Kasyanov, Kasparov and Ponomaryov of the more visible liberal figures attended the event in DC
On Thanksgiving eve some Russian oppositionists decided to personally thank the US authorities for the sanctions against Russia. They met them in Washington, but instead of the traditional turkey, the guests offered senators and State Department officials to check out their lists of Russians who deserve to be sanctioned. They believe they're doing it to finally make Russia a civilized country. However, so far, the civilizers can't handle themselves. The former lawyer of Pussy Riot, Mark Feygin, pushed our crew out from the elevator.
- Did you give them the list? Did you manage to do that?
Mark Feygin: We did. Everything went just fine.
- Whom did you meet?
- We met whom we intended to.
- Why so…
- Stop right there. You're not riding with us. Why are you following us?
- Why are you pushing me?
- I didn't let you film me.
- Well, the building's not yours. Get your hands off of me.
The inadequate reaction to the word Rossiya on our microphone is a phenomenon we've repeatedly observed among the oppositionists who come to Washington.
"Hey, saboteurs! How's work?"
At different times, Washington welcomed Kasyanov, Kasparov, Ponomaryov, and Gontmacher. They are usually quite talkative but become reserved when they see our cameras and literally flee the publicity.
- You startled me.
- Could you answer one question?
- Why not?
- I won't talk to you. I won't answer a single question.
- But you're in a public place.
- And you're not.
- You'll lose shape.
The recent meeting proved that the tradition lives. But their methods become ruder and manners become more vulgar.
- You always complain that you don't get to share your position.
- We don't complain. Enjoy your superiority. You're propaganda and Putin's freaks serving the regime.
The oppositionists gave their report to the American authorities a loud name Putin's List. Every major political official and businessman is on the list. Their imagination wasn't limited to Russia. The list also has the name of Syrian President Bashar Assad, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Among the "accomplices" who also deserve to be punished the liberals listed famous actor Mikhail Porechenkov and globally renowned master conductor Valery Gergiev.
The Russian oppositionists even proposed that the US impose sanctions against Americans, listing the Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone and the patriarch of the American diplomacy, Henry Kissinger. He also goes into the sanctions grinder.
However, the Atlantic Council led by US Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman was more interested in the condition of the Russian political landscape and the level of support which President Putin enjoys.
John Huntsman: "Ivan, it seems Putin has encountered more domestic issues".
The Russian opposition's strategy is to cause as much trouble for the Russian authorities as possible. It fully corresponds to the goals of Washington. Both are speaking the same language about Russian aggression in Crimea, Donbass, Syria, Europe, and around the world.
Mark Feygin: "The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House of Representatives informed us about the new bill which will be discussed by the newly composed Congress".
They were talking a lot about human rights' violations in Russia. The liberal guests were asked if they're ready to protect the Russian-speaking minority and democratic values in the Baltics. 36% of the Latvian population consider Russian to be their mother tongue. But the authorities have minimized the number of Russian schools and banned the language in universities. But it appears that the advocates of democracy, human rights, and freedoms don't care about those people.
Ivan Tyutrin: "Those people have been living in independent Latvia and Lithuania for 27 years. Why haven't they bothered to study the language? I believe it shows their lack of respect towards the independence of the Baltics. As a resident of a Baltic republic, I believe that the development of the national language, national culture, and national identity of the independent Baltic states is an absolutely correct endeavor".
The guests also said that Washington is doing a good job. The sanction pressure against Moscow must be increased based on the accusations of various interventions. But by offering their sanction lists the Russian oppositionists invite America to intervene in the internal affairs of Russia. They see nothing wrong with that.