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tv   Atlantic Council Discussion on Russian State the Media  CSPAN  September 14, 2018 5:07pm-6:45pm EDT

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people begin to get better jobs so it showed them that it could be better in the future for the next generation. >> watch c-span's cities tour of lake charles, louisiana, saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. >> what does it mean to be american? that's this year's student competition question and we're asking middle and high school students to answer it by producing a short documentary about a constitutional right, national characteristic or historic event and explain how it defines the american experience. we're awarding $100,000 in total cash prizes, including a grand prize of $5,000. this year's deadline is january
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20th, 2019. for more information, go to our website student yesterday the atlantic council looked at how president vladimir putin and the russian government used propaganda and state media. from washington, d.c., this is about 90 minutes. >> good afternoon. welcome to the atlantic council, and welcome to this afternoon's session on putin's propaganda, pushing back against kremlin-run television. my name is lauren vanmeter and i'm a senior fellow at the
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atlantic council's center. i will be moderating today's event. before we go any further, the event is being tweeted at russia factor -- hashtag russia factor. we welcome all of you to join in the conversation via twitter. i would like to make introductions to our panel. randy sellier, randy is a lawyer in new york city, where he specializes in a wide range of litigations, but most importantly for this case, in professional liability cases, and often cases across international borders. also joining is the president and founder of the justice foundation. she and alex together have coauthored a book, the poisoning of alexander and the return of the kgb. she is a tireless advocate through interviews and press
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appearances. her advocacy for accountability if her husband's case has extended to all russian dissidents affected by moscow's aggressions. alex is a microbiologist. you had been at the forefront of major movements for transparency and justice and human rights, documenting, disseminating information on human rights violations in chechnya, helping to bring to light the tapes in ukraine and supporting the committee of soldier mothers and others seeking human rights protection. i also would mention that alex with marina is on the justice foundation. the way we're going to run the session this afternoon, with these brief introductions, i'm going to allow each of the panelists to speak for five minutes. i believe we also have a video. >> yeah, a short -- >> a short video. we will then have a panel discussion for 40 minutes, and then i will open up to audience
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questions. shall we start with the video? >> well, i just want to make a short introduction. this video are small clips out of five prime time programs from russian television. channel 1 russia. and russia today, which are the subject of my defamation lawsuit against these two channels, which has been filed with randy's help last week in new york in the federal court. as you will see, this program's accused me of being a cia agent who has murdered my friend, marina's husband in 2006, with
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radioactive -- because i wanted to -- the cia wanted to tarnish russia. all of this was broadcast recently in the context of russian propaganda damage control after the attack on sergey and his daughter. the aim of it is of course to distance russian government by saying that both poisonings had nothing to do with russia. so you will see that the main person who is accusing me of these crimes is alexander's father, marina's father-in-law who had his own story of being first very critical of putin in this case and then changing his tune completely and started
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working with the russian propaganda against his own late son. without further adieu, i think we'll go to the video. >> so this is clip number one.
