This week our guest on the podcast is Igor Averkiev, civil society activist and human rights defender from Perm. Among the many themes we discuss are: how Igor became involved in civil society activity, the work of Perm Civic Chamber (1996-2020), what made Perm a centre of civil society activity in Russia, the difference between civil society activism and politics, the relationship between civil society and government in Russia, the impact of the ‘foreign agent’ law and the future of civil society and human rights in Russia.
The podcast is in Russian.
You can listen to this podcast here:
The music is from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola and is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.
Sergei Nikitin writes: The city of Perm has always seemed to me like some amazing place where there are a lot of wonderful human rights defenders who work successfully in many areas. Where civil society, through its activists, is able to cooperate constructively with the local authorities: governors and mayors. My only visit to this city – many years ago – only strengthened my feelings. Years have passed, the situation has changed: the authorities are not longer doing much to support active people with initiative who are independent of them. But here, too, Perm’s human rights defenders have won: the brand of foreign agents has been removed from the region’s leading NGOs, including the Perm Civic Chamber. Perm Civic Chamber (PCC), which existed from 1996 until this year, was initiated by Igor Averkiev. He was also its chair. Yesterday, Simon and I talked with Igor. We had a very interesting conversation: Igor Averkiev said that the recently closed Perm Civic Chamber because it had fulfilled its mission. Civil society in Perm has matured. Igor noted three phenomena of today that are typical not only for Perm: the presence of an independent, large-scale volunteer movement, charity on the part of private citizens, and the emergence of specific civic communities (green organisations, animal rights, etc.) You can hear our conversation in this podcast.
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.