Rights Summit.

My way back from Principia to Moscow was troubled by the Washington snowfall. Although I was staying in St Louis, i.e. quite far from DC, my flight had to stop at Dulles Airport and was cancelled. After waiting in the town for three days, I had to rebook my tickets and go via Chicago and Zurich. But thanks to that delay, I managed to meet Craig Pirrong a.k.a. Streetwise Professor, a Houston professor of Economics and the author of a great blog on Russia’s economy. He has already posted an entry about our meeting.

PS: I was surprised to know how many participants of the AEI discussion (many of them, too, were students) and not just them read my blog (hi!).

Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

February 10, 2010 at 23:01

15 Responses

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  1. “I was surprised to know how many participants of the AEI discussion (many of them, too, were students) and not just them read my blog”

    Given that, maybe you should blog more often!


    February 12, 2010 at 06:08

  2. LR, you are right. I wish I had time for everything, but my primary activities are offline. Anyway, I’ll try to post here more often and better.

    Oleg Kozlovsky

    February 12, 2010 at 16:21

  3. I don’t understand why Oleg Kozlovsky does not work more with larussophobe (LR) to show what scumbags are Russians!

    Russia is a land of apes and cretins and Oleg needs to say that explicitly and not apease putin.

    My problem is that LR and Oleg are just talking and talking. You need to ACT – work to undermine putin, and we all agree that Sarah Palin needs to replace Obama because Obama is WEAK!

    Obama WEAK


    February 13, 2010 at 05:15

  4. Ian, you are mistaken if you think Oleg doesn’t act or that we at LR have any right to act in regard to the Russian state.

    Oleg has acted over and over, and has been sent to jail over and over as a result. He has, repeatedly, risked his life to stand up against Putin, and we would ask you what you have DONE to support him. Have you made a financial contribution to Oborona, Oleg’s organization or the other organizations he supports, and asked your friends to do likewise? Set a good example!

    As for LR, we don’t believe Russia is a land only of “apes and cretins” and we don’t think Oleg can do it all by himself or should try. A leader trying to build a coalition can’t lash out at his political base. We, however, do more than any other single publication on the planet to call the Russians who support Putin with actions or passivity to account, and few would question that.


    February 13, 2010 at 07:02

  5. “Ian, you are mistaken if you think Oleg doesn’t act or that we at LR have any right to act in regard to the Russian state.”

    What do you mean “… LR have any right…”???

    What about SOTSCHI?? Don’t tell me you give up!?

    No, no, no and no. You don’t get me and you focus on peripheral issues.

    The main problem putin has is lack of allies. No one was his ally (I am talking about foreign countries) just a few years back. Since the August 2008 war with Georgia he got new allies in NATO!!! (OTAN)

    Now let me focus on sarko.

    DISGUSTING: “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared. Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” – he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.” Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah – you have scored a point there.”

    DISGUSTING: Sarkozy is quoted as saying: “Where is Bush? Where are the Americans? They are not coming to save you. No Europeans are coming, either. You are alone. If you don’t sign, the Russian tanks will be here soon.”

    NO COMMENT: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/cZ3pa7ixmD6/World+Leaders+Meet+At+Olympics/5L918g9SldV/Louis+Sarkozy

    DISGUSTING: The possible sale by France to Russia of up to four Mistral-class assault ships, at up to $750m each, is stoking fear and mistrust. The deal, agreed on “in principle” by France, could be formalised during a visit to Paris next month by Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev. The ships would enter service in 2015.

    We all need to think about this. Talk about this. NED, Jamestown, Freedom House, AEI, USAID, Heritage, Stratfor, and all other agencies MUST WORK ON THIS. If they all don’t – it will be TOO LATE!!!

    Obama will not do this, because he is WEAK. Hopefully Sarah Palin will take over.

    Now is EU and euro in question and in big crisis. There is talk about break-up of euro. EU must not challenge US dominance and I hope everyone is clear on that. As I said, WE MUST WORK ON THIS. SPREAD THE WORD!

    Oleg, continue but you have to do more to deserve trust! Do not appease putin. You MUST work with La Russophobe because they know that Russians are apes and cretins and liars who kill their own children.

    Don’t just talk – JUST DO IT! SPREAD THE WORD!


    February 14, 2010 at 02:10

  6. Lan, you are nuts.

    Oleg Kozlovsky

    February 14, 2010 at 11:57

  7. Yes my dear Oleg, I am nuts. However, let me tell you why you are stupid:

    I was a player in a colored revolution (I will not say which, so I do not disclose too much here) and we had EXACTLY THE SAME symbol like you have for Oborona now. YOU COPIED us blatantly. I hope Gene reads this. He may be told you this, but I think that is not good: you reveal your intentions from the start.

    Now, we did depose the dictator and we were 100% effective. What did you do so far? NOTHING!

    We managed to draw tens or hundreds of thousands of people on the streets and protests and our dictator was many times harsher than putin. How many people you draw: hundreds and that is ridiculous. Why is that my dear Oleg? Answer is simple: look at your face. You look like a low life cheater and snake oil salesman. How would anyone with half a brain follow you? I know you are a fantastic and smart but for someone to lead Oborona we have to find someone with a pleasant look.

    Another problem is that you speak at American Enterprise Institute publicly. It is OK to make a buck by speaking at think-tanks BUT do not PUBLICIZE IT. It is very different now compared to when we had our colored revolution: there is the internet and anyone can check what American Enterprise Institute is on Wikipedia. NED, Freedom House, Jamestown, USAID, Stratfor: these scumbags from Wikipedia have strong references to CIA at all of these pages. We did have HUGE HELP from NED, but we never told that to anyone for years, and when people realized it was already too late. You, on the other hand, are stupid enough to brag about that.