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>> they say i killed litvinenko and then my own wife because she knew too much and spoke too much. then i arranged to plant pulonium on andre and he -- and that's why he got involved. in a nutshell, that's the essence of our claim and we've done it and we'll see -- we'll see where it leads. so i think that would be best to leave it for the questions because there are many aspects of this case from, you know, from the poisonings, to the high politics of british russian
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relations and their response of the west and to the propaganda because it's clearly a case of russian efforts to change public opinion, both in russia in to the west and to the basic anti-american mode. marina? >> very good afternoon. thank you very much for being here with us. and i would like to tell why i am deciding to be involved in this case. [inaudible]. almost ten years we tried to get justice for my husband, and i
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believe in 2006 -- >> 16. >> 2016, i mean, we brought all information to public. it was a lot of evidence. it was a lot of statements of experts. it was absolutely clear who killed my husband. and it was not the -- [inaudible] -- it was very high probability putin was behind of this crime, and it could not happened without knowledge of -- [inaudible]. i try to remind what we achieved in 2016. but in 2018, after there was attempting poisoning, we started to receive all this propaganda
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style program from russia who tried to destroy what we did for the years and we believe -- [inaudible] -- who killed my husband. now they try to have the case of alexander to destroy the future case. this is not only a personal case of alexander goldfarb is that all russians propaganda style and try to stop it or tried to show people how is it dangerous. and taking this case to the court, i believe is the most right thing to do because we don't have no other power to prevent russia propaganda, but to take this case to the court. and i will support this case as
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much as i can and i believe it is the right thing and i'd like to take this attention, people how important to fight against propaganda from russian tv. >> i'm the least important person here, but i think dr. goldfarb is an american citizen. and just so it's clear, one of the things that i have learned is that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the united states speaking the russian language that the russian language programs are
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available in cable television packages. and therefore, dr. goldfarb has been the victim of i think the most heinous lies imaginable, that he killed his friend, that he killed his wife, that he is a member of the cia, and there are -- besides the inherent implausibility of those claims, we know that a very extensive inquiry was conducted by the high court i believe 36 days of testimony, and the conclusion was beyond a doubt that two
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former kgb agents were sent in to england to kill mr. litvinenko and that there was a high probability that putin ordered that. so this is something that is happening in the united states, when cable television programs that are available to hundreds of thousands of people here, and of course this is a case that is about an individual american citizen who has been defamed, but i think we can see in this case some real echos of what is going on generally with russian
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propaganda that attempts to disrupt democracy not only in our country but all over the world. >> thank you. alex and marina, i would like to first give you both an opportunity to respond to last week's statement by teresa may identifying two gru operatives as complicit in the poisoning of sergey and his daughter. marina, you have stated in many interviews that if russia was not held accountable, if there was no conclusion or punishment for killing your husband, that this would happen again, and you boldly stated most recently after the poisonings that lessons were not being learned. do you now feel that international tension is sufficiently focused on these state-sponsored --
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[inaudible] -- that's to both of you. >> yes, you are absolutely right. it was very difficult to bring this case to justice, and of course you will never be able to bring the people who commit these crimes to justice. -- [inaudible] -- they are in russia -- [inaudible] -- tried to extradite these people to justice. [inaudible]. but when it happened in the last march in u.k., i couldn't believe -- i couldn't believe it's happened again and another people now suffered and fighting for their life. but what surprised me is the reaction, it was reaction immediate. in one week, you heard u.k.
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blamed russia of committing this crime. teresa may -- immediately -- [inaudible] -- russia. okay, something was done and now we have this reaction immediate. now just from british government. we received huge international support, what it even happened 12 years ago and it was expelled russian diplomats from many countries and it was all right steps, but russia never will cooperate, and even you find all evidence, even if you again to extradite people who might commit this crime, russia will never do this. what teresa may said last week, it is exactly what i said before, the same scenario of the
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litvinenko case, we named suspects, we asked for extradition, but russia will never do this. but i can't say it was the wrong step because for all this month, it was so much -- [inaudible] -- like you don't have evidence, you don't have facts and there needs top some movement from british government to say yes, we have an investigation, we have a suspect and even more we saw images of these two men and what i believe russia's supposed to do to say no, we have these people and they never came to u.k. and they never committed -- or they might have come to u.k. but they never committed this crime, but what we can see we don't have any response from russia's authorities what exactly these people did or did not do. it's all covered, again.
