Episode 564 Global Town Hall July 2023

Two Russians, Konstantin Samoilov and Victor Kogan Yasny, struggle together about whether to compromise with an evil political and military system. Vladimir Krasnov views his decision to leave from a more pragmatic perspective., while Jill Carr-Harris and Shorena Lortkipanidze report on the attitudes of Georgians and the Russians who are living there. We also talk about Bangladesh’s violations of human rights and the views of Leda Raptis, a Greek immigrant to Canada who puts the current struggle into the context of an earlier one involving her own country. For the video, audio podcast, transcripts and comments: https://tosavetheworld.ca/episode-564-global-town-hall-july-2023.


Konstantin Samoilov

Victor Kogan Yasny

Jill Carr-Harris

Shorena Lortkipanidze


Russia, war, Russian, people, Ukraine, Metta, Russians, Georgia, country, Canada, government, Bangladesh, Victor, happening, peace, work, inaudible, regime, situation, question


Judith Hand, Bruna Nota, Richard Denton, Jill Carr-Harris, Alexey Prokhorenko, Metta Spencer, Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg, Vladimir Krasnov, Marilyn Krieger, Shorena Lortkipanitze, Mominul Haque, Bill Leikam, Liz, Alan Haber, George Wilobo, Ann Brumell, Sandy Greer, Victor Kogan-Yasny, Rose Dyson, Leda Raptis, Peter Brogden, Konstantin Samoilov, Martin Halliwell


There were multiple people involved in the July 2023 Global Town Hall hosted by Metta Spencer on July 30.  Attendees were from Canada, India, the United States, Russia, and Georgia among other places. During this town hall many topics were discussed including peace activism, environmental research, conflict resolution and politics.

Jill Carr-Harris, Peter Brogden, Marilyn Krieger, Ann Brumell, Shorena Lortkipanitze, Judith Hand, Bill Leikam, Vladimir Krasnov, Leda Raptis, Sandy Greer, Dorothy Rosenberg started things off in the discussions.

Things focused on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine with activist Victor Koga-Yasny highlighting the political situation in the country.  He is concerned and opposed to the political system not the country itself. Konstantin Samoilov, also from Russia and now in exile provided his perspective on the situation and his disappointment in Russia’s actions. The situation is very complex, and participants had differing views. Vladimir Krasnov also participated in the discussion and described his decision to leave Russia due to the lack of prospects and economic difficulties. He also has a differing perspective on the invasion than his family which has been difficult.

Konstantin Samoilov regrets not acting earlier to prevent the situation in Russia from deteriorating. He raises the issues of compromise and accountability and is looking for solutions to stop the bloodshed. He is very concerned about the direction the country is currently taking.

Victor Kogan-Yasny discussed the challenges of transforming Russia’s authoritarian rule into a more democratic one. He believes that negotiation and strategic planning over time is more reasonable than militarily.

Shorena Lortkipanitze works on security issues in Georgia, and she is concerned about Russia’s actions and the impact of this conflict on neighboring countries. She emphasizes the importance and urgency of stopping the bloodshed and supporting Ukraine while looking for long-term solutions to prevent future conflict.

Rose Dyson raised questions about those who oppose the Putin regime such as Alexei Navalny. She wonders about the feasibility of transforming Russia’s political system and the potential impact it may have on global issues like climate change.

Led Raptis shared an “outsiders” perspective, mentioning the complexities of understanding the conflict while emphasizing the need to avoid demonizing either side. She talks about NATO and the importance of negotiation to reach a peaceful resolution.

All participants were and are looking for ways to stop the violence while considering historical, geopolitical, and humanitarian factors.

In the final segment of the town hall participants discussed the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and political repression in Bangladesh. Mominul Haque highlighted parallels between Russia and Bangladesh in terms of autocracy, corruption, and human rights abuses.

The conversation shifted to the situation of Russian citizens living in exile, where some restrictions on entry have been imposed. Vladimar Krasnov shares his experience in Kazakhstan and the potential risks of deportation to Russia for political reasons. 

Participants also touched on environmental concerns related to nuclear waste disposal, and potential dangers of deep burial for high-level radioactive waste. Sandy Greer emphasized the uncertainty and risks associated with deep geological repositories and the lack of public awareness.

To end the conversation participants, mention upcoming events and initiatives related to peace, nuclear disarmament, and climate action. Alan Haber introduced the upcoming United Nations Climate ambition summit and International Day of Peace in September as opportunities to focus on peace building and address climate change.


Metta Spencer  00:01

Hi, I’m Metta Spencer. And this is Sunday, July 30 2023, with the new edition of the global Town Hall, and here we are about to meet all my friends for the month and have a good conversation. So Hello, folks. All right, I am going I’m just going to introduce you as you will appear on my screen, which is no logical order. Jill Carr-Harris so say hello, Jill.

Jill Carr-Harris  00:35

Hi everybody, hi everybody, It’s a delight to be here with you.

Metta Spencer  00:41

Jill is one of my dearest friends in the world. And she’s she’s a Canadian who spends the last 37 years in India, but maybe coming back to Canada. All right. And now my and there is me and then there’s Peter Brogdon, who’s up in the lake country. He’s been telling me about it. Peter say hello to everybody.

Peter Brogden  01:05


Metta Spencer  01:07

Marilyn Krieger is in California.

Marilyn Krieger  01:13

Ya, so I am a behaviorist and I specialize in felines I’m actually working. I’m interested in how urbanization is affecting the behavior of our local mountain lions and our bob cat. I recently wrote an article published an article that I can put a link into in the chat if you’re interested. I will do that.

Metta Spencer  01:41

Fine, Thank you. Let’s go on to Ann Brumell.

Ann Brumell  01:50

Hello, everybody. I know I first met metta through Massey College, where a mutual friend and colleague works and lived. And we gathered together quite often at the Faculty Club, and shared a number of different seminars and views. And I’ve continued to express this interest over the years. Although I have to say during COVID I was rather shut down from doing a lot of things. I’m glad to be back.

Metta Spencer  02:23

Thank you. Okay, Shorena is in Batumi.

Shorena Lortkipanitze  02:30

Batumi. Hello, everyone. I’m happy. I’m honored to be here. So I’m from Georgia, from Tbilisi, but now I’m in Batumi, this is seaside city here. It’s very noisy outside, people are having rest and relaxing. But I’m here for the reasons. So tomorrow, we are opening diversity pluralism and media freedom conference set, Batumi State University. So and we are organizing with local civil society actors, media organizations, it will be kind of interesting dialogue and discussion on this important issue.

Metta Spencer  03:09

You are interested in security issues very much.

Shorena Lortkipanitze  03:13

Yes, yes. From civil council on defense and security. So

Metta Spencer  03:18

You and Jill already know each other because Jill…

Shorena Lortkipanitze  03:20

Yeah, Jill is my dear friend, yeah, happy to see her…

Metta Spencer  03:25

Judith Hand has already given us a little spiel. Say a little bit more, Judith. That you’re by?

