Since the beginning of its brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow has only reinforced its suppression of all forms of dissent, civil society, and free media to further cement Russian President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power and quell anti-war sentiment. The March 2024 presidential election was more a stage-managed “bureaucratic exercise” than a free and fair election. As Russians continue to live under Putin’s dictatorial rule and as the ruinous nature of Russia’s war on Ukraine continues to impact daily life, the future of Russia remains uncertain.

Businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the Open Russia movement, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has played a pivotal role in international efforts to build a future for Russia that is both free and democratic. Through his background as one of Russia’s former richest men to spending ten years in Russian prison, Khodorkovsky presents unique insights into Russia’s descent into authoritarianism, the role Moscow plays in today’s geopolitical landscape, and the strategic planning necessary towards a free and democratic Russia.

What lessons can the United States and allies learn from prior approaches towards Russia? How should the United States and the Russian opposition engage with those interested in building a free and democratic Russia? Are we in a “New Cold War”?

The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center hosts a fireside chat featuring Mikhail Khodorkovsky and moderator Ambassador John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, to discuss the above and more.


Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Russian Anti-War Committee

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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to promote policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.

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