March 27, 2018 Print

Vladimir Putin was elected to a fourth term as president of the Russian Federation on March 18. Just two days before that, his fiercest critics assembled in New York City at a conference hosted by the Human Rights Foundation called “PutinCon,” discussing Putin’s rise, his autocratic regime’s human rights abuses, and his eventual downfall. Hundreds of supporters of Russian human rights and democracy attended.

"PutinCon was a watershed moment in raising awareness about the Putin regime in the West,” said Garry Kasparov, chairman of the Human Rights Foundation. “As Putin enters his fourth presidential term, we must be ready for what comes next. Conversations like the ones had at PutinCon, between leaders in foreign policy, media, and business, are key to understanding the dangers of the regime, and envisioning a better, brighter future for Russia and the world."

“The Human Rights Foundation interviews the world’s top experts on Putin’s repression, corruption, and wars as they brainstorm together the best ways to challenge his misrule.”

The event featured several high-profile speakers including David Satter, an American journalist, contributor to Wall Street Journal and National Review, and author of four books on Russia; Toomas Ilves, former president of Estonia; Amy Knight, author and renowned Russia expert; Preet Bharara, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; and Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, former head of the Security Service of Ukraine, among many more.

“I think it is very important to look ahead, because nothing is forever, and the Putin regime is no exception,” said Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian democratic advocate who has twice been poisoned. “And there will be a time when there is a post-Putin Russia. And it is very important to be thinking of and planning for that post-Putin Russia.”

PutinCon was covered by several media outlets including The Economist, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, The Mail on Sunday, National Review, Mother JonesReason, Slate, Business Insider, GQ, and the Los Angeles Times.

“The modern history of Russia teaches us that big political changes in our country can start quickly, suddenly, and unexpectedly,” Kara-Murza said in a panel at PutinCon on the future of Putin’s regime.