Judith Hand  03:33

Yeah, I’m an evolutionary biologist by training. Living in San Diego. My area of specialization was in conflict resolution, gender differences. And whether or not we could apply this to war, what, what, what is our relationship to war? When do we start making war? Why do we make war? Could we ever end war, which is what I’m working on right now I’ve written several books on the subject. I have a very large website called a future without war.org or just afww.org. And it has videos, book reviews, movie reviews, lots of essays on the subject. And it has a study guide in there. If you go there, go to the introductory part where it says study guide, because that list of various things grouped by subject matter. Because it’s a very large website. You don’t want to wander all the way through it at random. This will group the things by subject area if you go to the study guide, and right now, and right now I’m working at Wilf to see if we can start some kind of a project to get a treaty that might bring about the end of international wars.

Metta Spencer  04:57

All right, thank you. Bill Leikam, the fox guy.

Bill Leikam  05:00

Yeah well I run the urban wildlife research project here in California, just south of San Francisco. And my big concern is how global warming may push us into increased wars and conflicts around the planet. And that’s all.

Metta Spencer  05:27

Okay. Thank you, Bill. We’ve got cats and we’ve got foxes here. Vladimir. Hello. Nice to see you. Tell us about yourself.

Vladimir Krasnov  05:36

Yeah. Hi. Nice to see you again.

Metta Spencer  05:40

Yes, tell us about yourself.

Vladimir Krasnov  05:43

Okay, my name is Vladimir And originally, I’m from Russia. But I had to leave the country last year, due to the current situation, you know. And now I live in Kazakhstan. So and I try to find a place to live with my family.

Metta Spencer  06:04

And you come into Canada? Right?

Vladimir Krasnov  06:06

Yeah, right. I’m planning. I’m planning to go to Canada.

Metta Spencer  06:11

Okay, very good. I’m delighted. I don’t know whether you’ve met Konstantine yet, but you will. I’ve got two other people to introduce. Leda is yes, hi Leda.

Leda Raptis  06:24

I’m Leda Raptis. oh, I didn’t change my email. So at least it’s not my name is not written in Greek. I am a professor at Queen’s University. I work in cancer research. But I am interested very much I come originally from Greece, by the way. So being from Greece, of course, interest. I mean, history is big. And so I am interested in history and also many other global issues. And I have always found the Peace Magazine. And also these meetings are very interesting. So that’s,

Metta Spencer  07:02

Thank you. Okay. Sandy Greer.

Sandy Greer  07:04

Good afternoon, thank you for inviting me. I’m a writer, filmmaker, and educator. And for the last 10 years, I’ve been working with local people in Ontario to fight against the proposed deep geological repositories on radioactive waste. So my concern to all of my life’s work for 40 years has been the cultural racism against Indigenous peoples. And so very much the Indigenous peoples also are involved in in these possible deep geological repositories and the impacts on on the natural environment and the water pathways as well as human health. So what I’m trying to do through various activities is try to fight against the increased racism that has become so evident in North America.

Marilyn Krieger  08:06

Sandy, Is it possible to connect with you outside of this meeting? Because our interests actually overlap. I’m also very involved in the Indigenous community MMIW, as some of the other things,

Metta Spencer  08:21

Why don’t you post some information about how to get together in the chat, and I will put that chat online later when I post when I finish editing this. Dorothy Rosenberg.

Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg  08:34

I’m Dorothy Golden Rosenberg and I have known Metta for dozens of years, I guess now. And, and Jill and I’ve been in touch with for many years as well. I am somebody who has been involved in peace and social justice and environmental and so on for many, many decades. I did my Master’s in Environmental Studies at York and I did my PhD at OISE where I got to know Jill much better. And the good work that we’ve all been doing over the years is really impressive. I would like to also mention that I work closely with the Clean Air Alliance and they put out wonderful material every week. As many of you probably know, Angela Bischoff puts out her reports for people to understand and sign petitions and be part of a much bigger picture than just a few of us.

Metta Spencer  09:35

I’m really keen to introduce you all to Konstantin, who I’m just so thrilled to get to know. Konstantin Samoilov is someone who is Russian now living in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and who is so dedicated he is the most committed and big hearted guy I know anywhere. Say hello Konstantin to…

Konstantin Samoilov  10:02

Thank you so much Metta. And thank you everyone. Great to be here. My name is Konstantin Samoilov. I am Russian I was born and raised in Russia, lived in the USA for quite a few years and moved back to Russia, and now in exile in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. For the past nine months, I’ve been trying to do three things, primarily first, to spread the truth of what Russia is doing to Ukraine, into into itself to create a support group here in Tashkent,  I founded Tashkent Breakfast Club, where Russians get together. And I’m trying to do the same thing in other countries right now. And the third, I’m trying to get Ukrainians and Russians at Tashkent Breakfast Club so they sit at one table, you know, talk, make amends, you know, try to fix what’s been broken by the Russian government.

Metta Spencer  11:06

Wonderful. It’s just such a treat to have you with us Konstantin., George Wilobo..

George Wilobo  11:15

Yes. Hi, everyone. My name is George Wilobo. And I am from originally from Uganda. I moved to Canada and Toronto, Ontario is where I currently live with my two daughters and a wife. So I met I met Metta in some circumstances that until today, we are now friends and I also am an ambassador for peace and Great Lakes Peace center that is based in Uganda. So currently, I am doing project planning and management but also I do events planning. So I currently manage organization or a company called Global Events Canada, which is currently organizing the Canada Convention on Human Rights promotion.

Metta Spencer  12:17

Oh, here comes Alan back, Alan Haber is the your I always like to introduce you as a former head of the students for democratic society back in the 60s. Right?

Alan Haber  12:32

Well, we’re the seniors for democratic society now. That’s the [inaudible] including socialites. So we’re multi class, of course. And sleepers and slackers remain our largest group, of course, I’m most engaged with the commons in Ann Arbor. And more generally, having come to think of my now many years of work, that the commons, the privatization of the Commonwealth, and the struggle for people’s resources, in that form of self management, not by the government, or by the corporation, is really a critical question all over the world. And we’re trying to do that in Ann Arbor and finding a great deal of resistance. And the government is now wanting to give up its control of the so called public wealth. And the corporation’s want to make their profits for the benefits of themselves. Anyhow. And besides that, I continue to think that we have a system problem. And it is a system of war and domination, full spectrum domination, as a Pentagon says, it is our problem from the family up to the nuclear weapons that they were threatened with, and we need to develop the sense of a peace system, and from the bottom up, initiate some kind of public world peace meeting, put forward the principles of the peace system that bring together from all our different knowledges what really are the common principles that we need to affirm if we’re going to survive this calamitous time of the piracy in the earth is burning. And it’s time to recognize that and we need a better Fire Department.

Metta Spencer  14:40

Thank you, Alan. Peace and Justice Alliance. There’s some stripes here but I don’t know I don’t see a face. And if you if you are a person say hello. I guess not. And here we have a newcomer named Liz Hello, this who are you?

Liz  15:00

Oh hi there I’m just Canadian living in Barrie, Ontario. And I’m concerned raising the family and just here for information. Ontario mother of two, and I’m a concerned citizen looking to do my part participate in any protests that I can with my family and do my little part for a better Canada better world.

Metta Spencer  15:23

Bless your heart. All right, and rose Dyson Hello, dear.

Rose Dyson  15:27

Hi, Rose Dyson in Toronto, senior citizen recovering from a recent fall after giving a talk on climate change, or before giving a talk on climate change, which I’m very concerned about.