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and it was a very difficult situation for teresa may and for british government how they will do next steps because from my point of view, and as the -- [inaudible] -- it was the right step because as much information we know about this would be more helpful and i hope more possible to prevent such kind of crime again. >> marina said it all. i might add that churchill once said that americans would always do the right thing, after they try everything else. so in this case, it can be reversed in reference to the british. we -- the response was
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overwhelming. the only -- [inaudible] -- this happened 12 years ago as far as bringing it to the security council and so on, [inaudible] consistent resistance to her majesty's government for inquiry. marina had to sue teresa may in order to have this inquiry and it was the court decision to compel the government to hold it in 2016. but this is just the beginning. the major difference, one of major differences between the cases is that -- [inaudible] -- is a weapon of mass destruction where pulonium is not, it is has a half life so it can't be stock
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piled. there is an additional national security argument to get to the bottom of this and to see if this was -- if it was one test tube or tens or hundreds of tons of this. -- [inaudible]. so the sanctions that were announced -- they were in november, at least the threat was to impose a much harsher sanctions on russia, if they do not comply with the provisions of international ban on chemical weapons, including on site inspections. it's all echo of the cold war. but at least that's what
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everybody says. if no on site inspection, there will be more serious sanctions, and let's wait and see whether the west will back out of this or pursue what -- of course the sanctions will be very damaging, like a ban of flights to the united states. >> alex, people may have forgotten after several years time who was alexander litvinenko as a person. you and marina have both discussed in an interview how his honor and his principles and his story sustain your efforts to seek justice. can you tell us more about his convictions and his driving spirit? >> well, i met him first in the late 90s in moscow when i worked there for george soros. and i witnessed his rebellion against his agency, that is the
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security agency, on the subject of corruption and criminality. so he was a whistle-blower, an honest cop who appealed to the public, essentially bringing attention to the wrong things which he believed was happening within the kgb. he was not political. it was not a political protest. it was internal anticorruption, whistle blowing. and then when -- and in the course of this, he met with putin. he immediately -- and marina will probably mention this -- immediately told that putin is the wrong guy. he was arrested. he was briefly released and fled to u.k. and his specialty was organized crime. he was never a spy in the sense
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of working for the british under a cover. so he went to u.k., with our help, mine and mr. -- [inaudible]. some -- after that, he was recruited i would say by the british secret services on outside consultant on russian organized crime and that's what probably brought him to this assassination because the time he was investigating for the british and the spanish law enforcement, of russian organized crime, all over europe, including spain and spain appears now is the particularly soft spot with
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mr. putin. so that's his bio in a short few words. but he was a very honorable and honest guy with a lot of idealism and that's an evolution of very important conversion from being part of the system to going against the system. >> let's talk a little bit about details of the legal claim. the atlantic council just did a recent report on pushing back against russian propaganda, and one of the things that they said in the report that is often very difficult in the united states to bring a -- [inaudible] -- case. how strong do you think is the legal claim is? what's been the response so far? how solid a case do you think
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you have? >> i wouldn't sign the complaint unless i thought it had merit. this is -- defamation is certainly a difficult cause of action, and i think it's pretty clear that for purposes of defamation law, dr. goldfarb will be what's called a limited purpose public figure. we have the 1st amendment in the united states which gives tremendous protection to journalists, when someone is a public figure, there's a very famous supreme court case, sullivan in which the supreme court said if someone is a public figure, you really have to not just say something that is false, but you have to in effect know that it's false.
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in this case, the broadcasters we believe were putting forth and endorsing the statements by walter -- [inaudible] -- that the very extensive inquiry in the united kingdom showed to be absurd, and it is important to note that litvinenko testified and this alternative theory was rejected in the united kingdom. i think there are cases that talk about a series of facts
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that are in effect preposterous, beyond belief, and i think the -- when the whole picture is examined, including the extensive inquiry, in the united kingd kingdom, that the idea that dr. goldfarb somehow had access to palonium because he was a cia agent is ludicrous on its face. so i think it's -- i'm sure -- the case was just filed a few days ago, on friday. so we haven't heard yet from the defendants. my guess is that they are going to defend the case vigorously.
