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Model UN Club Attends Russia Talk

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By Will Foster ’20

I and fellow members of the Payton Model UN club had the opportunity to attend a talk at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs this past Tuesday.

The event was entitled, “Russia: From Gorbachev’s Freedom to Putin’s War,” and the featured speakers were former Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev and the Russia and Eastern Europe editor for The Economist, Arkady Ostrovsky.

They and moderator Cécile Shea discussed the current state of the Russian economy and political system, as well as the future of U.S.-Russia relations, during the nearly one hour, 20 minute-long talk, whose name was derived from the title of Ostrovksy’s recent book, “The Invention of Russia: The Journey from Gorbachev’s Freedom to Putin’s War.

“It was pretty cool to learn from people so close to the action,” said my fellow club member Max Levine ’20. “I really liked the Economist guy.”

Ostrovsky stunned us with his bold prediction that President Vladimir Putin would be out of power within a year.

Kozyrev stated that the situation in Russia is continuously deteriorating.

Unfortunately for us, there was not much time left for the question and answer session once the main segment had been completed. Most of us had prepared questions and were eager to ask them, but only Payton Model UN club co-chair Rose Jacobs had a chance to ask hers, and even that only because Ostrovsky generously ceded his closing statement to one question from someone under 18 (aside from our group, the entire room was filled with adults).

See Jacobs ask her question here (the event was going a little past the scheduled end time so Shea was trying to make her hurry up, as you can see!):

The video is time-stamped at the moment when Jacobs asked her question, but feel free to click to any other point — the whole event was recorded.

Featured photo on home page is a screen capture of the above video. 

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