Metta Spencer  15:42

All right, you mean you broke your hip and you went on gave your talk?

Rose Dyson  15:45

I didn’t break my hip but I did injure my knee and my my left hand but I’m recovering nicely. I managed to get through it.

Metta Spencer  15:56

Bruna, Nota,  say hello Bruna as soon as you get yourself unmuted. Hello. What are you up to these days? Oh,

Bruna Nota  16:07

I am very much into building the white Poppy campaign to from the beginning. From the International Peace Day to the International Human Rights Day. That is a the white Poppy for life and adding the red poppy in November. So that’s what I am doing with conscience [inaudible]. One of the things that I’m doing, but anyway

Metta Spencer  16:39

All right thank you. Okay the peace and justice alliances is now a person. So instead of just a stripe, you can say hello. We have a lot of people here although some of you have. Some people have vanished. I don’t know what happened to Paul Werbos. He tried to get on two or three times but I don’t see his his face. I hope he shows up again. Last I heard he was on a cruise ship someplace so he may have trouble with connectivity. I always scold people who go on cruises. I think that is not something people should be doing anymore. But I won’t scold him.

Mominul Haque  17:20

Okay, my name is Mominul Haque. I am a director for Peace and Justice Alliance and we work for democracy and human rights and fight against corruption and kleptocracy. We are a new organization and but a small organization we have been working for, particularly in Asia region. Our main focus now in Bangladesh. As I talk with Metta about like Bangladesh present human rights violation, undemocratic situation, the present regime, Bangladesh has been keeping power without people [inaudible] since 2009. They have been violating human rights and democracy in 2014 and 2018. There was a no election, people had no like place to go for board at the midnight present government. By the support of the police and administration, they took the power without people mandate. And two days ago, there was a huge protest and demonstration of peaceful protest organized government injustice, inequality, oppression, and government of Bangladesh. Their police actually fired teargas and rubber bullet inside the children and women Hospital in Dhaka city. And I have that video if you want I can show then you can understand the what is going on. So we need Canadian government, United Nation and other Indian democratic nations and like you are the peacebuilder We want your urgent intervention and support to restore democracy human rights. People of Bangladesh are expecting a boat in December this year or first week of January, they want a new trial government to conduct their board then people can have a chance to join as their own representative in the parliament, the present government, they are not listening to the international community call. So if you have any way please help us our organization and people of Bangladesh want your assistance and I need to tell you that in Canada, illicit owner asset owners money launderers and poor people for our money has been taken away and they bring money to Canada and they invested in real estate and other businesses in their name or other person name. So us organized crimes happening. Bangladeshi autocratic regime here in Canada, Canada should not be a safe haven for corrupt politician, money launderers and illicit asset owner, we need your bias intervention, you can contact me anytime. My phone number is 647-764-2880 My name is Mominul Haque, and email is peace and justice alliance@gmail.com I am now under the threat of the present regime, kind of exile. And I am like, they are kind of tracking me every time the President is in Embassy in Canada, they already threatening me several times, I should not say nothing against the present regime injustice in your locality, corruption, money laundering. So we need your organization and other organization assistance. We are a small organization, we don’t have enough fund or support or anything to protect ourselves kindly protect me, my family and other Bangladeshi people. Canada should not be safe haven for the Bangladeshi autocratic regime [inaudible] thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to talk with you. Thank you.

Metta Spencer  21:58

Can I suggest something that you put this in the chat what you have, what you just told us with your email address and phone number and so on, but also go to the our website to save the world.ca. And there are comment columns there where we would very much like for you to go to the well, I would say go to the page on war and weapons and or on governance either one and post your whatever you want to say there take all the space you need. And describe your situation. And I hope that some of us will take a look at that, and maybe pass around and refer other people to that, to that posting. So we’ll all see it and see if we can consider some way of helping you. Because I think you’re quite right Canada has so business helping with people will corrupt people money laundering. So that’s a very important thing. And if we can do anything to help protect human rights in Bangladesh, we ought to be doing it. I have two new people to introduce you to one is Martin Halliwell. Martin, I think you’re unmuted so please tell us a tiny bit about yourself.

Martin Halliwell  23:22

I’m a civil engineer with history working in special foundation work, and I got some interest in reducing footprint, my company’s called footprint engineer.ca. And so I help with systems that do that I’m very concerned about the amount of over design and construction. And I could give examples, but that’s me anyway. I’m a business guy.

Metta Spencer  23:52

Yes, because the concrete is counts are about 4% of the co2 that we put in the air every year. And if we just learned how to use a better concrete, we reduce that. Victor Kagan-Yasny how are you sir? You’re in Moscow.  Yeah.  Hello. So tell us about yourself. Yes.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  24:17

Yes, I didn’t know what to do. So no, thank you for for invitation. So I’m always glad to see to see you and more I am for for more than 30 years rights activist in Russia and now I am profoundly observing this tragic situation with the war. Hope that my observations would be useful for some peaceful processes.

Metta Spencer  25:00

Actually, I think that is a good place for us to start a conversation. Because by good luck today we have you and four other Russians or people who, who have been involved with, with Russian Ukrainian war and so on, Victor Kogan-Yasney lives in Moscow and I think it’s very influential in the Yabloko Party. In Tashkent, you haven’t been here long enough to have met all these people yet. Konstantin Samoilov is a Russian now living in exile in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and Vladmir, I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your close-up, I can’t remember your surname. Would you say your surname again? For us know

Vladimir Krasnov  25:51

Krasnov (spells it)

Metta Spencer  25:53

Krasnov Thank you, I forgot. And Vladimir is now in Kazakhstan. He’s also fled from from Russia because of the fear that he would be mobilized to go fight in Ukraine. Shorena Lortkipanidze in Georgia, and is very concerned about of course, the war and also Jill Carr-Harris has just been in Georgia is normally in India is here now and is a great peace organizer. She’s a Gandhian leader in India. But is I think she and Shorena know each other at the the Gandhi foundation in Tbilisi. So I don’t know, who wants to say something about but I think the it would be highly appropriate for us to, to start with it a conversation about the current situation in the war. And anything else that you want to say about the situation in Russia? Who has some thoughts that you want to initiate this conversation about?

Victor Kogan-Yasny  27:18

Well, I, I’d say that I hope in some weeks, a collection of my articles written since February 2022 will be will be prepared in France in English. So I will send you and you you will be it will be possible to read my thoughts about about what is going on. And so we work every day, every day, hundreds people are dying. In this in this unchangeable situation. In in, in the east of Ukraine. It is unchangeable it is it is stationary situation for for a very high price of 100 people every day. So no

Martin Halliwell  28:28

Victor, you’re you’re you’re against Russia?

Victor Kogan-Yasny  28:31

What does…

Martin Halliwell  28:32

You are against Russia, your position is that.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  28:35

So, what? I do not understand your question.

Martin Halliwell  28:46

The US has put a lot of money there and, frankly, that Russia has already won that war.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  28:54

Well I do not understand your question, I do not understand your question.

Martin Halliwell  28:56

I want to know your position relative to why do you think that Russia went in there?