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we will see. but we're prepared to fight it out. >> walk us through the scenarios, the scenario they don't respond at all, they fight vigorously. what is your strategy for these? >> well, i think for the reasons i mentioned before, the stations are subject to jurisdiction in the united states. they are selling their product in new york among other places and earning i believe millions of dollars. so i think they would be hard-pressed to default. there was a case in england where channel 1 in fact did default, but i think they are
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much less of a presence there than they are here. so i think they will -- i'm not counting on a default. >> let's go back, what you and alexander are doing is extremely dangerous. rt is a state run media operation and the legal claim is a bold shot at the russian state. you achieved an amazing victory with your public inquiry. what compelled you again to act so decisively in this case? >> before, when we received this propaganda style russian program, we understand you can't do nothing, it not happened just now, it started immediately after my husband was dead, in 2006, 2007, it was a lot of programs completely lying about who sasha was or what he did, what happened in u.k., but we
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couldn't do nothing because we didn't have this investigation completed. we couldn't bring any official materials. and we couldn't even prove it was russia state behind this crime. and only what i saw, what is a huge machine of russian propaganda push at, and i couldn't believe how much it cost to russia state to fight against us without any -- nothing. we didn't have nothing, only truth. but when we received this public inquiry report and when it was officially state that russia state behind this crime, and when these people was named, i realized i have power and this power because i received this all from legal case in my way for justice, and now when i can see how this propaganda machine
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tried to destroy it again, and i can't stay just relaxed. and another thing very important since i believe 2014, since invasion in ukraine, public opinion about kremlin regime became more serious. before it was very difficult to prove how is it a dangerous situation because people still believed russia is a democratic country, and when we're talking about journalism and material because nobody want to restrict journalists how to say and what to say, not to put this under control. but now after 2014 and we see how russia propaganda works, how they release any information, and particularly russia today
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and who has the broadcasting abroad and available not only for russian speaking people and for any languages as english, german, french, and how people became confused, what is true or what is not because they believe it's just an opinion. and people in democratic country are happy to use alternative opinions, not only state channels. and we see how it's dangerous because it is not simple -- it is not simply's one opinion. it is propaganda. i will give you example of not connecting to my case, but example how the propaganda works. for example, in germany, i can't say it's a statistic, but it was kind of issue, people watching russian channel and being german
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citizens most likely to -- [inaudible] -- very very right wing party in germany. and men from russia's channel, they try to provide kind of opinion, and russian people don't know when they started to think in opposite completely. this is quite dangerous situation, and we're talking not only for russian people in russia, now even talking more for russian people living abroad and not only russian speaking and other languages. and this one again -- i'm not obligated to do this, but i feel i can't -- [inaudible]. >> one point that i think is interesting is that these
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channels claim to be independent journalists. if you go on their website, they make a big deal about the fact that they are the equivalent of american networks, so i think they are in a way i think in a case like this in something of a bind because i think they would be hard-pressed to defend a case like this by saying well, we're just an arm of the russian government. we're really the equivalent of -- [inaudible] -- where there's some cases in the past where someone tried to sue pravda in the united states and they were able to defend on the basis of sovereign immunity. i think they are going to be
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very reluctant to make a statement -- >> it will expose them -- >> -- that their entire way that they present themselves to the world is a sham. >> i understand, though, the united states has pushed rt to claim that it is an arm of the russian state -- >> channel 1, which i think is the main defendant here is -- has not been registered as an -- but you are right. >> i don't think being registered as an agent of the russian state makes you a part of the russian state. half a dozen lobbying firms in this city are registered as agents of the russian state, t
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but -- [inaudible] -- sovereign bodies. >> right. >> with regard to your question of security, well, to begin with, there are people who put themselves more in danger in russia who are demonstrating on the streets as we speak. so i feel relatively safe here, but who knows, but i should admit that i have a personal motivation here. and this kind of -- it is not purely political or ideological, it is a matter of me personally against this whole i would use the term forces of evil because my close friend was murdered in
