Russia stands accused of assassinating regime opponents at home and abroad in a campaign of terror and political repression. Alexei Navalny, one of President Putin’s fiercest and most creative critics, recently returned to Russia after narrowly surviving poisoning with Novichok, a military-grade chemical weapon. Navalny’s immediate detention by Russian authorities and quick sentencing to prison has sparked protests across Russia resulting in thousands of arrests. Does his brave stance have a chance of succeeding in changing Russia’s authoritarian system, or will Putin’s crackdowns on protest and dissent again succeed in solidifying his grip?
Paul Kolbe, a veteran CIA officer and executive with 25 years of service in the Directorate of Operations and led operations in Russia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. He is currently the Director of the Intelligence Project at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Shaun Walker, the foreign correspondent for The Guardian based in Budapest, spent more than a decade reporting from Moscow. His book The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.
Yevgenia M. Albats, Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author, and radio host, has been the Political Editor and then Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The New Times, a Moscow-based, Russian language independent political weekly. She is also a Senior fellow at Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.