Victor Kogan-Yasny  29:02

Why did they go in there? Russia. So, first of all, Russia, it is 100 250 Millions of people. So And Russia is a very, very particular very specific political system. So it is not democratic. It is a state of a particular interest of a private interest. So it is it is the state of a group that uses military force wherever it wants. Now the main [inaudible]I cannot make…

Martin Halliwell  29:46

The history you don’t have an accurate understanding.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  29:48

I cannot be I cannot…

Metta Spencer  29:52

Martin, let him speak.

Martin Halliwell  29:54

I just tried to see where he’s coming from and I don’t subscribe to.

Metta Spencer  29:58

You don’t need to interrupt him. Let him finish he

Martin Halliwell  30:00

By the way concrete is 40% not 4%, you guys take care.

Metta Spencer  30:05

Okay. Go on. Victor.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  30:08

I do not understand. Absolutely. So. So I cannot be against Russia because it is it is my country where I live. And I know, a lot of people. And so I know that this political system, I’m against this political system that initiated the war. Not now, many years previously, but I’m not I’m not against Russia. So I am for Russia, I hope that Russia will develop in in change direction in some time. It is difficult to it is difficult to do set up, but I hoped it will, it will be I hope that Russia will develop in favor of Russia’s people and not for not for a Russian military group that that gets gets profits benefits from from the from wars in various regions. So I’m absolutely always for for Russia, not against Russia. So,…

Metta Spencer  31:24

Thank you. Can we have some some other people from this group that I singled out as you think my Russia experts here today? Konstantin, do you want to say something about this?

Konstantin Samoilov  31:37

Well, I can say something about this in general, I am really ashamed what Russia has been doing in Ukraine. I don’t want to do any part of it whatsoever. I’ve been doing everything I can to stop this, to share the truth to shed the light on the criminal actions. Well, I was born and raised in Russia and Russian, Russian was my native language. Russian was my culture. And, you know, you can I can’t give up on Russia. Is that, okay? That’s where I come from. And I also want Russia to change. I definitely want it to become a democratic country. I want it to become a free country. But unfortunately, what I’ve been seeing for the past 20 years, and it’s been increasingly happening in the last, I’d say, five, six years, that personal freedoms have been stripped from Russian citizens. They don’t have they don’t have a voice they’ve been brainwashed. Up to right here, and the situation is worsening. Moreover, Russia is not doing to itself, but it’s basically invaded Ukraine, and destroying Ukrainian right now killing Ukrainians. And Russians are getting killed also in the process. So this is my point of view. This is my stamp, and I’m doing everything I can, in my active position to stop this. Okay. That’s pretty much all I have to say. If you have specific questions, I’m ready to answer them. Well, …

Metta Spencer  33:17

Well, we can have questions or we could go on and ask Vladimir, if, if you have a few words to speak to this statement. Vladimir? I’d like to I’d like to let let all of these Russian folks speak first. Before we take further questions. Okay, Vladimir.

Vladimir Krasnov  33:41

Yeah, I’d like to say a couple words. I decided to leave the country four years ago. The main reason was I probably I didn’t exactly understand what was happening in general, I mean, the government to end but I understood that there is no future for me and for my family because people who say normal or not who really wants to improve their lives you have a lot of troubles so when you want to start a business or want to improve your life. You can [inaudible] with a government when authorities can. They can come to you and tell you that you must pay for your business so they can just close it or take it and you don’t have you cannot feel yourself in safe. And I I didn’t understand, but I, I felt that something’s wrong. And I decided to find ways to leave the country. And last year unfortunately we can we can invasion and it was a shock for me and it’s unacceptable and unfortunately a lot of people, including my family, especially my father really support these events. They think that my parents think that that’s okay. It is right what is Russia doing right now. And for me, it’s unacceptable and this person will read for me this society will probably something’s wrong with me, but I like an alien there and I can feel support. I have friends who still live there, but they told me that we understand your decision that to give but we want to live here and I decided to move to Canada because there are this is one of the best country for this. This country is support and there is there is human rights exist.

Metta Spencer  37:18

We look forward to having you here.

Vladimir Krasnov  37:19

There is real human rights existing and I found a job there and I’m a physiotherapist. My specialization is physical rehabilitation. And one is not a big reason, but my profession is not well paid in Russia. Unfortunately. I cannot improve my life there. But the main reason yeah, that’s unacceptable for me that situation I totally i i cannot understand what is going on. And just I feel bad. And I cannot be there anyway yeah.

Metta Spencer  38:21

Yeah. Okay. Thank you.

Konstantin Samoilov  38:23

Metta, could I could I please elaborate and ask a couple of questions?

Metta Spencer  38:26

Sure, please.

Konstantin Samoilov  38:27

First of all, why Vladimar thank you, everyone, I think I want to tell you something. last 19 years I spent in Russia. And you know what, I’m very guilty. I feel very guilty of what’s been happening in Russia, because I’ve been watching while I was watching and sitting on my butt and pretty much caring and about, oh, well being of myself, well, being of my family. Well, I have a job I was an executive, I went to work, you know, making money trying to invest trying to save and so forth granted I have a good life. Well, you know, what, 145 million of Russians, they have been doing pretty much the same thing and look where it has led us to. Okay, I think it’s time to actually start asking questions. And every Russian should start asking himself or herself. How the hell this has happened to the country. And the second question is, what can we do now? What actions can we take? And it’s not a matter of like, oh, saving the family and all of that. It’s just these two questions. That’s what it’s come down, comes down to and I have a question to Victor. You are high profile politician in Russia. You have been an activist since the late 80s. If I’m correct. May I ask you a question what he what have you recently done to stop the bloodshed and to change the situation?

Victor Kogan-Yasny  39:59

So, I may repeat again that so, so, so so, Russia since the years 90s is a state non democratic with no influence of of oppositional activists with not the influence of public opinion on to decision making concerning everything of state importance, the state belongs to a group of interest. So, it is it. So, the similar situation is in countries like, like the North Korea, like like Sudan etc. So, it has difference in realization of this model, but, but the model is, is the same. So, it is the model of private interest in the state. So, influence of public opinion, influence of opposition activists is zero. Nevertheless, because in Russia some opposition activities was, was possible and still remains possible, I don’t know what will be in next year, but to now it is still possible. So, I’m writing what I observe. I am writing truth, what what, what what I’m really thinking I’m writing how to I how I consider is possible to, to stop the bloodshed, really to stop without, without wishful thinking concerning concerning the rapid development of Russia’s political situation concerning the situation in the field in Battlefield, because the situation in Battlefield is absolutely tragic. Secondly, I am trying to explain that despite Ukraine is the victim of of the aggression. Despite the reality of conflict, the reality of conflict is more complicated that it may be imagined from outside that, that is the post Soviet world, the post Soviet world is very complicated the Soviet heritage, psychological heritage, public heritage. So, is is very strong everywhere in in the in the post Soviet space, it is absolutely tragic to do. So, is unimaginable, too difficult to imagine any tragedy more than conflict between two post Soviet states. So, because the mentality is very similar, it’s very similar. So, Ukraine has another political model, but, but tradition of mentality is very similar. This tradition about excludes any any mode of compromise. So, task of any Soviet people of the Soviet society is victory, victory of the communism victory over enemies. So, it makes absolutely difficult very difficult to stop something that was harmlessly wrongly started. It is it is easy to start the war on the post Soviet state, and it is absolutely difficult to stop it more difficult that it was on Balkans. Because on Balkans, that is a little more rational mentality between Serbia and Croatia for instance, or even between Serbia and Kosovo, etc. So on post Soviet states it is it is irrational so the task always is victory. So I don’t know what to do in the situation when two states one with authoritarian model with private interest state with police state and other more more [progressive?] but not very liberal. So when they clench in a large scale military conflict, so from the from the from the point of view of international law, Russia is guilty, but it but from the point of view of everyday reality, it is much more complicated. And it wants just just here in half. So, in start, it was one situation now it is another situation, and I don’t know how, how much it will want else. Every day brings 100, hundreds, human lives every day.