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the most horrible way and died in front of my eyes, and regardless of whether it's helpful or harmful for the international aspects of it, i think that the murderers should be punished in some way, and there's no way to do it individually because they will never be -- they will never stand trial for murder, but now, they claim that on top of this all, i was the one who killed him. it adds insult to injury, and this is a major motivation for me to fight back. but having said that, i realize very well that it has implications and impacts on how the russian propaganda machine
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tries to subvert western democracy, and it's an important case. >> thank you, alex. so you talked a little bit about your personal stake in this claim, and you talked a little bit about pushing back against the russian propaganda regime, but you're an american. what impact are you hoping to achieve with the american government in public with your legal claim? is this purely a legal claim on personal defamation you suffered, or do you wish to see this legal action -- for further political? >> in addition to this being a defamation case, it is in the public interest on many levels. it raises awareness to propaganda, to weapons of mass destruction, to policy issues
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and i obviously am happy that it would contribute to the debate and show what's going on with russia and russian propaganda. so in addition to that, there are other aspects of this whole story, and i probably should use this opportunity to say that one of the messages that would try to come across when we meet with people on the hill or in the government is it would strongly support recent legislation by senator menendez and senator graham to designate russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. it is long overdue. and there are very serious legal grounds for doing that. and secondly, we would like to see the executive --
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[inaudible] -- russia propaganda machine -- [inaudible] -- and russia today on the american sanctions list. because the narrative is not that alex goldfarb killed, the narrative is that the americans, the cia killed litvinenko using alex goldfarb. it is clearly a case that should be of interest to the policymakers. >> you talked about how you expect a robust response. that's your expectation. can you lay out for us sort of the case? what is going to be your response, how you are going to push back, what are the legal -- >> well, we did write letters, and the main response was that
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we were just broadcasting walter's opinion. so i think it is true that opinions generally are not acti actionalable -- actionable, but i think our response to that will be, when you look -- and by the way, the station had no responsibility. when you look at these programs, it is quite clear -- and i think they are all on your website or -- they are quite remarkable and they're very slick in the packaging. so this is not a situation where someone comes on a program and just blurts something out.
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this was a highly orchestrated planned attack where the stations i think are clearly giving walter a platform because they are basically giving his views there in perimeter. one of the things that i enjoyed when walter mentioned dr. goldfarb's name on one of the programs, all of a sudden a picture appears with the evil goldfarb -- with the equally evil andre, and one of the things that dr. goldfarb has said in one aspect of his very distinguished career was that he was working closely with andre, by the way, just -- it's amusing because one of the things that they say how did goldfarb get
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access to pullonium? well, you see, he knows all about that stuff. so i think that based on the way they responded to our letters, before we sued, i think they will just say we were just broadcasting someone's opinion, but i think we'll take them on on that one. >> and often with the legal strategy, there can be a political element to that strategy as well. for example, any discovery process could yield invaluable information on rt, a prolonged legal process could be costly and complicate rt's operation in the united states. do you have a political angle to your legal case?
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>> well, i think it is obvious from what dr. goldfarb and marina have said that the case has political aspects that are important. on the other hand, at least as i view it, as a lawyer, this is primarily a case about vindication of the rights of one american citizen who has been grievously injured by people bringing this disinformation -- these lies into our country. so, you know, we will see where it goes, the scope of discovery will really depend on how they choose to defend the case. but to say there's not political
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aspect of it would be silly, especially since our client who has just said there is a political aspect to it. but look, i think it's very important that there's -- this is i think an exemplar of what's going on in many different circumstances all over the world that the russians are doing to subvert democracy, to subvert the western alliance and so it's -- we will prosecute the case for our client, and what comes out of it comes out of it. >> with regard to the cost that you mentioned, at this point i'm more worried about costs to me than to rt and channel 1 who have much more money than i do, and i think one of the --
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[inaudible] -- you know, and to make sure that at some point we'll simply run out of money, but i should say that this case has so far been supported by quite efficient crowd funding campaign, raising money from the public, and the response was very good. mostly from the russian expat community, but there are people who are interested in, you know, in investing in this important case, and this gives -- in turn gives us the feeling that it is not only important for us, but for many people out there. >> yes. you know, it was kind of tragic seeing walter litvinenko on the screen there. can you tell me what sort of pressures he's under to be giving testimony like this?