    Oleg, pull yourself together or we will have to find another leader for our cause.

    I am actually suspecting that KGB intentionally inserted you into Oborona so to obstruct our work. How come you got passport anyway? How come you got an apology? If KGB really wants it, you will be in prison like Khodorkovsky is.


    February 14, 2010 at 14:55

  8. Ian, as long as you remain anonymous your chat has no value. I don’t believe that you were connected with Otpor (that is what you are implying) and you haven’t proven it. Right now, you sound way more like one of the hired online provocateurs. And I’m not stupid enough to try to convince people like this.

    Oleg Kozlovsky

    February 14, 2010 at 16:44

  9. No need to believe me. No need to convince me either. You just need to convince hundreds of thousands of supporters and not just hundreds. And yes I am paid. No ideals here. People with ideals are usually very dangerous.


    February 15, 2010 at 00:08

  10. Ian might not be connected with Otpor at all, the black fist of Oborona could be seen in Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Iran as well.

    And even as a provocateur he seems to be hitting the nail right on the head here. :-)

    La Russophobe regularly attacks people with opposing views saying that they make Russians look like dumb apes. Of course here it is expedient to deny all this.

    Is Oleg not concerned by having such wonderful friends? Such alliance sure helps to convince the Russian public that Oborona’s cause it the right thing to support.

    Pointing out the connection with NED, AEI, Freedom House and other NGO’s and think tanks is always good. Last time Russians listened to American’s telling them how to live and what to think it ended in a total economic collapse. Oligarchs bought elections, ordinary Russians lost their savings and criminals roamed unchecked. It was hell and it was all directed by people like Nemtsov, Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky, Nevzlin etc.

    How are you going to explain to Russians that your actions are well meaning?

    Leos Tomicek

    February 18, 2010 at 18:09

  11. LEOS:

    You are quite possibly even more a of a nut than poor hapless Ian.

    Americans advised Russians to develope A COMPETITIVE DEMOCRACY. The only candate Russsians have ever supported other than the party of power is the Communists. That’s the OPPOSITE of what America advised. Not once since the Berlin Wall fell has Russia conducted a real election.

    Americans suffered brutal deprivations and war FOR A CENTURY before their country bloomed into the prosperous world leader it is today. Russians would not even endure ONE DECADE before turning the clock back and embracing the KGB. Americans never said Russia could transition from KGB nightmare to democracy quickly or painlessly.

    Now, ruled by the KGB, Russia does not rank in the top 130 nations of the world for adult lifespan. It has no credible allies, and has alienated most of the powerful nations in the world (even China takes a dim view of Russia). It is a total failure.

    Your attempt to suggest an equation between Boris Nemtsov and Boris Berezovsky is wildly offensive. Nemtsov and Kozlovsky are collagues. All you can do is rationalize the current regime, and in so doing help Russians to repeat their failed past.

    You are Russia’s true enemy.


    February 22, 2010 at 20:00

  12. Ian,

    So, you say Obama is weak? Regardless of one’s feelings about the intervention in Afghanistan, our president as been bold in his commitment of troops and resources there. I can assure you that took courage at this point in time. Please don’t confuse an intelligent and laudable desire to find common ground with our neighbors around the world as appeasement either. For all its faults, America stands as an shining example of a republic that defends the rights of its citizens to congregate and speak freely to a fault. We are well aware of Mr. Putin’s opposition to such freedoms, but we are aware of his strengths as well. Finally, our President as been bold in pointing out the erosion human rights in this country during the last administration, and our ineffective foreign policy. Weak he is not.

    sam ogilvie

    March 2, 2010 at 02:35

  13. Sam,

    I appreciate your sincere comments. I am joking most of the time because content and comments on La Russophobe and Oleg Kozlovsky web sites are so idiotic that anything other than making fun of them would be stupid.

    Poor Oleg does not even understand what his backers truly think. Most of these East European countries have backers in neo-cons in Washington because anyone with half a brain would understand that these people need medical help and elites in eastern Europe do have half a brain.

    Obama is a fine person and US is lucky that after 8 years of neo-con dictatorship people did not vote for new dictators (McCain, Palin).

    I have nothing to do with politics nor all this bickering. I am an investor and I have to follow geopolitics while analyzing international securities. If not for that I would certainly not visit these sites. There is a lot of bias and propaganda created from both east and west and the biases and propaganda may create fairly profitable investment opportunities.

    I am here is because I stumbled upon La Russophobe and Oleg Kozlovsky and their sites were so ridiculous that I could not help but make fun of them. La Russophobe is so stupid that he did not even get it. Oleg got it, but he either does not understand the whole story or willingly does what he does for some illusion of fame.

    Honestly I have a fairly low opinion on most people who do politics professionally. If they had any real quality they wouldn’t do that.

    I am out of here. No need to reply to me as I do not have any time for serious thinking about subjects you raise here. Only time I had is already lost on making fun of all of you here ;-)


    March 4, 2010 at 06:45

  14. Regarding yesterdays conversation in twitter (on FSB sending paychecks to some known folks), I surely understand there were historically few situations involving Y, J and M in which your organization had split ups and arguments. This is normal, it’s just life.

    However, when someone is publicly denouncing the May 1 event in such an unfriendly manner (considering people invested time and effort), there is going to be at least some non-organized public reaction, this is what it was. M and his allies have absolutely no principles and no moral bounds, whatsoever. I was surprised that you decide to comment on that, cause it was pretty much a personal level exchange with that person. He talks dirt on respected people – he got punched back, as simple as that.


    May 4, 2010 at 17:56

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