Friday, July 06, 2007

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum 2007. Thanks, everybody!

"I believe that in ten years things have changed for the better. That the civil society has by then won over the bureaucracy."
–– Lyudmila Alekseeva, Helsinki Conference & the Other Russia movement, Moscow

Alexander Mnatsakanyan in the boat. And the Finnish flag.

Panel on Freedom of the Media. Or the media not being so free. Andrey Kolomoisky, Alexander Mnatsakanyan, Grigori Pasko and Andrei Nekrasov.

"I have been a journalist for over 30 years. I started when Brezhnev was in power. And I could have never thought the day would come when a journalist is shot to death in an elevator at her home building".
–– Grigori Pasko, journalist, Moscow

Grigori Pasko

A big audience. On a hot summer day. In an island, far from the pleasures of Helsinki. Can you imagine?

"Once again, it is impossible for the opposition to really participate in these [upcoming presidential] elections".

Oksana Chelysheva, Vice Chairperson of the Russian-Chechnyan Friendship Society

Mariana Katzarova and Oksana Chelycheva

"Times are changing. Everybody around Putin want to have changes, too. And things are not stable right now. But only the future will show how the changes will be like".
–– Yulia Malysheva, Chairperson of the Popular-Democratic Youth League, and the Other Russia Movement

Yulia Malysheva being interviewed by the Finnish television.

"It [the war in Chechnya] in not 'war against terrorism'. It is terrorism. Against innocent civilians".
–– Ivar Amundsen, Chechnya Peace Forum, London

Friends taking some time off. Aaron Rhodes and Ivar Amundsen discussing in the front, while others like Katzarova, Hicks, Chelysheva, Matinpuro, Harju, Sailo and IStori having their own funny talks.

"There is also a huge on-going environmental catastrophy in Chechnya. And these problems can not be solved in some small round-table meeting. That's why we have created the All-Russian Civic Congress. Please help us in every political level and fora – in the EU, everywhere".
–– Ruslan Kutaev, All-Russian Civic Congress and advisor of the late Chechnyan president Aslan Maskhadov. Grozny, Chechnya

Ruslan Kutaev met a Finnish fan. Who looks very Chechnyan, she was told.

"[the Russian] People don't see the connection between how they vote and what takes place after the elections. Most people think their personal safety is depending on their families, not on the state".

–– Alexander Nikitin, Bellona, St. Petersburg

Oksana Chelysheva, Lyudmila Alekseeva, Alexander Nikitin, Dmitry Lanko and Yulia Malysheva. And the Rule of Law.

"I just want to live in a normal European country where people are free and not tortured".

–– Andrei Dmitriev, editor in chief, Agency of Political News

Our dear bolsheviks. Andrei Dmitriev, Zahar Prilepin and Alexei Volynets are soon heading home, what a pity...

The sad fact that Lyudmila Alekseeva is leaving is not making Ruslan Kutaev laugh. It must have been just something she said.


Million thanks to our guests and co-organisers. It was great to make new friends – and to see some old ones again.

And very special thanks to Asman & her troops for the wonderful Chechnyan food!

(To see the list of speakers, please take a look at a the previous blogging on this below.)

1 comment:

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