20 years under Putin: a timeline

On July 28, the Legutum Institute and the Institute of Modern Russia will present three papers on the transition issues of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. The event will take place at the National Endowment for Democracy’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.



Monday, July 28, 2014
4:00 pm–5:30 pm

National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004


Oliver Bullough
Journalist and Author

Peter Pomerantsev
Journalist, Author and Documentary Producer

Vladimir Soloviev
Editor-in-chief, Kommersant Moldova

Olga Khvostunova
Editor-in-chief, Institute of Modern Russia

Introductory Remarks

Christopher Walker
Executive Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies,
National Endowment for Democracy

Moderated by

Anne Applebaum
Director, Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute


Last month, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova signed EU association agreements, putting to paper a clear desire to turn westwards and break from an unhappy post-Soviet legacy. Yet difficult issues remain, principally that of corruption. Entrenched corruption in these three countries persists as a result of the networks of criminality that thrived in the lawlessness of the 1990s. Elements of this culture can be observed today, and continue to pose a potent threat to democratic development.

As Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine look to strengthen the rule of law and democratic accountability within their borders, the panel will discuss current corruption challenges and how outside actors – from Russia to the US – are influencing the reform process in each country.

The discussions will be based on a series of papers the Legatum Institute commissioned in partnership with the Institute of Modern Russia that analyses the challenges and opportunities of transition in the former Soviet Union.

To RSVP please click here.



Oliver Bullough is an award-winning journalist and author. He has written for newspapers and magazines in Britain and America, including the GuardianNew York Times and New Republic, and previously served as aReuters Moscow correspondent. His most recent book, The Last Man in Russia and the Struggle to Save a Dying Nation, is published by Penguin. His report “Looting Ukraine: How East and West Teamed up to Steal a Country” is published jointly by the Legatum Institute and the Institute of Modern Russia.

Peter Pomerantsev is a British author and documentary producer. His writing on Russia features regularly in the London Review of BooksNewsweek/Daily BeastFinancial Times and The New Yorker. He has also worked as a consultant on EU and World Bank development projects in the former USSR. His book about working at the heart of Putin's post-modern dictatorship, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, will be published in November. He is also author of the Legatum Institute report “Revolutionary Tactics: Insights from Police and Justice Reform in Georgia”

Vladimir Soloviev is a Russian journalist and editor-in-chief of Kommersant Moldova, a branch of Kommersant Publishing House, considered to be one of the most influential media outlets in Russia. Before moving to Chisinau, he served as special correspondent for Kommersant in Moscow, covering foreign affairs and Russia’s relationship with the European Union and post-Soviet countries, for over six years.

Olga Khvostunova is a Russian journalist who is currently research fellow at the Institute of Modern Russia and editor-in-chief of imrussia.org. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Communications from Lomonosov Moscow State University. As a Fulbright Scholar, she conducted research at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. Previously, she worked as a contributing editor at Kommersant Publishing House in Moscow.

Christopher Walker is executive director of the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis of the theory and practice of democratic development. Prior to joining the NED in July 2012, Walker was vice president for strategy and analysis at Freedom House. He has been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Journal of Democracy, and a range of other publications.

Anne Applebaum leads the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum. She is also a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, and the author of several books, including Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. Her most recent book, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1946, won the 2013 Cundill Prize for Historical Literature and was nominated for a national book award in the US.