Symposium: Russians vs. Vladimir Putin?
In this special Frontpage Symposium, we have gathered an All-Star panel to discuss the power of the KGB and the meaning of the new freedom movement in the streets of Russia. This symposium originally ran last week, under the title “Symposium: Putin Forever?,” in our Feb. 17 issue. Due to the panel of titans that gathered and the vital dialogue that occurred, and in light of the events unfolding in Russia, the editors felt it appropriate to rerun this symposium.
Our distinguished guests in this symposium are:
Jim Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence 1993-95.
Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking official to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. Romania’s Communist president Nicolae Ceausescu was executed at the end of a trial whose accusations came almost word for word out of Pacepa’s book Red Horizons, subsequently republished in 27 countries.
Evgeny Legedin, a street-art painter and political activist from Yekaterinburg. As a coordinator of the youth anti-Putin movement “Oborona” and participant in the democratic movement “Solidarity,” he has organized countless rallies and demonstrations of protest, including the all-Russian campaign for freedom of rallies “Strategy-31.” He is the author of the mock prize “Golden Evsyuk,” the “award” given every year to the worst policemen in Yekaterinburg. In fear for being imprisoned on fabricated criminal charges, he fled Russia on August 16 and reached the UK, where he is seeking political asylum.
Dr. Igor Melcuk, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Montreal and Member of the Royal Society of Canada. He left the Soviet Union in 1977 after being expelled from the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences because he defended Andrei Sakharov in a letter published in The New York Times.
Dr. Gregory Glazov, a Rhodes scholar who is now Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Seton Hall University, USA and Program Coordinator of the Institute for Christian Spirituality’s Great Spiritual Books program which frequently focuses on spiritual writings in Soviet and Nazi prison camps. He is currently completing several manuscripts that include commentaries on The Lord’s Prayer and on The Book of Job, as well as an introduction to Jewish-Catholic relationships, entitled, Brothers in Hope: Models of Judaism in Catholic Perspective (NDU Press), and a translation and commentary on Vladimir Solovyov’s writings on Judaism and Christianity, an interest that bespeaks his spiritual legacy as the son of Russian dissidents, Yuri and Marina Glazov.
Dr. Jay Bergman, a Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, where he teaches Russian and modern European history. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and his M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D from Yale University. He is the author of Vera Zasulich: A Biography, published by Stanford University Press ; and articles in Russian intellectual history. He is also on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Scholars, a nationwide organization of professors committed to reasoned scholarship, intellectual diversity, and nondiscrimination in faculty hiring and student admissions. His newest book is Meeting the Demands of Reason: The Life and Thought of Andrei Sakharov, published by Cornell University Press.
Yuri Yarim-Agaev, a former leading Russian dissident and a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. Upon arriving in the United States after his forced exile from the Soviet Union, he headed the New York-based Center for Democracy in the USSR.
Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, a world-renowned and critically-acclaimed author, retired physician (prison doctor and psychiatrist), a contributing editor to City Journal and the author of the new book, Anything Goes.
Dr. David Satter, a Rhodes Scholar who is now a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute and a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He was Moscow correspondent of the Financial Times of London from 1976 to 1982, during the height of the Soviet totalitarian period and he is the author of Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State and Age of Delirium: the Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union, which is being made into a documentary film. His new book is It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past.