RUSSIA’S ASSASSINATIONS ABROAD

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RUSSIA’S ASSASSINATIONS ABROAD

17th July 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Free

SPEAKERS: Marina Litvinenko, activist and campaigner; Luke HardingGuardian correspondent; and Giles Udy, historian and author

During Vladimir Putin’s time in power a number of his critics and opponents have been murdered – both inside and outside of Russia. The poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March 2018 brought this issue back to the headlines. It recalled the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 and led to renewed questions about the Kremlin’s activities in the UK and its assassinations abroad, more broadly.

By kind invitation of The Rt Hon. Ben Bradshaw MP, the Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with Marina Litvinenko, Luke Harding, and Giles Udy. This distinguished panel will draw on their expertise and personal experience to put Russia’s actions in context.

Marina Litvinenko is an activist, campaigner and the widow of Alexander Litvinenko. Marina graduated from the Industrial Petrochemical and Gas Institute as an Economist-Engineer. In 1990 she began to teach choreography, and married Alexander Litvinenko in 1994. After Alexander fled Russia in 2000, Marina and their son Anatoly followed and received political asylum in the UK, living in London for the next six years. On November 2006, Alexander died from radioactive Polonium-210 poisoning. Marina also suffered symptoms of radioactive poisoning. Marina pursued justice for her husband through the founding of the Litvinenko Justice Foundation and continues to speak out for the rights of Russian nationals. Marina co-authored Death of a Dissident, published in 2007, with Alex Goldfarb.

Luke Harding is a journalist, writer and award-winning correspondent with the Guardian. He has reported from Delhi, Berlin and Moscow and covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the Guardian’s Moscow bureau chief. In February 2011 the Kremlin deported him from the country in the first case of its kind since the Cold War. In 2017, Luke’s book; Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win was published simultaneously in ten countries.

Giles Udy is a historian who has spent the past fifteen years studying Soviet Communism, with a particular focus on the repression of its citizens and its sponsorship of revolution and subversion abroad. In the process he has acquired wider expertise in relation to Russia and Eastern Europe today – where, as the Russian Federation seeks to re-establish itself as an imperial power, the parallels with the Soviet era are many. His original work is on the Soviet gulag and in pursuit of that research Giles has travelled thousands of miles across Russia, visiting some of the most isolated parts of the country. He is a member of the council of the Keston Institute, Oxford, and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School in London. He is author of Labour and the Gulag: Russia and the Seduction of the British Left (Biteback).

***

EVENT SUMMARY

On the 17th of July, the Henry Jackson Society was pleased to welcome Marina Litvinenko, a campaigner and the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, Luke Harding, a journalist who between 2007 and 2011 was the Guardian’s Moscow bureau chief, and Giles Udy, a historian who has spent the past fifteen years studying Soviet Communism.

By kind invitation of Ben Bradshaw MP, the three speakers led an insightful and fascinating discussion on the brutality of Russia’s regime at home and abroad, drawing on their expertise and personal experience to put Russia’s actions into political and historical context and what this means for the West.

Mrs. Litvinenko poignantly touched upon the actions of the Soviet Union’s Committee for State Security (KGB) and its successor, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), and how the expectation of change throughout the Russian secret service has failed. In essence, she discussed how the FSB, like the KGB beforehand, assassinates its ‘enemies’ today. An example she used was that of former Chechen President, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, who was assassinated in Doha in 2004 by a car bomb. The two Russian men who carried out the attack did so having received a direct order from Russia’s Ministry of Defence. They were found guilty in court, but were later part of a prisoner exchange. Upon returning to Russia, they were welcomed as heroes in Russia.

This was stressed by Mrs Litvinenko as a crime not taken seriously, and her subsequent examples illustrated this. In 2006, Russia passed two laws on anti-terrorism and counter-extremism, ensuring that Russian agents could commit lethal action abroad without investigations. This in turn, leading to the poisoning of her husband by polonium-210. As he died, his killers were idolised in Russia, given immunity, and eventually receiving political honours in 2015.

Luke Harding followed on from this, discussing his journalistic experiences following Alexander’s death. This centred on his expulsion from Russia in 2011 due to his attempt to investigate the assassination. He went on to hold that the Kremlin were protecting the killers, with Marina finding it very difficult to find answers not only in Russia, but also in the UK. This changed however, with the 2016 Litvinenko inquiry. Due to Marina’s determination, the inquiry was published, providing clear evidence of a radioactive trail from Soho and Mayfair across Europe. Ultimately, it was concluded that the orders came directly from President Putin, demonstrating his willingness to kill his enemies.

Luke went on to discuss the recent poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Like the murder of Litvinenko, Russia denies its involvement, but the incident has all the hallmarks of a Russian orchestrated attack. It demonstrates that Russia is using a large number of tools to destabilise the west, via not only political hacking and supporting populist, far-right movements, but by murder.

