Webinar Recap: Freedom of Press in Belarus and Russia

On Thursday, June 24th the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) held a webinar regarding the “Threat to Freedom of Press in Russia and Belarus.”  The panel was moderated by Principal Director, Justin Russell along with expert panelists including: NYCFPA Senior Policy Fellow, Katya Moore, Editor of Russia Beyond, John Varoli, and Co-Founder of EAST Center, Veronica Laputska. 

The discussion covered the disparity in expectations in transitioning from Gorbachev to Yeltsin, as well as the perceptions and misperceptions of the media and press in Russia and Belarus.  The panel continued a deep dive into the mindset of both leadership and constituency in regards to US foreign policy. The mindset of the younger generation of Russians and Belarusians versus Soviet era youth.  The panel also addressed the direction of the press and media in both countries. 

The full discussion is available on the organization’s Facebook page. The next webinar will be on Thursday, July 22nd at 1:30pm on human rights in Bahrain. 

Featured Speakers:

Katya Moore is a Senior Policy Fellow for the NYCFPA. Katya graduated from The George Washington University, School of Political Science, with a Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations. For more than ten years, she worked as an international business journalist. During her journalism work in DC, she participated in the World Bank/IMF meetings, CERA Week, and other major business events. 

Veronica Laputska is a co-founder and research fellow of the EAST Center in Warsaw, Rethink.CEE GMF Fellow and a PhD Candidate at the Polish Academy of Sciences. In her current capacity Veronica has implemented and carried out various projects dealing with democratization, elections, propaganda, and media studies. Her research interests and expertise also include study of the nationalism and politics of memory, visual and Jewish studies.  

Together with Dist. Prof. David R. Marples from the University of Alberta Veronica is working on a book project explaining the 2020 events in Belarus. Previously Veronica has cooperated with OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the EU East StratCom Task Force, the Council of Europe, MEMO98, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and she worked in business consulting and academia. 

John Varoli has 30 years experience as a media professional, including 14 years (1997-2011) working as a foreign correspondent in Russia for major publications such as the New York Times, Bloomberg News, and Reuters TV. In 2011, Mr Varoli founded his own media consulting company and has since worked with a wide range of clients: wealthy philanthropists, western governments, the United Nations, financial institutions and corporations, especially high-tech startups. Since 2017, he has been an editor at the online magazine Russia Beyond. Since 2014, he has been a regular news commentator on Russian TV channels in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and New York. He is also an editor at Japan NRG Weekly, the leading publication for Japan’s energy sector. 

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