Expert Briefing - 2021 Duma Elections: What Civil Society in Russia Can Expect?

Dear Colleagues,

We are warmly inviting you to a briefing of the Friends of European Russia Forum, organised in cooperation with the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, focusing on the upcoming 2021 Duma Elections: What Civil Society in Russia Can Expect?

Recent developments in Russia and namely increasing peaceful protests in many cities across Russia, in reaction to criminal attempts of the Kremlin to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny, his arrest and imprisonment upon his return to Moscow on 17 January 2021, demonstrate the rise in civil activeness of the people in Russia. However, the Kremlin regime continues to increase the pressure on the civil society organisations, liberal opposition and peaceful protesters with the aim of denying freedom of elections and staying in power after the Duma elections on 19 September 2021. If this tendency will continue, we may witness the Kremlin “stealing” the possibility of free elections from the Russian people, just as A. Lukashenka did in summer 2020 in Belarus.

We will have the opportunity to hear analyses of the situation by the representatives and experts of the Russian CSOs.

What legislative initiatives have been recently adopted and prepared to further suppress civil participation, freedom of assembly, digital freedoms? What further restrictions can be expected in the run-up to the 2021 Duma elections, to suppress free and fair parliamentary elections? What EU can do to help alleviate the situation of the civil society, independent NGOs and democratic opposition in Russia?

Introductory word:

Mr Andrius KUBILIUS, Member of the European Parliament, former Prime Minister of Lithuania


Mr Stanislav ANDREICHUK, Board member of the Russian movement for the defence of voters’ rights Golos

Ms Natalia TAUBINA, Public Verdict Foundation Director

Mr Andrei SOLDATOV, award-winning author of "The Red Web"

Ms Damelya AITKHOZHINA, Human Rights Watch, Russia Researcher

Ms Audronė PERKAUSKIENĖ, Head of Russia Division, European External Action Service

Mr Bernard GUETTA, Member of the European Parliament (France, Renew)

The event will take place on 12 February, Friday, 13.00-14.30 (CET/Brussels time) on the Zoom and will be held in English.