Sunday, July 08, 2007

Coverage. And the third skier.

Andrei Dmitriev, Kerkko Paananen and Yulia Malysheva coming back to the central Helsinki. By boat, of course. This photo was taken by Alexander Mnatsakanyan.

See some media coverage of our recent Finnish-Russian Civic Forum 2007 in Kerkko Paananen's pages. The clips are in Russian, English, Swedish and/or Finnish. The persons interviewed are Oksana Chelysheva, Yulia Malysheva and Olga Kurnosova.

(Photo of Malysheva being interviewed on my previous blog post.)


I want to quote Lyudmila Alekseeva's speech. She addressed this in Radio Liberty's 50th Anniversary Celebration Conference 6 June 2003.

The path to a law-based democratic Russia is still long and difficult.

However, never in its centuries-long history has Russia moved so far along that path so quickly as it has over the last decade. I am not asking you to believe in miracles. I know that we need to muster our patience and not weaken in our efforts to achieve this sacred goal. But I would like to say something that I know you all know -- none of the Soviet-era human rights activists ever believed that during our lifetime, the Soviet Constitution would be replaced by one in which it was written that the main purpose of the state is to guarantee and defend human rights.

Now we have such a constitution. I believe that Russia will make the journey from our present lawlessness to a genuine law-based state in a relatively short historical period -- the lives of two or three generations. That is much less time than Western countries required to achieve democracy. I believe this not because Russia is special in some ways, but simply because Russia started out on this journey later than the others. Here's an analogy: When the first cross-country skier sets out into deep snow, the going is slow as he cuts a new path. The second skier moves faster, and the third simply flies over the trail that the others blazed.

Russia is that third skier.


I love her optimism. I wish there were more people like her.

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