Open Estonia Foundation

XXI Open Society Forum. Russia in Europe: What Does The Future Hold?

In the first part of the forum President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Lilia Shevtsova, an Associate Fellow from Chatham House, will discuss on how to deal with Russia´s propaganda and disinformation in Europe.

In the second part  Lilia Shevtsova, lawyer Lyubov Sobol from the Anti-Corruption Foundation, journalist Yevgeni Kiselyov and journalist and writer Arkady Babchenko will focus on the upcoming federal elections in Russia. The discussion will be moderated by free-lance journalist Artemyi Troitski.

Estonian Public Broadcasting, the biggest daily Postimees and news portal Delfi will provide an online stream from the event, beginning at 13.00 (+3 GMT). The Forum will also be streamed at the OEF homepage 


12:40 Registration and welcome coffee 

13:00 Opening remarks, Mall Hellam, Executive Director, Open Estonia Foundation 

13:15 – 14:15 Europe´s war on disinformation 

How should democratic and open societies respond to hostile propaganda? Is exposing disinformation and lies enough? How to promote and improve media literacy, critical thinking and analyses within our societies? How to promote free circulation of accurate information in the same time frame as disinformation and avoid sacrificing our fundamental principles. How does foreign propaganda influence the way we deal with our own mounting challenges such as security and solidarity crises, growing Euroscepticism and anti-democratic trends within EU? 

Toomas Hendrik IlvesPresident of Estonia 
Lilia Shevtsova, Associate Fellow, Chatham House 

14:15 – 15:00 Coffee 

15:00 – 16:30 Elections in Russia: Will Russians Surprise Putin? 

The forecasts suggest that things are not going very well for the current Russian authorities ahead of the 2016–18 federal elections. Putin’s Kremlin has introduced a number of new measures to preserve the parliamentary status quo, bar the doors of the Duma to opposition figures, and avoid street protests. Will Russia's economic weakness and manipulation of the elections continue to undermine public support for Kremlin policies? Will there be more reason to expect calls for some kind of transformation of the Russian political system? 

Lilia Shevtsova, Associate Fellow, Chatham House 
Lyubov Sobol, Lawyer, The Anti-Corruption Foundation 
Yevgeny Kiselyov, Free-lance journalist 
Arkady Babchenko, Journalist and writer 
Moderated by Artemyi Troitski, Free-lance journalist 

16:30 Reception at Nordic Hotel Forum 

Additional information: Jete Aljasmäe,, tel + 372 6155700 

 Open Society Forum is the Open Estonia Foundation's annual event that brings together opinion leaders from Estonia and abroad to debate on topics related to open society, democracy and current politics. Former speakers include George Soros, Martti Ahtisaari, Jeremy Rifkin, Susan George, Sergei Kovalyov, Robert Putnam, Timothy Garton Ash, Andrei Illarionov, Ahmed Rashid, David Kramer and many more.

The foundation works to help develop open society in Estonia and other countries