Konstantin Samoilov  45:49

Thank you. I have two more questions, and I will be quiet after that. First of all, you know, it’s fairly easy. It’s not so complicated. You either get bombed or you don’t, you either have peaceful skies above you, or you don’t you either get killed, or you live black and white just like that.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  46:06

There’s no no, no, no, no, no, no,

Konstantin Samoilov  46:10

I’m not, I don’t,  don’t want to argue, this is my point of view. 

Victor Kogan-Yasny  46:14

if you want…

Konstantin Samoilov  46:15

Pardon me, I don’t wnat to argue, I don’t want to argue this is a statement. I have two questions, I would like to ask you, first of all, you said you are writing articles on how to stop the bloodshed. Okay, that’s great. Where can we see the articles? Where do you share it? And my second question is, would you please tell us right now, in nutshell in a few sentences, the core idea of how to stop this bloodshed, thank you.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  46:45

So, so, so, first of all, so that some some various directions what to do one direction is to help to help Ukraine in various fields, in military, in economic, in political etcetera. Another another direction is to is to negotiate with Russia to find a way to stop this bloodshed, because because the Russian leadership has some interest to that this war does not continue for four decades. So, so, to have interest to stop the war, because because any long war always gets interest not to stop it, because because it becomes they’re owned by interest to continue for for long and long time. So, so it is it is not so, it is not so, so simplest, it is not so simplest and it in the way of slogan of slogans does not give the solution for for people that are dying in real in real conditions in the fields without any result. That is

Konstantin Samoilov  48:06

Thank you, well understood. well understood. Question answered. Thank you. And that second question is, where do you share your articles your thoughts

Victor Kogan-Yasny  48:15

In in Facebook, it will be published in France, in some in one two months. So I have, I have no other instruments to do anything.

Metta Spencer  48:34

So you can always publish your articles on our website. I hope you will.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  48:40

Which website?.

Metta Spencer  48:46

OK, to save the world.ca .

Victor Kogan-Yasny  48:52

I will send you I will send you I will send you I will send you today later all my articles you will choice to what what is interesting.

Konstantin Samoilov  49:04

Thank you so much.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  49:05


Metta Spencer  49:08

Could you answer one of my questions, Victor, if you think that the difficulty is that they don’t compromise, but I wonder what the compromise position would be? I don’t see an easy you know, compromise in many of these things, either, you know, either Crimea goes to Russia or it goes to Ukraine either …

Victor Kogan-Yasny  49:33

No, no, no, it is not it is not it is not the way of compromise. So, so the compromise should be should be should be a number of steps for time. So to get to return territories to Ukraine, I think in time not immediately, but the because, because you In exchange to, to return Russia to international communities and to return its interests. So, so, so, it should be some roadmap for for for for 10-20 years taking into account that Russia will change and Ukraine will change and Europe will change and I think that all all return to international law to international rules concerning territories should be achieved via any roadmap not not not but not by the way of of everyday battle in for territories that are really very small. And so, I deny the the the idea of [inaudible] that war is continuing of politics. So, so, so, that should be other ways to return Russia into international or into international framework, not not not not for by price of 20 years [inaudible] of Ukraine. So, it is It is my conviction, it is my view. So, so, they continue of war that is possible for for for years for, for an undetermined number of years for undetermined number that is that is cynicism and interest off of, of military political groups, not for not or not of citizens, but it is it isn’t rooted in, in post Soviet mentality, victory and immediately. So, in practice it gives an unlimited war unlimited victory immediately gives gives unlimited war in the world with unlimited number of victims. So it is terrible. So, so some political process should be should be started and thoroughly elaborated. So otherwise, it will be absolutely unpredictable. So

Metta Spencer  52:37

I’d like to get both Shorena’s and Jill’s views on all of these related matters, because Shorena works in security issues in Georgia, and is surrounded now of course, with people from Russia, who are refugees from Russia. Would you speak to these issues? What are you reacting to? As you listen to this conversation Shorena?

Shorena Lortkipanitze  53:03

Yes, thank you. Thank you. So, personally, I had say I’m having different reactions. So listening to Victor actually, I don’t know what is post Soviet mentality I mean, I don’t feel myself being any post Soviet even though I leave the Soviet Union for very little period of time of my life. And I think here this when Victor, you speak about change, I don’t know what what’s this change? I think the first thing who Europe was always giving Russia opportunity. So Russia being part of the international system, everything so there was reset politics by Americans in 2009. Right after Russia’s invasion to Georgia, there were all these opportunities for Russia and Russia failed everyone. And Russia is and with this war in Ukraine a actually a Russia is dragging all post Soviet states into into either now somewhere I mean, it’s it’s still continuous even without intervening invading. Now, Georgia, on the other hand, Georgia politics is getting like, not so good. And so on. And on the other hand, Georgia accepted and we have a lot of refugees from Russia. And I mean, but to me, it’s full of Russian citizens, Russian cruise ships are coming here and enjoying, like relaxing here. And you see, I don’t know who should change the only end of who should be part of negotiations from Russia, still this criminal regime which is there I don’t think so. I think that even if these points, I don’t see any realistic pictures, how things can change. Of course, the first thing is in our mind is to stop the war. And another thing is to heal somehow the wound and then also think about what we can do that this couldn’t happen again. Yeah, what’s happening now? So these are the set of kind of thoughts I have and how should be done. First one second one, the third one, even I have a lot of Ukrainian friends and all of them are somehow affected with this war. Some of them fled the territories where this war is going on. Some of them lost their family members, husbands brothers. I mean, that’s the only. Yeah. And these people, they still speak in Russian, their language is Russian who should change in this situation. The only problem here for me, it’s Russia and its criminal regime. They’re bullying and threatening everyone around so and this is something we have to think together what so in case of Nazi Germany, yeah. So Germans were punished Yeah, because of everything they have done and they, it was upside down of everything is history in German history in German reflection about their things? I think there is something else which really strikes me and yeah, it’s so it’s horrible what’s going on. I’m very sorry for Russian guys were being killed every day. And of course, I’m very much for Ukraine, which is suffering and we all are suffering and this all is because of Russia. And actually we that that should be changed and in the only Yes, we all and even this world. My country experienced so many troubles after the collapse of the Soviet Union. So we lost 20% of our territories there was terrible war in Abkhazia and South Ossetia where brothers were killing each other. Yeah. And there was Russian inspired, kind of conspired, let’s say wars and then in 2008, there was invasion Russian troops came to Tbilisi, so I mean, these these are things I’m thinking and what can be done and I’m very peaceful person at the same time and I’m really trying to understand how we can [inaudible].

