Oslo Freedom Forum

June 22, 2016

In May at Oslo Freedom Forum 2016, Open Russia hosted a panel discussion entitled “All the Putin’s men: media and elections in Russia”. Speakers included Andrey Goryanov, Aleksandr Artemyev, Maria Baronova, Oleg Kashin, Maxim Katz, Polina Nemirovskaya. Panelists discussed the upcoming Duma elections in Russia.

Highlights of the Forum

“In Russia everything could change in one year, and nothing could change in one hundred years.”

“It is an illusion that Russia was more free five years ago than now.”

“The principle of having control of the Russian media is working perfectly fine … for state media and so-called independent media owned by businessmen who have to care about what the Kremlin says about their editorial policy.”

“The governing party has control over everything that has anything to do with elections.”

“I don’t see the point in sitting on my couch and waiting for things to change by themselves.”

“We have this mystic figure of 86% of people who support Putin. And we don’t know how to talk to them because we live in St Petersburg or Moscow.”

“President Yeltsin was the first real dictator with a democratic image … Putin only used Yeltsin’s legacy.”

“Russia has to go back to 1989 and improve the mistakes of Gorbachev.”

“Of course people want change. The problem is that people don’t see the path to change. And they don’t believe that change can happen if they support the opposition movement.”

“People don’t want to be united together because they are extremely atomised. Because in the Soviet Union the Party was everywhere and convinced people to be united, and people were really tired of that. So after the fall of the Soviet Union the first thing that people needed was to be alone. And we didn’t realise that we lost the country that way.”

The whole Forum

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