“Overall I am quite optimistic because we see that civil society has many new initiatives in pockets. And we have many new people around us who can do something. But the government has already used all its weapons,“ says Leonid Drabkin from OVD-Info about the state of civil society after protests in Russia.
OVD-Info is an independent human rights project whose aim is to help the victims of political persecution in Russia. The project monitors arrests at public rallies, collecting information about the place of activists detainment, their need for assistance or legal aid and more. Symbolically, on the day of the 9th anniversary of the Bolotnaya Square rally, the biggest demonstration in Russia since the 1990s, #Forum2000online Chat publishes a discussion with the project´s general coordinator Leonid Drabkin. In the interview, Mr Drabkin talks about the OVD-Info project, the current protests against Navalny´s imprisonment and the future of civil society in Russia.
“We try to give a response. Because civil society – it´s about a response to the pressures government makes on our society.“
The interview was recorded on April 26, 2021, and moderated by Arzu Geybulla, columnist and writer from Azerbaijan.