Victor Kogan-Yasny  57:35

First of all, first of all bloodshed should be should be stopped first of all Secondly, should the pattern should be found to transform Russian authoritarian police regime of private interest. So, so, so, to to to evolve it to to make an evolution of that to democratic to democratic direction. So, now, about six 600 of persons in Russia are imprisoned for one year only for one for one year are imprisoned for long terms for their words against war. So I am not imprisoned but it is Whoa, it is not clear for me. Exactly. Which is the reason for the that one are imprisoned and not others are not imprisoned. But as for for everyone is that dread, to be imprisoned for any word against this war. That’s why people are emigrating. That’s why people are silent, etcetera. So to transform peacefully, Russia into something other than it is now it is a great task. very serious, very responsible task.

Metta Spencer  59:04

Now let’s we’ve got some hands here. I want to give Shorena a chance to reply and then in this order, I will ask Konstantin to say something and, and then Rose and then Leda. Okay. Shorena did you have something to say back?

Shorena Lortkipanitze  59:21

Yeah, I only can say that this transformation. I mean, thinking about that transformation is a little bit so it will come later. So the first thing is just to somehow stop bloodshed, but to support Ukraine somehow to win or I don’t know. That support is very important for me because it could not be stopped otherwise, I think they’re there. Some drastic actions should be taken. So and this is the first thing for me and transformation and healing. The wounds and the implication results of the war this is something I mean, this is very important step, but it comes later. But of course it does not. It does not mean that we should not speak about that. But I, for me, it’s still very longer, long term perspective from this at this point. Thank you.

Metta Spencer  1:00:19

I should have asked Jill, if you haven’t put your hand up Jill but you’ve been you were on my list a long time ago. Do you want to speak first and then Konstantin again?

Jill Carr-Harris  1:00:28

Sure, sure. I want to thank Victor for being so forthright while being in Moscow, and I can appreciate his own security concerns and the people he works with, to come up with this alternative, come up with truth as he sees it, and a vision for a different Russia. So I first want to note that, but secondly, to say, Victor, and Konstantin, Vladimir, I have really seen the work, seen Russia’s attitude in Georgia, over a number of years, and especially after the invasion of 2008. And the civil strife of a Pozzi and South Ossetia. These are occupied areas of the country from the Georgian perspective, and it, you know, there is no, there has been an intractable situation. And what worries me is the same will happen in Ukraine, that there will become an intractable situation, it’s not just a frozen conflict, because in Georgia, the capital city Belisi has guns focused on it from 30 kilometers away for the last 14 years. 14-15 years, and it’s very hard to have any kind of state functioning. I’ve also seen within the South Caucasian region, how Russia has played to, to not allow even an internal accommodation, forget, you know, it’s, you know, direction towards the European Union. So, my concern is, how viable is this idea that you have of changing the Russian police state? It seems like a wishlist as you speak, but I know your heart is there. I appreciate the intention is, is is real, but it’s just it makes us all wonder how you change it. And if you stop the bloodshed immediately, what accountability do we have on getting Russia to make any alterations on the four annexed territories?

Victor Kogan-Yasny  1:03:03

So first of all, if so, maybe it’s a dream, but without changing the Russian system, we will get more and more and then you and then you repeating similar situations because the nature of the Russian police state is to repeat the military conflicts military clash everywhere, so it is its nature. So if it is not changed, so it will be repeated. Does mold as it is possible so it is a task it is a serious sick very serious task very responsible task. Secondly, it is impossible to win militarily Russia Russian army it is impossible because it is even if 1% of Russian population actively support the this war of Russians the administration even one percent so it is a million and half of people so it is a big number of for the Army it is not it is impossible to win it the United States may be convinced Russian army China or NATO integrally but But Ukraine cannot win the Russian army. Ukraine can defend Kyiv can defend Kharkiv but cannot win Russian army so it is it looks from from here from from here. It looks it looks it looks it looks illogical. Attempts to win to win Russian army on the battlefield. It is strong. It is irrealistic to win it on the battlefield. So uh, so

Metta Spencer  1:04:53

Can we go on? I think I think you made your point. Konstantin then Rose and then Leda.

Konstantin Samoilov  1:05:02

I would like to address the Georgian lady apologize, I didn’t get your name, basically. Thank you for and you and your company for what you’ve done to the Russian refugees because I know very well. I have tons of people who came from Georgia to Tashkent and who came to Georgia, from Georgia to Georgia, I have met lots of them. And I’ve been to Georgia myself. And you know, I know Georgian people. very warm, very loving, very hospitable. And the situation is, thank you. Thank you, folks. Thank you so much [inaudible]. And just just in general, I’d like to just tell you, I don’t understand. Russians keep saying, Oh, the changes must come from somewhere, but the change must come from the inside of every single Russian person, you know, they’re going to understand they’re going to wake up open their eyes, repent, admit, in change. Okay. That’s the only way no one else will bring changes upon Russia. That’s it. Metta unfortunately, I have to go out for livestream to attend to make…

Metta Spencer  1:06:15

Everybody should listen to watch his live streams. I should put it on the chat for you. But I don’t know how, if you I thank you Konstantin put it on the chat before you leave, and then maybe some people will look at you your wonderful.

Konstantin Samoilov  1:06:29

Thank you so much.

Metta Spencer  1:06:30

Okay Rose.

Rose Dyson  1:06:32

Okay. Well, it’s certainly very interesting to hear what the Russian as well as your Russian descent are saying, but I’m just what, Victor? And I think Konstantin, you too say there’s really no opposition to the current autocratic Putin regime? And what about Navalny? And and his I know, he’s in jail now. But there’s he’s obviously somebody that’s been trying to affect some kind of resistance to the Putin regime. Is there any hope in that context at all? And also, when it comes to the need for some kind of negotiations between the two sides or to to the Russian and Ukrainians? As someone that worries, a great deal about climate change and its impact? Might that a factor or is any is there any concern at all in Russia, about what’s happening as a result of this conflict and the attention and resources that it’s, it’s taking away from another urgent global threat?

Victor Kogan-Yasny  1:07:44

Yes, it is taking away surely. It is, it is, it is absolutely irresponsible approach with Putin to global policymaking. Because really, we have global problems. And Putin started this war, because his own reasons it deviates surely from global problems. So concerning Navalny, so, Nava, first of all, I may note that he is nationalist, and I am not partisan of Navalny but, but now he’s in prison for a long, very long term. If there’s any mentioning of name Navalny in Russia, it’s direct way to to to prison. So, so, that is the situation of any so off of radical opposition. So, the main part of Navalny supporters are emigrated, because otherwise they go together with him to the to, to prison, otherwise, they go directly to prison, it is PT. So, I do not share the nationalism, but to but it is the situation they are they are they are open and to Putin and for for this way of off of opposition, they go to prison, it is the way the way is particular to so that is not very parliamentary way. So, they, they hope that Russia will undergo some social revolution etcetera, I do not have the search for the Russia will not undergo social revolution, it is it is it is it is not realistic. Absolutely. So, Russian system may may be transformed, step by step who because the bureaucracy has no interest in wars, it wants stability and wants better quality of policymaking and context with will The global forces for the West, surely the bureaucracy wants. So Putin is over is against its own bureaucracy. But he’s he’s owner of the state.

Metta Spencer  1:10:13

Yeah okay thank you, Victor. I want to go on to Leda who’s put her hand up long time ago. Yes, Leda.