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>> well, walter litvinenko, you know, there is a whole culture of people signing deals with the side of evil -- i'm sorry, but i always bring about dramatic characterizations. walter was indeed in very dire circumstances, in 2012 in italy. he was recovering from the death of his wife. he didn't have enough money because the business of his son went bankrupt, and he asked for support, and he received some, but then he asked for more, and at the time, he himself was in
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big financial trouble, we all know how it ended, so he essentially was sitting there in a dire situation, and apparently he made the conscious decision, the time difference between his last anti-putin statement and his theory -- plea to putin to forgive him was five days. so he switched around in five days. apparently. and he's quite a fit guy. he's not really a nutcase. this happens with many people i know. once you step down this line, there's no way back because you will always be considered bad
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person by your former crowd and your new crowd will demand more and more and more. so that's a classical -- if you want shakespearean tragedy of one man. that's all we can say. >> unfortunately -- old history of kgb -- [inaudible] -- bring ex-wives to somebody who became dissident or became critics of regime and it's still the same and nothing changed. i can't say -- i can't protect walter because for what he did. but he was used and maybe he was not pressed very hard, but he was definitely used. >> you all talked a little bit
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about the timing of this case, that there are also investigations going on in the united kingdom right now of rt. following the poisoning, the shadow chancellor, john mcdonald said it was no longer appropriate for labor to appear on rt given that they could not report the news impartially. in march, the u.k. regulatory commission has said that it would launch -- it would launch an investigation, and based on the result, pull rt's license if it found that russia unlawfully used force against the u.k. in the case, which has been proven. so marina, what measures do you expect the u.k. government to take against rt in the next few weeks? >> we're waiting for decisions -- [inaudible] -- and
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it is really serious because not only one complaint. it is complaint of different people, maybe many of them. and u.k. can't just ignore it and we will wait. already used to wait, have for ten years, but i believe it will be a decision taking because they said the climate has changed >> so you're expecting a rather robust response? >> yes, and -- >> and possibly the pulling of the license? >> we will see. it depends for how hard the u.k. government will decide to do this, but for all the actions, i can see british government is very serious and is not protecting anymore -- money using in u.k. and it is a lot of investment -- visas from russia
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might be cancelled. very serious process. >> how much does this help your case if thing pros seed in the u.k. -- if things proceed in the u.k.? >> you know, at the end of the day, i'm not quite sure it is all that relevant. it really -- the question will be did they knowingly make false statements about dr. goldfarb that caused him damage? and perhaps -- i really haven't thought about it -- that would be some additional evidence from which an inference could be drawn that they have a pattern of acting with reckless disregard of the truth, but my sense is our rules of evidence
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are what happened in our case and i think what happened in our case, we have a lot of excellent evidence. :: >> for those who make the decision will decide if it is a rogue state. and it is political. there are grounds to designate a rogue state.
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but what is more important to me with clearly as an atmosphere of change we have witnessed in the last couple of years essentially with regard to russia this is a change of policy of engagement to the policy of containment. but even what happened in the 40s. and the soviet union abruptly changed the containment when the policymakers view as a
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threat not just human rights as a troublemaker but an existential threat for the united states and in the u.k. of course. with this massive view of misinformation and propaganda. that constitutes to undermine the western democracies this is not very dangerous or weak. some are halfway around the
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world for serious threats. >> i would love to turn this over to the audience. i will gather three questions and we have microphones back here. >> good afternoon i have a question is the case brought in federal court or in the state? and second since it is broadcast in english isn't the potential damage much greater than those 100,000 russian speakers in the united states?
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>> im from kiev ukraine. first of all thank you very much for your perseverance it is not an easy task you have been persevering and persevering but what you get will be ongoing. but to the attorney, what is the timeframe? do you have any projections? these things do have a tendency to go very slowly. and then to dr. goldfarb do you have any concerns for your personal safety?
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>> i am an exchange student from germany and my question is how do you see the similarities or differences in the way so that timeframe is a lawsuit is always somewhat difficult to predict but despite what people think in the southern district of new york is that the judges control things pretty strictly on top of what's going on our case was assigned to a judge
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who is a great judge. judge sullivan. unfortunately for us he has been nominated for the second circuit court of appeals. and from what i gather he will not run into any opposition as senator schumer was instrumental in his nomination but i do have a lot of confidence that the federal courts are very good these days and keeping things under control to stop a party that attempts to bury the other side and extraneous discovery requests. et cetera.
