Podcast No. 43. Simon & Sergei – with Nina Zakharkina-Berezner, co-founder and director of DestinationEst

This week our guest is Nina Zakharkina-Berezner. Nina is a co-founder and director of the French NGO DestinationEst (D’EST) which aims to increase dialogue between Russian and French civil societies, as well as involving European politicians and opinion leaders. Her work focuses mainly on advocacy practices and exchange programmes dealing with various topics such as municipal policy, migration issues, social entrepreneurship and others. DestinationEst helps key civil society actors from Russia share their experiences with professionals and politicians in France and the EU.

The questions we discuss in the podcast include: the main goals of DestinationEst; how to find partners in Russian civil society and among human rights organisations; the level of interest in France in what is happening in Russia; the views of Russian activists about France; the role of the EU-Russia Forum; the state of civil society in Russia today; the future of civil society in Russia; the work of the Memorial Human Rights Centre; and human rights in Chechnya.

This podcast is in the Russian language. You can listen to it here:

You can also listen to the podcast on Podcasts.com,  SoundCloud,  Spotify  or  iTunes

The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: Nina believes it is very important to draw the attention of the French public to what is happening in Russia. And she seems to be doing it successfully. Unlike Madame Narochnitskaya, whom I mention in the podcast, who opened the so-called Institute for Democracy and Cooperation in Paris 13 years ago, Nina is running very interesting projects with our compatriots. However, it’s clear that that Narochnitskaya’s is a Kremlin project, as is the so-called Russian Spiritual and Cultural Orthodox Centre, and both are engaged in something other than democracy and cooperation. Nina told us about her projects, her work with Memorial Human Rights Centre and even how, despite the pandemic, she managed to take part in a series of single-person pickets in Kamchatka.

Simon Cosgrove adds: If you want to listen to this podcast on the podcasts.com website and it doesn’t seem to play, please download by clicking on the three dots to the right. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here

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