Leda Raptis  1:10:21

You see, including me, as an outsider, I have never been to Russia, I have a few I have quite a few friends. But like, I’ve never been there myself, I don’t speak the language and so on. But so it’s difficult for someone like me, to make sense out of the different opposing things that we hear from everywhere. But I think it is the a group called code pink, which is a peace group, they have received several prizes for, for that. And in a nutshell, their position is that Putin’s invasion was illegal and according, of course, but he did have provocation by non NATO. And that the purpose of NATO in that was started in 1949, was not another but against Russia. During the war, Russians and Americans, God of all gods were together against Hitler. But once after the war, all of a sudden, the direction started. I mean, I changed shifted completely. The Germans were the good guys, the Russians were the bad guys. Anyway. So in other words, they Putin had lots of provocation, and would very highly recommend that I read it several times to understand it, this book that’s been put up by a, you may know about it already. They so the it says that making sense out of essentialist conflict. It’s not a big book. And it says all of that. And I know, I mean, I understand fully that people may want to leave their own country. And I leave Russia, for example. But I left Greece because of a military agenda. When you’re talking about no human rights. How much more do you want? A mirror? How much more do you want than having someone from the army? Simply saying ahead of the university? This is how things are going to be someone who has no idea about anything of the affairs of the university. The entities, the expression used was we decide and we ordered a How much more do you want about totalitarianism? What they mean is that there is totalitarian totalitarianism from the left, but also from the right, which can say which one is worse, at least myself, I cannot. And so there are, of course, I grew up with during the Cold War, of course. And we have had lots and lots and lots of garbage, for example, that Greeks and Russians have always been enemies, [inaudible] and then who I was during the year so far, Catherine, the great. Odessa was named after this as Ulysses because she was a big admirer of the Greek letters and so on. So how come Greeks and Russians were a fighting. All of a sudden, after, during the Cold War, we are age old enemies. Absurd. Still in history that will tell us a few things about Catherine the great and all of that. But oh, no, no, no, no, you will hear on the other hand, and you try to put the two things together, which don’t do not make any sense. And what they mean is that same thing with Albanians, Greeks and Albanians are always fighting. Now there is a maybe mid million Albanians working in Greece, and they have mixed and matched and they became a goodmother, to some Albanian kids. So what is the hatred and all of that? Could they mean is that somehow they want to provoke a war for reasons that they do not say opening. And so the now loads of Greeks went as refugees in Russia, since the Civil War, right after the Second World War, it because again, exactly this shift in alliances, of course, there was a terrible civil war in Greece. And people who fought the Germans all of a sudden, and many of them were killed, all of a sudden became the bad guys. No, no, no, they were doing that they were fighting the Germans because they wanted to bring the Russians in. And I mean, who said that and from what and now, the recent numbers I heard is that there are something like they used to be at least something like 80,000 Greeks in Poland, some came back to Greece after the gender fell in 74. And for me, it was very much eye opening and very interesting to see. They have lived there for say, from 47 till many were born and in Eastern Europe. So all of that, that is what they mean is that we cannot demonize one side or the other. Because I do not think, as I said before, either of the two superpowers have the moral high ground. And now, as it says in this book, and I remember reading the news, about three months or something two and a half months after the invasion of Ukraine, Prigozhin, for his own whatever reason, whatever they are, he wanted to bring some copies. So he invited both sides, and many other sides invited them to Antalya in Turkey, and they tried to negotiate, the only way would be to start negotiating what’s going to happen with perhaps Crimea to be independent, together with Donbas and so on. And so the US’s position was, now is the time to weaken Russia. So no talks, just war, keep blasting them till they disappeared, [inaudible] thing at face value, at least this is very, very stupid. Russia is not going to go I mean, a nuclear superpower is not going to go without blasting the globe. So to say that is very stupid. I don’t know, whoever said that was kind of senile. So the only way is some sort of negotiation. Let’s try to figure it out, figure things out. There are so many people, Russian people living in Donbas. And then incremental has a bunch of Greeks. I mean, if you see they’re all the names of the cities Mariupol, left Pretoria, I don’t see the Greek version of that it was very similar. So I mean, Crimea is, I think, something separate from the rest of the Ukraine. It has so many others. And so there’s no way to bring about peace, then first of all, they promise for whatever that promise would be. Not more expansion of NATO. Because NATO is a big threat. Of course. It’s not the European Union. It’s a big military organization that it was made against Russia. So I can’t say that it is something minor would indeed have a position. I don’t know the politicians what would would say but I am just an outsider, you see, trying to understand.

Metta Spencer  1:17:28

Okay thank you Leda, now I think we, you know, we’ve spent way over three quarters of our of our time, we only have about half an hour left a little bit more than half an hour left for all of the other people who are not Russian are not interested in not specifically interested in this conflict. So there are many other people with concerns. I don’t I we have to have a little bit of a conversation about Bangladesh. But apart from that, I think we’ve not talked about other people’s concerns. Can we? I don’t want to change the subject. But I think I do want to open it up a little bit. Do some of you have issues that you’d like to share with us for things that have been going on in your life that you want to talk about? Yes. Mr. Bangladesh? I’m sorry, I don’t see your name written down. Yes, sir.

Mominul Haque  1:18:32

Coming again, I’m extremely expressing my gratitide you’re giving me the opportunity to talk like whatever I heard about the Russia Ukraine conflict. Main thing is a global situation has divided that you are with the autocracy or you with the democracy. You are with the looters like kleptocrats, corrupt politician money launderers or you with the people who don’t have any power boys and nothing to say. So the situation going on what is going on in Russia, same thing in Bangladesh. So how are the present regime keeping power like the [SDDC?] she has been taken from Russia, Putin and 2012 the Russia and Bangladesh government had an agreement to set up nuclear nuclear plant in Bangladesh Putin giving her $12 billion now that power plant is not working. But mainly the money has been transferred to different place and family of the present government Prime Minister there to take in all the money poor people money. So the main thing is that we need to really work on democracy, social rights like the if you are part of the looters or autocracy, you will not listen the voice of the humanity so humanity should not disappear from our world as a global citizen am I lucky I’m in Canada, my family, lot of family friends in Bangladesh if say anything against the government of Russia and corruption, money laundering, the government identify you all over the country covered by the surveillance camera. And is by wire you cannot talk you cannot say anything against government in everywhere. You just censor yourself censor the keep bringing you to the Duda arrest, and they put you new jail, no proper trial.

Metta Spencer  1:21:05

Can I ask you something, sir, about this fellow. I’ve forgotten his name. But he’s the guy who started the these banks, these Grameen banks, is that what they were?

Mominul Haque  1:21:17

Yeah, the yes dr. Muhammad Yunus. He was the founder of Grameen Bank. So he started the strategy that you gave him a small loan to the poor people in the villages. So they grow up, they do business they have so some development, local development, what happened in Bangladesh after he got the Nobel Peace Prize, the present government, they don’t agree with that. The now the present. Dr. Muhammad Yunuss, Nobel laureate. He is the victim of oppression of the present regime. And every time they are harassing him, and they’re using the judicial system, because the polity side judicial Armed Forces Election Commission, all the administration mechanism using agonist who says something against the present regime. So Dr. Muhammad Yunus is in very critical situation. He is organization or his other fellows are in problem in Bangladesh, serious situation going on in Bangladesh, anytime there will be huge conflict. We are expecting maybe if real intervention come to Bangladesh, I see the Canada government keep silent. I don’t know why we communicate with several times, politician and bureaucrats in Canada. They don’t say nothing, millions of millions dollars dollar has been transferred. You see, in Toronto, greater Toronto, there is a rich area, maximum house owned by Bangladeshi or oligarchs.

