Forum of Russian opposition figures opening in Trakai
Trakai, a town in southern Lithuania, is hosting a forum of several dozen Russian intellectuals, journalists, public figures and politicians who will discuss Russia and its relations with the West. The speakers include world chess champion Gary Kasparov, journalist Masha Gessen and a member of Pussy Riot.
Starting on Tuesday, the two-day forum will focus on human rights, the relationship between the state and society in Russia, nationalism, Islam in Russia, political prospects ahead of the Duma elections, relations between the West and Russia, Russia's role in military conflicts, as well as Western sanctions.
Participants of the forum will pay tribute to Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov who was murdered a year ago.
The forum's participants will include Russian opposition figure, former world chess champion Gary Kasparov; Ilya Ponomaryov, the only member of the Russian Duma who has spoken against Crimea's annexation; former dissident Igor Eidman; Maria Alyoshyna, a member of the Pussy Riot group criticizing the Kremlin and the Orthodox Church; human rights activist and Soviet dissident Sergey Kovalyov.
Also among attendees will be Lilia Shibanova, executive director of the nongovernmental organization Golos, as well as well-known Russian journalists Yevgeny Kiselyov, Artemy Troitsky, Mikhail Zygar, Masha Gessen and others.
Guests will be welcomed by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. Discussions will be attended and moderated by Lithuanian intellectuals, including Yale Professor Emeritus Tomas Venclova, Vilnius University Professor Alfredas Bumblauskas and Vytautas Magnus University Professor Leonidas Donskis.