FULLY BOOKED Russia: Another six years of Vladimir Putin?

Talk March 26, 2012 7:00 PM

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Vladimir Putin is back in presidential office for a third term after four years as Russia’s Prime Minister. We will be asking what the people of Russia think of the man who has dominated the country’s politics for more than 12 years and will now be President for a new extended term of six years?

Convinced the parliamentary polls were rigged in December last year, Russians took to the streets in protest. They have now turned their focus to preventing Putin from returning to the Kremlin.

Tens of thousands of Muscovites have taken part in protests to demand free and fair elections. But how deep and how far does the disaffectedness go? Join us to discuss the outcome of the presidential elections in Russia and what they mean for the future of the people of Russia and its development on the world stage.

Chaired by Edward Lucas, Central and Eastern European correspondent for The Economist and deputy editor of the international section, who has been covering Central and Eastern Europe since 1986. He is author of The New Cold War: How the Kremlin Menaces both Russia and the West and most recently Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West.

Masha Gessen: Born in Moscow in 1967, Gessen emigrated to the United States aged fourteen. In 1991 she returned to the Soviet Union as an American reporter, and witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union. Now based permanently in Russia she has reported on all the key events in Russian politics for leading Russian publications as well as for Vanity Fair, New Republic, New Statesman and others. She was the first journalist to be black-listed by the Putin administration in 2000 and is author of several books, most recently The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin.

William Browder, the Founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management. He is a leading global shareholder rights activist and has been an outspoken voice for better corporate governance in Russia. He was the largest foreign investor in Russia until November 2005, when he was suddenly denied entry to the country and declared “a threat to national security” by the Russian government for exposing corruption at large Russian companies.