The discussion of the results of the Anti-War Conference of the Free Russia Forum held in Tallinn continues: many questions are coming in about the panel discussions and the documents adopted by the Forum. Frankly speaking, it’s hard to think about anything but another heinous crime of the Russian army in Ukraine, but I have to summarize the results of the conference, since I promised. We unequivocally regard this event as one of the most successful of all time, and here is why.
1) On the eve of the 5th Anti-War Conference, the Forum participants adopted a resolution according to which they support any form of forceful confrontation with the Russian occupation army and Putin’s regime, including support for Russian volunteer formations fighting on the side of the AFU. I consider this to be a serious step forward in the discourse of the Russian anti-war movement and I am glad that this shift took place at the Forum.
2) Just a few months ago, the idea of this kind of confrontation with Putin’s occupiers was completely rejected by the majority of the Russian anti-war community. And it came as a great surprise to me that even recently, ideas that were too radical for many people were endorsed at the Anti-War Conference by an overwhelming number of conference participants. I have no doubt: after the inevitable failure of those who like to participate in the electoral balaganza once again in March 2024, the theses of the adopted resolution will become dominant in the Russian resistance.
3) This was our most representative Anti-War Conference: more than 200 participants from 35 countries. It was noticeable that people came to work and were involved in the process, there were no “political tourists” hanging around various events.
4) We should note the high level of discussions. I believe that we were able to formulate interesting topics and gathered a strong line-up of speakers. It is important that we managed to maintain a balance between politicians and experts, which made the discussion panels more meaningful.
5) The 5th Anti-War Conference aroused great interest in Estonia. Former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves made a welcome address, the speakers included representatives of the Estonian political and financial elite, the event was covered by all leading media, and Garry Kasparov met with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas during the conference to discuss possible ways of cooperation between the Estonian government and the Russian opposition.
6) Many people were finally able to see that there is no Russophobia in Estonia, as in the other Baltic states. At the same time, there is a rejection of Russian imperial snobbery and boorishness. This year’s events of the Free Russia Forum have been warmly received in Riga, Warsaw and now Tallinn: everyone there knows the Forum’s consistent anti-imperialist position and sees us as allies.
7) According to Nemtsov’s formula, the effectiveness of an opposition event can be assessed by looking at the reaction of the Russian authorities. Against the background of the traditional ignoring by the Russian “liberal media” – Dozhd, Meduza and others – the Kremlin propaganda Z-publics became hysterical about us a few days before the conference, reacting to the inclusion of new figures in the Putin’s List. As a result of the event, one of Solovev’s madmen made direct threats against Garry Kasparov on the air of a federal channel.
8 ) The Free Russia Forum is the only platform of the Russian opposition in which politicians and experts from Ukraine traditionally take part. This time we had five representatives of Ukraine in the sections at once: the Ukrainian perspective is extremely important to us.
We decided to immediately back up our political statements with practical action: on November 9 in Vilnius, the Free Russia Forum will hold an auction in support of Russian volunteers who are fighting on the side of Ukraine.
Victory to Ukraine, freedom to Russia!🇺🇦 💪