The discussion was concluded by Giles Udy, who succinctly provided historical context to recent events, showing the clear continuity between the Soviet Union and Russia. Like the Soviet Union, Russia today sees itself as a bulwark against the West. Like the Soviet authorities, Russia’s authorities see themselves as the ‘guardian of the people’. Yet in reality, they want to protect themselves rather than the Russian people. Like the Soviet Union, Russia has a reckless disregard for human life; enemies of the state can be killed, and those who oppose the regime are silenced.

In light of this, Giles concluded by highlighting the real problem we face today; how to respond. That there is a long-standing culture in Russia to target enemies. Like in the Soviet Union, political murder has been institutionalised. It is still going on today, and in order for change, the issue must be addressed.

Details

Date:
17th July 2018
Time:
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Cost:
Free
Event Tags:

Venue

Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House
1 Parliament St
Westminster, SW1A 2JR United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Other

SPEAKER
Marina Litvinenko, activist and campaigner; Luke Harding, Guardian correspondent; and Giles Udy, historian and author
Tickets are not available as this event has passed.

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Ending the Endless War? A New Strategy for Afghanistan

17th September 2018 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued

Under Siege: The Persecution of Minorities in the Middle East

13th September 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued

UK-US Financial Cooperation After Brexit

13th September 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The level of cooperation between the United Kingdom and the United States has been described as “unparalleled” among major powers. … Continued

HJS Report Launch: Negotiating the Peace: Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula

12th September 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued

Nine Lives: My Time as MI6’s Top Spy Inside Al-Qaeda

11th September 2018 @ 6:15 pm - 7:15 pm

As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued

Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age

6th September 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued

President Trump, the EU and the UK

30th August 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Donald Trump campaigned in 2016 by explicitly rejecting the foreign policy of recent presidents, Democrat and Republican. Perhaps nowhere was … Continued

HOW TO RIG AN ELECTION

23rd August 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

To book for our next event, Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age, press here.   SPEAKERS: Dr … Continued

END OF AN ERA: HOW CHINA’S AUTHORITARIAN REVIVAL IS UNDERMINING ITS RISE

31st July 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued

COLLAPSE: EUROPE AFTER THE EUROPEAN UNION

24th July 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

SPEAKER: Dr Ian Kearns, author, Collapse: Europe After the European Union Could the European Union collapse in the near future? Following … Continued

IN THE SHADOW OF THE AMIA BOMBING: GLOBAL TERROR AND THE THREAT TODAY

18th July 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued

RUSSIA’S ASSASSINATIONS ABROAD

17th July 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

SPEAKERS: Marina Litvinenko, activist and campaigner; Luke Harding, Guardian correspondent; and Giles Udy, historian and author During Vladimir Putin’s time in power a … Continued

PESHMERGA: ‘THOSE WHO FACE DEATH’

16th July 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  SPEAKER: Dr Simon Ross Valentine, author, Peshmerga: 'Those Who Face Death' Before the invasion of northern Iraq by ISIS in … Continued

TRUMP AND TRADE DEFICITS

9th July 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

SPEAKER: Dr Linda Yueh, economist and author As we anticipate the visit of President Donald Trump to the UK, many … Continued

BY MORE THAN PROVIDENCE: GRAND STRATEGY AND AMERICAN POWER IN THE ASIA PACIFIC SINCE 1783

5th July 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued

GLOBAL BRITAIN AND INDIA: A NEW ‘SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP’?

3rd July 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued

BELLINGCAT, OPEN SOURCE INVESTIGATIONS, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT MH17

2nd July 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued

ASIAN WATERS: THE STRUGGLE OVER THE ASIA-PACIFIC AND THE STRATEGY OF CHINESE EXPANSION

27th June 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued

THE SECRET WORLD: A HISTORY OF INTELLIGENCE

26th June 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

SPEAKER: PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER ANDREW, Author of The Secret World: A History of Intelligence Partly because of official secrecy, no 20th century … Continued

BETWEEN KIN AND COSMOPOLIS: AN ETHIC OF THE NATION

20th June 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued

THE ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

19th June 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued

HORIZON 2020: WHAT WILL THE MIDTERMS TELL US ABOUT THE FUTURE OF U.S. ELECTIONS?

13th June 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued

NATO: EUROPEAN SECURITY AT A TIME OF TRANSATLANTIC UNCERTAINTY

12th June 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued

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HJS REPORT LAUNCH: “DEFENDING EUROPE: ‘GLOBAL BRITAIN’ AND THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN GEOPOLITICS”

11th June 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued

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