The FBI purportedly examined a radical leftist community organizing group that was attempting to reshape Russian society at the request of Russian officials who were reportedly concerned about the group’s attempts to seize control of the Russian government and civic life.
Even a cursory examination of the activity of the targeted group reveals a deceptive Marxist infiltration of Russia’s educational, legal, and financial institutions, as well as the court of public opinion, in the name of social justice.
It appears that the organization was attempting to incite a nonviolent citizen insurrection by employing long-standing community organizing strategies.
According to the group’s website, they are proud of their work to destabilize Russia:
From 1991 to 2015, work in Russia supported strengthening civil society, independent media, human rights, higher education, and energy and the environment.
From 1991-2015, we made over 1800 grants totaling $107 million to more than 1300 organizations and individuals in Russia.
In 1991, we initiated projects in the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union to “help to the transition to a civil and democratic society and to the society’s inclusion into the global community.” In 1992, we created an office in Moscow. All of our efforts in Russia were of a philanthropic character, and we did not engage in or support political activity or legislative lobbying.
Our work in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union was crucial to our worldwide participation in a variety of program areas, including an early emphasis on independent media, human rights, higher education, and energy and the environment.
In each of these sectors, we concentrated on establishing civil society structures, promoting norms, and supporting changes.
Our early efforts on energy and the environment were consistent with our dedication to conservation and climate problems. We promoted energy efficiency, the economic and environmental effects of energy production and use, and nuclear energy safety problems. We concentrated on both “brown” issues (pollution and associated dangers to human and environmental health) and “green” concerns in the field of environment and natural resources (protected areas and natural resource management).
Our financing helped jumpstart the process of sustainable forestry certification in Russia, and grantees in the nation went on to seed municipal energy efficiency projects. Between 1990 and 2009, the ratio of protected areas to total territorial area increased by a factor of 10. (per International Union for Conservation of Nature data). Particularly when Russia abolished its federal environmental protection agency in 2000, we scaled back our environmental grantmaking.
By 1997, we had shifted our focus to social science capacity building, including support for the European University of St. Petersburg, the New Economic School, and the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. In 1997-1998, we augmented these efforts with a scientific initiative – Basic Research and Higher Education in Russia (BRHE). At Russian state universities, BRHE developed centers of excellence in the scientific and physical sciences. In close collaboration with the Russian Ministry of Education, we funded BRHE with almost $30 million over the course of fourteen years.
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Early on, we supported human rights work in Russia that focused on the protection of ethnic minorities and women’s rights. After the fall of the Soviet Union, women were seen as especially vulnerable, given the collapse of social safety nets, their disproportionate level of unemployment, and lack of gender equality throughout the former Soviet Union. Free expression and accountability through a fair justice system and transparent political institutions were essential pillars of the work. CONTINUE READING…