New Resource Details Russian Government’s Efforts to Undermine Democracy, Human Rights, and Fundamental Freedoms
Washington, D.C.—In advance of President Trump’s July 16 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Human Rights First today released a new fact sheet detailing how the Russian government suppresses the fundamental freedoms of the Russian people, meddles in democratic elections, and supports human rights violations abroad.
“Given President Trump’s seemingly inexplicable support for Vladimir Putin, it’s worth remembering what the Russian president stands for. Putin rules by violence and corruption. He murders critics and journalists both at home and abroad. He backs a war criminal in Syria and has killed thousands in Ukraine. He is an avowed enemy of democracy, and has sought to sway the outcome of elections from the United States to Germany to France,” said Rob Berschinski, Vice President for Policy at Human Rights First.
Today’s release summarizes the ways in which the Russian government suppresses political dissent and non-governmental organizations, rigs elections, imprisons dissidents and religious believers, allows for the persecution of LGBT people, and is implicated in the killings of journalists and politicians. It also details Russia’s active efforts to undermine democratic institutions in the United States and Europe, as well as its invasion of eastern Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea, and its support for the Assad regime’s war crimes in Syria.
“While the American and Russian presidents have plenty to discuss, President Trump should approach this meeting from a position of strength, making clear that any improvement in relations between the United States and Russia must be predicated on a change in Russian behavior,” added Berschinski. “If he doesn’t, members of Congress from both parties should be ready to take action against any agreement that weakens the United States or our allies.”