Is Russia at another turning point, 20 years after the end of the Soviet Union? Is the time ripe for a true democratization? In the cities, at least, an increasing number of citizens are openly criticizing Putin’s “managed democracy.” The mass demonstrations following the parliamentary elections in December 2011 recalled the Arab Spring. But how will Putin and his political allies react? What are the responsibilities of the international community?
On 28 February 2012 – a week before the contentious presidential elections – the Hertie School and Human Rights Watch hosted a discussion exploring these and other questions. Hugh Williamson (Human Rights Watch), Alexander Rahr (German Council of Foreign Affairs), Kirill Logvinov (Russian Embassy in Germany), Britta Hilpert (ZDF), Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (Professor of Democracy Studies, Hertie School) and Mischa Gabowitsch (Einstein Forum), pictured from left to right below, shared their perspectives on human rights in Russia and engaged with wide range of questions from the audience.