Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine has had an immense impact on Russian civil society. Following the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, millions of Russians fled the country to avoid being conscripted or jailed for speaking out against the war. As a result, the population of Russian exiles has increased dramatically. These exiles — now fragmented and spread out across different countries — are searching for ways to resist the war, reach audiences inside Russia and continue to maintain an engaged civil society.

On September 18, USIP, The Institute of Current World Affairs and American Purpose Magazine hosted the first in a new series of conversations with Russian exiles. This discussion explored the challenges these new exiles are facing as they look to continue their work abroad, what their future might hold, and how the media can spread their message and reach audiences both inside Russia and around the world. 

Speakers

Natalya Lunde 
Vice President, Global Operations, Free Russia Foundation

Andrei Soldatov 
Co-founder and Editor, Agentura.Ru 

Dr. Margarita Zavadskaya 
Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin, moderator
CEO, Radio Free Europe; Co-founder, American Purpose 
 

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