Archive for

ARA address to Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the House of Representatives, submitted for the hearings on human rights in Russia on Nov. 15, 2012

Please proceed to the link on the website of the House of Representatives:


Summary of remarks by Zhanna Reid at the panel “Russian-Americans and Russia’s Movement for Change: Community Organizing 2.0”, Columbia University, Nov. 9, 2012

We believe there are many of us – American Russians, Russian-speaking intelligentsia – who can effectively interact and communicate across the world, who have open minds, friendly attitude, who  can make their contribution, to promote   the growth of democracy, rule of law and civil society in Russia. We can assist open-minded Russians with European values in their struggle for the rule of law.

What we can start with:

1.establish communication via Internet

when our volunteers would go online in the social networks, blogs, civil organizations websites  etc., to provide Russians with free of propaganda and many-sided information. Needless to say Russian mass media – main  TV and radio channels  are being censored. There is mistrust in  Russian authorities as well as mistrust in democracy values. People are disappointed  and disoriented.

Main subjects  to discuss:

a)    anti-Americanism in Russia . After a short break (1990-s up to early 2000-s) the anti-American wave is back to Russia. Though many  American patterns came into a daily life in Russia, anti-American sentiments are high among all generations and groups of society. According to the independent Levada Center all-Russia poll performed in March 2010, 73% of Russians believe the USA to be “the aggressor” , striving to take “all countries in the world under it’s control”; only 8% see the country as a“defender” of peace, democracy and order in the world”. Popular idea“:Americans are looking forward to Russia’s collapse to capture Russian natural resources, to enslave us” Unfortunately even those Russian activists who believe in the rule of law and have democratic values support this idea. We can discuss this issue, giving examples of our own lives in the US, so that they can make difference between the truth and

b) how democracy  works in the countries with European values, how it works in the US, sharing our own experience. Democracy is a very important subject now, when  a big mistrust in democratic values is widely  in Russia.Though Russia  has democratic institutions,  they usually don’t  function in the democratic way. We can share with them ways Americans stand for  their civil rights, key factors that make democratic institutions work here in the US.

c) ways development of market economy and free  competition works

d) American society experience of fight racism and xenophobia, in the fight of minorities for their rights.

2. Next step can be developing Independent online media  and  social network for Russian speaking people

3.Arrangement of  traditional   communication means   such as  bilateral contacts,   professional   or student delegations exchanges  promotes more  opportunities for citizens of both Russia and USA, to get better understanding of each other’s values.

Invitation to our second discussion at Columbia University / Приглашаем на вторую встречу АРПА в Колумбийском университете – с Александром Болонкиным, Дмитрием Глинским, Жанной Рид и Ларри Полтавцевым

together with Spectrum Human Rights Alliance,
International Association of Former Soviet Political Prisoners & Victims of the Communist Regime (IASPPV),
and Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan & the Bronx (RCCMB)

panel discussion


– How has the resurgence of the democratic movement in Russia impacted Russian-speaking immigrants in the US?

– What does the new wave of Russian-speaking community organizing and advocacy represent?

– What are the implications of the Russian government crackdown on dissent for the flow of refugees and asylum seekers to the US?

– How do we address the absence of philanthropic support for Russian-speaking nonprofits?

– What are our legislative and policy priorities for the new administration and the Congress?

Speakers: Dr. Alexander Bolonkin, Dr. Dmitri Glinski, Zhanna Reid, Larry Poltavtsev

Dr. Alexander Bolonkin, a rocket and aviation scientist, was in Soviet jail from 1971 to 1987 for distributing the works of Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov. After moving to the US, he worked as Senior Research Associate at NASA and U.S. Air Force. He is a member of the Board of the International Space Agency, and author of 17 patented inventions and more than 170 books, including “Human Immortality and Electronic Civilization” and “Memoirs of a Soviet Political Prisoner.” He is the founding president of IASPPV and co-chair of the board of ARA.

Dr. Dmitri Glinski, a nonprofit management professional and author of works on Russian affairs, including co-authored “Tragedy of Russia’s Reforms: Market Bolshevism Against Democracy;” worked for the US Librarian of Congress and Congressional Research Service (1998-2005), taught at Columbia (2004-2009), and is a member of UJA-Federation of NY Commission on the Jewish People. He is the founding president of RCCMB and co-chair of the board of ARA. He is currently working on his management degree at Harvard.

Zhanna Reid is a public relations and communications professional with degree from Moscow State University, is one of the founders and member of the board of ARA.

Larry Poltavtsev (joining us by Skype from Washington DC) is a successful IT entrepreneur and company owner, as well as a human rights advocate, founding president of Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, and vice chair of the board of ARA.

Friday November 9, 12:15-2:00 pm
Columbia University, Lerner Hall (2920 Broadway), Room 501
(train 1 to 116th Street, please go around the building to sign in at the front desk)

Space is limited. Please kindly RSVP by November 7 to headquarters@amrusrights.org.
For additional information, please call (212) 726-2082.



совместно с Международной правозащитной организацией “Спектрум”,                    Международной ассоциацией бывших советских политзаключенных, а также Русскоязычным общественным советом Манхэттена и Бронкса

приглашают Вас к участию в общественном диалоге



в пятницу 9 ноября в 12:15 в Колумбийском университете

(Lerner Hall – 2920 Broadway, Room 501;

обогните здание, чтобы попасть к главному входу, где будут лежать списки на проход)

Круг обсуждаемых вопросов (который Вы можете дополнить своими):
– Какое воздействие оказывают события в России на русскоязычную диаспору?

– Что собой представляет новая волна русскоязычных некоммерческих организаций и общественных деятелей?

– Какова наша программа действий, и с чем мы обращаемся к новой администрации и Конгрессу?

Для внесения в список на проход, пожалуйста, зарегистрируйтесь на этой странице или по емейлу headquarters@amrusrights.org, указав Ваше имя и контактную информацию. Также просим указать, если Вам нужен одновременный перевод тех выступлений, которые будут на английском.

%d bloggers like this: