Russian Americans Say Keep It Up, President Trump

The Congress of Russian Americans, a group claiming to represent five million Russian-speaking Americans, recently wrote to US President Donald Trump deploring the state of Russian-American relations, denouncing the expulsion of sixty Russian diplomats from the United States, and denying Russia’s involvement in the recent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England. It also alleges that Russian speakers face “serious discrimination” in America.

In response, an independent group of Russian-speaking immigrants has released a letter that disputes these claims. Well-known human rights activists, filmmakers, writers, journalists, lawyers, scientists, engineers, university professors, medical doctors, artists, professionals in various areas, and ordinary Russian-speaking Americans have signed the response, which says that the Congress of Russian Americans (CRA) does not represent them or their values. Calling the CRA letter “yet another act ” in Russia’s ongoing info war against the United States, its 144 signatories say that they are “are appalled by the CRA’s audacity in their attempt to create an impression they speak for the entire Russian-speaking community.”

A copy of the letter follows.


April 16, 2018

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We, the undersigned, are Americans who immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union and Russia. We come from different professional spheres and we do not represent any interests of the Russian government or its proxies.

We are addressing you in reaction to the letter reportedly sent to you by the chairperson of the Congress of Russian Americans (CRA), a seemingly pro-Kremlin organization. Broadly circulated in various media and social networks, and supported by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin-controlled propaganda networks, Sputnik and RT (Russia Today), that letter claims to represent the opinion of “5 million Russian-speaking Americans.” It deplores the state of Russian-American relations, the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, and emphatically denies Russia’s involvement in recent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, UK. The letter also maintains that the negative connotation of Russia in American media leads to the discrimination of Russian-speaking community in the USA. There is little doubt that the CRA letter is yet another act in an ongoing informational warfare waged against the United States by the Russian government. We are appalled by the CRA’s audacity in their attempt to create an impression they speak for the entire Russian-speaking community. Likewise, we find it troubling that the CRA letter received wide coverage in the government-controlled media inside the Russian Federation, adding to its relentless manipulation of public opinion.

The segment of Russian speakers that we represent does not share any of that text’s claims. We do not support actions and activities of the Russian government and President Putin, which threaten peace, stability and democratic values whether in Georgia, Ukraine, the Middle East, Europe or USA. We fully support the measures by the American administration against the Russian ruling elite, including expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats. We strongly condemn unlawful actions of the Russian government for its various acts of aggression against its neighbors, its shameless interference in political affairs of many countries and its acts of terrorism abroad, especially its recent chemical attack in Salisbury, UK. We also draw your attention to the unlawful repressions of internal dissent, and persecution of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians in illegally annexed Crimea. We expect the US administration to develop a consistent policy on Russia founded on respect for human rights and centuries-long American democratic values.

Finally, none among our numerous respondents reported any incidents of discrimination due to their Russian origin. Despite all the tensions and complications caused by the current Russian leadership, we feel welcome in America and appreciate freedom and opportunities in our new American homeland.

We trust that our voice is heard and accorded the most serious attention for the sake of security and prosperity of this country of which we became its legitimate and proud constituents.

Most respectfully,

(144 signers)

Joseph Adelsky, PhD in polymer chemistry, retired. New York, NY
Albert Akselrod, Chief designer in the shipbuilding industry, retired, Atlanta, GA
Leonid Aptekar, Senior IT professional at major financial companies, retired, Staten Island, NY
Natalia Arno, President of Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Oleg Asaulenko, Chief Cameraman at RTN Channel, documentary filmmaker, photographer, Brooklyn, NY
Igor Baboshkin, Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots in U.S.A., Chairman, New York, NY
Michael Berg, Center Associative scientist at Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, MA
Yaroslav Beklemishev, Journalist, broadcaster, radio host, Boca Raton, FL
Stella Belenkaya, Senior IT Professional, Washington, DC
Lina Bernstein, Professor Emerita of Russian and Comparative Literature at Franklin & Marshall College, Amherst, MA
Yakov Brayer, Senior IT professional at major Financial organisation, New York, NY
Michael Belkin, Chief Information Officer, Union for Reform Judaism, New York, NY
Greg Bratshpis, Director, Deutsche Bank, New York, NY
Irina Brovina, Actress, New York, NY
Vlad Burlutskiy, Independent political consultant, New York, NY
Kira Chernyak, Ultrasound Technologist, New York , NY
Marina Chernyak, Register Nurse, Valley Home Care, NJ
Vladimir Davidenko, Artist, Brooklyn, NY
Regina Davydova, Travel consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Lev Deych, PhD. Professor of Physics at Queens College of CUNY, New York, NY
Eugenia Dimant, Librarian, Boston, MA
Oleg Dmitriev, Senior IT Analyst, Tampa, FL
Katherine Dovlatov, Translator, editor, manager of the Dovlatov estate, Forest Hills, NY
Elena Dubinets, VP at Seattle Symphony, Bellevue, WA
Sergey Dubinets, Senior software engineer at Microsoft, Bellevue, WA
Anzhelina Fesun (Zeppieri) Travel consultant, Queens, NY
Maina Finkelshteyn, Veteran of public education in Russia, Brooklyn, NY
Alexander J Flint, Blogger, columnist, NY
Vladlen Fridman The author of “HEM Nanoconcrete” technology, retiree, Blakeslee, PA
Igor Frolov, IT Professional, Lead Developer, Ivyland, PA
Boris Frumin, Professor Tish School of the Arts, NYU, New York, NY
Yevgenia Frumin, Real Estate Specialist, Miami Beach, FL
Tatiana Gaines, ESL Instructor, Bethel Board of education, CT
Dmitry Garanin, Professor of Physics at Lehman College of the CUNY, Fellow of the American Physical Society,
Russian poet and essayist, NY
Alim Gelyastanov, Data analyst, Austin, TX
Alexander Genis, Writer, essayist, literary critic, broadcaster, radio host, NJ
Irena Genseruk, Home inspector CPI, Philadelphia, PA
Vitaliy Genseruk, Independent Contractor HVAC, Philadelphia, PA
Olga Gilpatrick, Speech-Language Pathologist, M.S., CCC-SLP, Brooklyn, NY
Alex Goldfarb, blogger and author, President of Litvinenko Justice Foundation, MA
Vladimir Golovanov, Professional in Financial Services, NY
Yelena Goltsman, Founder and Co-President, RUSA LGBT, New York, NY
Lyosha Gorshkov, PhD, Co-President, RUSA LGBT, New York, NY
Irina Gorskaya, Hypnotherapist .Brooklyn, NY
Andrew P. Grigorenko, BSEE, MSEE, IT specialist, Human Rights activist, trilingual author and journalist,
president of General Petro Grigorenko Foundation, New York, NY
Helen Groysman, IT professional, New Jersey
Tamara Gruzbarg, Big Data Specialist, Head of Industry Insights at ActionIQ, New York, NY
Vladimir Gurin, Professor, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Co-Founder and President of Russian-American Music Association, Boston, MA
Alexander Ivanov, MBA in Finance and Investment, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, Senior Accountant, New York, NY
Pavel Ivlev, Executive director of KRES Poliskola Russian-Speaking School, New-York, NY
Natalia Kamyshnikova, Professor at the University of Tennessee, PhD, author, Knoxville, TN
Henry Kapkanov, Driver, Philadelphia, PA
Yana Karlson, Scientific employer, Brooklyn, NY
Alexander Kashapov, Musician, journalist, observer at Radio Philadelphia, PA
Ana Khatsansky, Senior IT Professional, New York, NY
Kseniya Kirillova, Journalist, columnist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), expert at Free Russia Foundation (USA), WA
Andre Kleyner, PhD. Automotive Technology Leader, Indianapolis, IN
Rodion Kolesnikov, PhD, MBA, Business Improvement Expert, Brooklyn, NY
Victoria Kolesnikova, PhD, DVM, Veterinary Doctor, Brooklyn, NY
Vitaliy Konnov, Asst. Vice President in Barclays Capital, Sr. IT Consultant in TIAA-CREF, PhD in Mech. Engineering, retired, New York, NY
Igor Jerry Kuras, Russian poet, editor of the Etazhi magazine, MA
Alex Kuzmin, Member of the Anti-Putin movement, New York, NY
Elena Larchenko, VNSNY, HCC business development. Home Care Consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Gleb Latnik, Program director RUSA LGBT DC, Washington, DC
Dora Lauren, Senior Business Analyst and Data Analyst. Express Scripts, Fair Lawn, NJ
Igor Levin, PhD in Aerospace and energy efficiency. KS
Elena Leyderman, Software Engineer, retired, Brooklyn, NY
Miron Leznik, Senior IT Professional, West Milford, NJ
Eugene Linetsky, Blogger, columnist, Staten Island, NY
Alexander Lisyansky, Professor of Physics at Queens College of CUNY, NY
Pavel Litvinov, Member of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, veteran of Soviet human rights movement, NY
Leonid S. Martynyuk, Author, investigative journalist, co-author with Boris Nemtsov, NY
Maria Medvedeva, Certified Professional Coach, New York, NY
Stella Melamed, Licensed English-Russian/Ukrainian Medical and Legal Interpreter, Philadelphia, PA
Alexander Mikishev, professor at Sam Houston State University and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Houston, TX
Natasha Novitskaia-Adams, Award winning opera singer, dramatic mezzo, New York, NY
Galina Ocheretyansky, Fairfiels, CT
Karina Avanesian-Weinstein, DM, piano teacher and collaborative pianist, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Mikhail Oganov, CAMS technician, WA
Boris Palant, Attorney at Law, the first President of the American Association of Russian-Speaking Attorneys, lecturer. New York, NY
Svitlana Pavlenko, Financial accountant at a Law firm, Portland, OR
Anna Pervukhin, Attorney at Law, Eugene, OR
Eric Pervukhin, Professor at Missouri State University, Master of Fine Arts, Director of MFA program, Springfield, MO
Alexandre Peshansky, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Lead Bioinformatics Analyst, Emerson, NJ
Yulia Pessina, MBA, retired, Aberdeen, NJ
Andrei Piontkovsky, Senior Adviser, Free Russia Foundation, Washington, DC
Liudmila Poliakoff, Manager, Business Development Manager at IT ERP-Projects, retired, New York, NY
Elena Prigova, Journalist, owner of advertising agency, Staten Island, NY
Valeriy Privis, Entrepreneur, Miami, FL
Galina Rabinovich, Office manager, Reston, VA
Yuri Rashkin, Blogger, broadcaster, instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Rock County Supervisor, interpreter, WI
Vladimir Raskin, Senior Environmemetal Engineer, Philadelphia, PA
Michael Rorer, Mathematician, Data Architect, IT consultant, retired, Princeton, NJ
Alla Roytberg, Principal Attorney and Mediator, The Law Firm and Mediation Practice of Alla Roytberg, P.C., New York, NY
Vitaly Rozenshain, Sr. Construction Cost Consultant/Civil Engineer, retired, Brooklyn, NY
Lisa Salkin, IT professional, Boston, MA
Evgeny Salnikov, Principal Robotics Engineer, Amazon, Seattle WA.
Michael Salop, Journalist, IT tester, Chicago, IL
Nikolay Sergeevykh, Psychotherapist in private practice, Baltimore, MD
Victoria Seltser, Senior Business Analyst, Fair Lawn, NJ
Naza Semenoff, Management Consultant, NY
Irina Serova, Writer, homemaker, VT
Nina Serova, Musician and Piano Teacher, Los Angeles, CA.
Malka Shahar, Psychologist, Political and Public figure, Brooklyn, NY
Dmitriy M. Shenker, RA, AIA, Director of Architects Council of NYC, AIA Brooklyn President 2006-07 & 17, AIA NYS Director 2008-11, NY
Larissa Shenker, Research Scientist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Sergey Shilnov, Enterpreneur, NY
Yulia Shilnova, Sales representative, NY
Katia Shraga, Philologist, museum and exhibit content developer, archivist, Columbia University, New York, NY
Tetyana Sirman, Preschool director, Brooklyn, NY
Serge Skorodinsky, Software/hardware engineer, Brooklyn, NY
Sofya Slavina, Senior Database Analyst, Enterprise Data Architect, New York, NY
Irina Smirnova, Senior Software Engineer, Houston, TX
Lora Soroka, Assistant Archivist, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, CA
Ed Sorsher, Web development company, owner, NY
Aleksandr Spivak, senior developer, IT ADA, Chicago, IL
Yelena Starostenko, Accountant, payroll coordinator, JVS of Metro Detroit, MI
Galina Strukova, Physicist, North Potomac, MD
Inna Subotin, MSW, psychotherapist at Advanced Center for Psychotherapy, Forest Hills, NY
Alexandra Sviridova, Award-winning writer, award-winning movie- and TV-filmmaker, journalist, New York, NY
Yulia Timashpolsky, MD, New York, NY
Leonid Timashpolsky, MD, New York, NY
Anzhelika Tkachenko , Chemist, Staten Island, NY
Yuri Tkachenko, CAD operator, Staten Island, NY
Igor Tsesarski, Head of the Kontinent Media Group, Chicago, IL
Alexei Tsvetkov (Алексей Цветков), Russian poet, prose writer, essayist, reviewer, translator, NY
Alexandra Yarmak, Radiologic technologist, VA Medical Center, New York, NY
Dmitry Valuev, Community Development and Outreach Coordinator, Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Nadia Valueva, Community Development and Outreach Coordinator, Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Alexander Vinitsky, PhD, Affina Biotechnologies, President, New York, NY
Tatiana Yankelevich, former Director of Sakharov Program on Human Rights at Harvard University, Boston, MA
Igor Yarmak, Senior IT professional, New York, NY
Irene Vesne, Business banker at Santander Bank, NY
Alexander Weitsman, IT Manager, New York, NY
Igor Yevmenenko, Manager at the New York City Transit Authority, NY
Sergey Yudin, Self employed professional, Fort Mill, SC
Andrei Zagdansky, Award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer, Rockefeller Fellow, NJ
Sergey Zaitsev, President of SVZ Technologies, Minneapolis, MN
Alexander Zaporozhtsev, Sports trainer, human rights activist, Brooklyn, NY
Yulia Zaporozhtseva, Science teacher, Brooklyn, NY
Ilya Zaslavskiy, Head of Research, Free Russia Foundation, Washington, DC
Sergey Zatsepin, Director of Radio NVC, broadcaster, radio host, Chicago, IL
Alla Zeide, Cultural historian of Post-Revolutionary Russian emigration, New York, NY
Nina Zheltova, PhD in Economics, retired, NY

Dmitry Valuev is the community development and outreach coordinator at the Free Russia Foundation in Washington, DC.

Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, on April 5, 2018. Credit: