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Meeting with Alexey Semyonov On Tuesday September 26, the Utah Valley University Foreign Affairs Club had the opportunity to hold an informal meeting with Alexey Semyonov. He is the President of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, a human rights organization, which promotes democracy in Russia and former Soviet nations. Semyonov is also a mathematician and a computer scientist, and he was active in the dissident movement in the Soviet Union and was forced to leave the Soviet Union by the KGB. He is currently living as an ex-patriot in Washington DC, and has remained active in the human rights movement for more than twenty years. He also has close ties with Kyrgyzstan and Ambassador Abdrisaev, our teacher at UVU. The meeting started with introductions, as well as everyone expressing their interest in diplomacy and international relations. The remainder of the meeting consisted of a question and answer session between President Semyonov and the Foreign Affair Club members. President Semyonov expressed his opinion of Russia’s political future. He feels that civil society in Russia is getting stronger. The Russian government’s reaction to protests by suppressing has proved to be more and more ineffective, due to their lack of means to be suppressive because the Russian government does not have the authoritarian power they had once had. He explained that because Putin is unable to achieve the results that he wants, he’s not able to establish full control, which has caused him to lose legitimacy. As Putin’s government continually tries to suppress its people, the citizens continue to grow stronger as they realize that the government does not have the power to crush them as they have had before. Semyonov has also expressed Russia’s need to establish effective laws against corruption, and to take measures that criminals and their leaders are not one in the same. When asked if there were any examples that give hope of Russia’s movement, he gave examples of the countries in the north among the soviet bloc Latvia, Czechoslovakia, Slovakia and Poland have done well in the Post-Soviet Divorce, and have made the necessary changes to thrive independently. Unfortunately European and Central Asian countries have not done so well. Our meeting went quite well and for many of the members of the club it was a great opportunity to get acquainted with situation in Russia and one of the interesting and important representatives of civil society of that nation. First contacts were established and several initiatives between UVU and ASF will give further opportunities for the members of Foreign Affairs club to be involved in cooperation and friendship with our guest. Melanie Woodbury, UVU student

UVU Foreign Affairs Club Meets with Alexey Semyonov  

On Tuesday September 26, the Utah Valley University Foreign Affairs Club had the opportunity to hold an informal meeting with Alexey Semyono...

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