From KGB agent to President

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The Rise of Vladimir Putin

Thursday 5. December 2019, at 18:00 until at 19:30

Venue: Wergeland

Host: Den norske Atlanterhavskomité og Civita - Den liberale tankesmien

On New Year’s Eve 1999, Boris Yeltsin resigned as president of the Russian Federation, leaving the office to his successor Vladimir Putin – an unknown, former KGB-agent. Yeltsin had then been the leader of Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a period characterized by tough conditions for the population. Putin took over a country in deep crisis, with a population ready for change. Various theories exist on Putin’s rise to power.

Putin is now in his fourth term as president of Russia. 2019 marks the year in which he has been in power for 20 years, making it a good opportunity to discuss how the country has evolved under his lead. The seminar will start by an introduction given by the American journalist David Satter, followed by comments by Research Professor Pavel Baev and former correspondent in Moscow Morten Jentoft. The three will then discuss how Putin managed to gain support, his methods, and Russia’s future.

David Satter is an American journalist and author of the book “ Less you know, the Better you Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin”. The book was published in 2016 by the Yale University Press. He is also a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

Pavel Baev is a Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, and Associate Research Fellow at Russia/NIS Center at the Insitut Francais des Relations Internationales (IFRI).

Morten Jentoft is a journalist on NRK’s international news staff. He has many years’ of experience as a correspondent in Moscow and Helsinki. His first period as correspondent in Russia was between 1996 and 2000, and he returned to the same position in the period 2014 to 2018. He has also worked at the NRK district office in Finmark.

The event will be live streamed here.