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>> as we said previously may be a false sense of security and feel much safer here and safer than eastern europe but i hope the thing that putin will not do to trump to have a visit from the fbi something unusual. i don't know.
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so english language in part is an important question. of people both in the u.k. and around the world. but i sense in the u.k. ended united states believe me there is a large army of people who are responsive to these kinds of things of the american government or conspiracy theories and to get alternatives point of view and
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you can see every day with social media comments. it is serious not only our case but other stories it is a classic case but actually to be fortunate with that platform of legal inquiry and showed them for what they are. >> and in the united states and in the u.k. committee of how they react to russia
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today. do they agree for this propaganda? and what i believe in about this country against but now can russia it is very damaging and how do you know they are concerned what happens in ukraine? and with aggression from russia with estonia and with that russian community.
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>> my name is jj greene the national court on -- security correspondent i would like to ask a question. and with the decade so what is it that you want this audience to do? and looking at your safety before you downplayed your concerns but considering what they are capable of and shown that they can do are they simply trying not to make this about panic?
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>> coming prominent but what about shunning propaganda to prevent western advertisers with targeted assassinations or encourage the u.s. with the anonymity of companies into the u.s. with one of the primary destinations.
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>> not everything is easy to achieve but to be patient not without help of course or understanding from people and what about this public inquiry? and they are a little bit what they can do for us. but you can call them an agent
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but then two years ago because there is freedom of speech. and sometimes it is difficult to put that immediacy and again i don't understand with your position and i adopt democracy of my country and united kingdom and i believe you will be strong enough to protect your democracy but now what you try to fight for and your countries destroyed by propaganda.
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in the take-home lesson is russia simply isn't a bad actor but if you take the murder, the propaganda and the nature it is a threat and should be dealt with that way. and also involved with my personal safety i do feel pretty safe. i don't think about it but this question to somebody somebody like a firefighter or a cop, they are in danger and they learn to live with it.
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>> i will tell you something that happens to be true. i spoke with a very good friend of mine who is a lawyer who worked in russia for many years. and is now back in new york if he wanted to work with me he said that's great. we will move forward. etc. etc. he. he called me back a few days later and said i have thought about it. i still do business in russia from time to time. i want to preserve my ability to go to russia. so i will decline which i have
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to say. i was shocked when he told me that but upon reflection i understand and so i canceled my summer vacation in russia. i'm kidding. [laughter] >> so now the legacy of the professor is two ways. that there should be some sort of mechanism but in order to bring it to the level they need to move forward with the
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case. but the other half of your reasoning so one of the first people to expose the plutocracy. the corruption component for the regime. with the current regime with personal corruption. so he was the one who came to the west to try to explain to everybody that they suppress
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or with the parliament there is a means to an end and the ability to pillage a country and pocket the money and store them outside of russia. so fast-forward. there are serious things that are happening. to make sure they cannot hide behind those luxurious apartments or be held liable and it comes out of the existing legislation
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countering corruption it is long overdue and i am very honored to have his name with that. >> my question is somewhat rhetorical. it does not take a more proactive approach to sanctions but we live and work in ukraine with the same situation most of the major tv stations owned by victor medved unabashedly man and
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they put out these crazy conspiracy theories make truth not just relevant we sanction the metallurgical companies and banks but for some reason we don't sanction what we all know with direct assault with that entire concept of rule of law so it is said that if a rhetorical but i never understood we don't touch russia today. >> that is a very sensitive subject for freedom of speech. if you touch us because we
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stay true and with that opinion somewhat doing is not rice on -- right. but then to mention something all russia look are oligarchs but to accept the decision of the british court but it was very important and to see if they accept this or not.
