Editor's blog: President Putin pays tribute to Liudmila Alekseeva

posted 27 Jul 2017, 06:47 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 3 Aug 2017, 03:16 ]
27 July 2017

Reflections on the week of 15- 21 July 2017

Meetings between individuals who encapsulate, each in their own way, different aspects of a turbulent period of a country's social and political life are always fascinating. This past week, on 20 July, when Liudmila Alekseeva, the doyenne of Russia’s human rights defenders, marked her 90th birthday, she was visited by President Vladimir Putin. The two sat opposite each other in Liudmila Alekseeva’s living room in her apartment on the Old Arbat and an account of their conversation was duly published on the official Kremlin website. Video of the two in conversation was broadcast on the nation's main TV channels. The President came with gifts: a bouquet of flowers and an engraving of a view of the town in Crimea where Alekseeva was born, Evpatoria, as well as a decorative plate with a picture of the tower what is now the main building Moscow State University where she had been a student. Given Alekseeva's well-known opposition to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the gift of the engraving would seem a particularly pointed one, although according to the published account of the dialogue it was the picture of Moscow State University that moved Alekseeva to comment, saying she had not actually been a student in the landmark tower, although she had helped build it[Read more]