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because they try. they cannot do this in russia. >> i'm from george mason university, tat mention this was the act of a bad actor but dr. goldfarb do you believe this is the marks of a rational actor? what were the aims and overall there were a success or failure considering the what was provoked that they got
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what they wanted even though it was irrational? >> a friend of mine asked russian kgb intelligence officer told me don't try to explain putin's actions about russia. he is mad you cannot explain the actions of a madman. so that school of thought i do think there is a rational reason with the poisoning and in particular at that time we
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don't know the reason and we still don't know until today but my favorite theory for example but his links with organized crime this was a last years of his life and a very serious investigation that resulted in an indictment and exposure to the highest levels at the kremlin. and we know for a fact particularly in this aspect.
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so those in the russian government that are linked to this mobster. so this created a much lower level but that links back he was a humble official and there are documented links so there was an old dirty secret of putin which was so important. so there must be a reason and we don't know about it but we will once the full inquiry happens.
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but my argument very significant and poorly organized but well motivated crimes. >> we often hear two messages coming from u.s. government about russia and the kremlin. one being the rhetoric from the white house the other is the specific quite strong policies such as the repeated sanctions in recent years as well as secretary of state pompeo statement to recognize russia.
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which of those two messages do you feel comes through most strongly right now? >> i think both of them. and they reinforce each other. and it isn't just foreign policy. but it is part of the american political debate and that is what is going on with russia and with the trump presidency. and the messages coming across very strongly. so what is more important what
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do they see? much more than we do. i will quote ambassador daniel who says we don't know how the kremlin works we don't know how our sanctions are perceived we didn't know anything about them during the cold war. >> professor of all the people that they could have tried to pin this murder on, why you? you just don't like the type so why do they try to pin the murder of this man on you?
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then the second question is, do you know why the victim's father turned on his own daughter-in-law? what caused him to turn? as a silly clip from the television show he looks half out of his mind accusing you not just his sons murder but that you killed your own wife. how did that happen? >> why me? the major purpose of this exercise is for the accused perpetrator to fit the
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narrative of russia being under attack by america and specifically the american intelligence service. this is the major theme to their own people and their friends around the world so it is obviously by default in america. i don't know about the others the pictures are not available. so try to offer professional pr, i am a natural choice.
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but also the long-standing grudge against me. and number two the father was disgusted and this was a sad case and as i said it started with your wanting to return to moscow but he didn't have moscow residence. in two years he got back in
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moscow and was in an apartment according to another participant of this whole program and that is the believe that sergei had a lot of money to participate in these programs you can assume he participated to. it is a clear economic advantag advantage. especially in his old age. that is number one. number two it is very difficult to turn back once you start down this road to say that my son was a trader and now is accusing me of
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killing my wife although he knows perfectly well my wife died of cancer five years after he left. she could not address him in english. so what is an unbelievable story. who cares. >> so the first comment so the audience of russia today because under the first amendment amendment major milliken american channels have to allocate time for free and russia uses this free time.
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second they know that it is a de facto russian state. >> and americans wish it was the american broadcasting company so this is strange to americans but not for those other people so the film producer and director in russia entire family was told he is a terrorist. except his sister-in-law. so first it happened with those russian soldiers that
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they were desperate and in a few days they change their mind but as you my question to dr. goldfarb putin told them i beg your pardon before his death. do you know about these letters? >> i have not seen those letters. >> so yes at the end of his life. he was depressed he was soul searching at least three
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people told me they read the letter. >> and say something in context about russia today, yes, you are absolutely right but what was not mentioned during the program that whether or not dr. goldfarb poisoned but also who killed my husband and to have that angle why we go through that now? they have very similar
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programs before and he could not go because it was a different opinion but once he had that legal action and to take the people to the court. >> thank you for your question i hope you will join me to think our panelist. thank you that we wish you all the success. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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>> one of my press people said there is already an article what happens at the dairy farm. what is that? and it said nothing that i said but they allege that i said it. remember sitting in the car and not realizing it was fake news. so i said how could i run against someone that they say things i never said or did things i never did five to go -- five minutes ago.
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>> does anybody really get a point across on television in a minute and a half? >> no. i'm guilty of it you look at something that can go viral. so looking into a 392nd tweet or post on facebook that will go viral. it is bad and it is bad -- good for our busins


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