Metta Spencer  1:23:08

Well, is there anything being done to help his cause? Because it didn’t get in from here? It looked very much to me like a real political repression. Is there anything internationally being done to defend this? Yunus man?

Mominul Haque  1:23:30

Actually, there was a call from the US and other international civil rights organization. They say that government you should not do any participation harassment, again as Professor Yunus and other civil rights defenders, and opposition politician government of Bangladesh, they don’t listen. They say we don’t care what you say. It is my country. I am in the power. I don’t care what you are talking or what you say. If you want to stay in this country, you have to follow what I say. So don’t say nothing.

Metta Spencer  1:24:09

In effect the external support that he got, hasn’t done any good for him so far.

Mominul Haque  1:24:16

Nothing, nothing is a beam bringing anything so mainly united. What happened in Bangladesh, the present government taking the advantage of Rohingya refugees. In 2017, the Rohingya refugees can try to come to inside Bangladesh, the present government Prime Minister Sheikh close all the border. Myself, I had the opportunity to [warn] the United Nations and other civil rights organization we raise bias that you should open the border so that refugees can come inside. So after they come inside Sheikh is  taking advantage international community They don’t say nothing openly to her because they are afraid. We aren’t we heard that she’s taking say, Okay, if you pressure me, I will bring them out from my country. So this is going on. She’s doing, like a mindset. So that I want to keep power, like how long I can keep, I don’t care what you say, Now, the Doctor Yunusand other, you know, around 1000 people has been enforced [inaudible] in Bangladesh, the present government say, well, they disappear by themselves, but the people and small, kids crying. Two days ago, two days ago, there was a peaceful demonstration against corruption, high price of the gas, food and people hide in the hospital because police beating them rubber bullet a lot of people like a shot by the police and tear gas  inside the hospital. I have the video if you want, I can show you you can.

Metta Spencer  1:26:10

We don’t have time to look at your video now. But I hope that you will post something on the website to save the world.ca. And I hope that other people here watching will go have a look. And then you may have some comments to make in reply. So there are places where you can answer each other and have a real conversation on that website. You can post it either on the war page or I think in your case, the best place would be governance, the governance page. Okay. I think I should go on and I want to introduce Alexey Prokhorenko It’s always a pleasure to see you here. We’ve we’ve already spent much of our time Alexey  talking about Russia, because Konstantin was here and we’ve had people here Victor because Victor Kogan-Yazny is with us and we’ve had quite a lively conversation here. But I know that you are living in exile in Warsaw, and I wish you’d been party to this conversation, you may have something that you want to say to bring us up to date with your, your own concerns right now.

Alexey Prokhorenko  1:27:27

Well, I have to tell you that I’m more or less safe and sound here. And well, my impressions of Russia are getting a bit stale, less and less fresh. And the only the only source that I’m getting the access to the news is via social media via talks to my friends to my family. And I am kind of losing touch with the country. I don’t have fresh perspective on the things that are going on in Russia. And I was told the that will be just that way that after a couple of months out of the country, no matter how how much you try to follow the news on the Internet. No matter how you get interested interested in those news, no matter how often you read about the country, it’s not the same as living there.

Metta Spencer  1:28:28

Well, I don’t know because these people have been having a very passionate conversation. Even though Victor is the only one still living in Russia and speaking from Russia. We have a had Konstantin very concerned and follows everything going on in Russia. So and and Shorena is in Georgia. And then Vladimir is in Kazakhstan. I wouldn’t say that they have lost interest in Russia. Would you say Shorena?

Shorena Lortkipanitze  1:28:59

No, of course not. Yeah, but it’s quite the situation is very complicated, actually. Because for instance, like few days, two days they go in but to me there was abuse, the big cruise ship line came into Batumi port, and there was a big demonstration. From the oh, of course, it was peaceful demonstration but kind of sending messages to Russian people that very bad things are happening in Ukraine and you’re not welcome but not to people but to the regime, of course. But of course there were some remarks from Russians as well. Some of them the camera of our tail televisions, catch those comments on things that we freed up Hazia from Georgia and something like that this but we should not generalize. So I’m against generalizing all these things, because it’s not helping us to solve problems or to concentrate on problems. Yeah, but these are the facts, which of course, need some kind of attention. And also it gives us understanding what on what’s happening in somebody’s minds and hearts. And it’s not an easy situation, of course. But on the other hand, I think Georgia is kind of a very unique example, country which can uphold the Russians, Ukrainians Belarusians, dissidents, regime supporters, everybody’s here. And that’s something very, very special, I think, on the other hand, but of course, there are a lot of very radical attitudes from Georgia and some politicians or civil society groups about Russians, free entrance in Georgia, but all in all government of Georgia at this point is not going to have any rules or any any regulations, which show…

Metta Spencer  1:30:56

Excuse meus there’s no effort to sift through and filter out people who are really pro in favor of Russia’s war, when it comes to letting people in, every Russian can come in. And yes, significant number, maybe even a majority of those people are in favor of Russia’s policy.

Shorena Lortkipanitze  1:31:25

Yeah, I don’t think so. Metta, I think that this several waves of interest entrance of Russian citizens, which happened in the end of February, beginning of March, and then another way it was in, in summer, last year, and then in September, mostly those people who were escaping regime escaping mobilization, they were entering the country, but some of them are staying here, some of them are leaving Georgia and move to Europe or Turkiye. So there is this very dynamic movement of people in here from Georgia in Georgia. So I mean, it’s very, very difficult. But of course, there is no filter, I mean, who is coming who is supported or who is not supported? Of course, there is no such filter. And on the other hand, Russian people they keep their quite low profile. So they, they are not trying to be seen or very active or even actively demonstrating something, but there but, but I know and I have some touch to this issue. They are active, they have a lot of like their own community groups. They have a lot of sharing young people in their 20s or early 30s. Mainly this is kind of age group which entered Georgia. So and yeah, I am. They have a lot of bars and cafes in the center of Tbilisi. And this is also a platform and venue of exchange, I think.

Metta Spencer  1:33:06

Do they speak freely in these bars? And if you go in there, do you get a sense of is there a consensus among the people in the bar, about politics? Or are they strongly divided among themselves? Let’s say, within the Russian community, do you get any sense of you know, where, where they’re, you know, what’s the center of gravity of their

Shorena Lortkipanitze  1:33:29

Yeah it’s so different. I think those who go to these bars, they have more free, free spirited people who really have consensus on Russia’s tests on the Ukraine issue, but those who go to restaurants and so eating {inaudible] or they may have been, they are still with kind of this Soviets mentality and not very sure about that’s so interesting about food and the, but so all we have no idea of course what we see on Radio free Europe they have in Georgia very good podcasts when Georgian and Russians are speaking to each other. So kind of they try to break stereotypes, what Russians think about Georgians, and these are all those Russians were supporters of Ukraine against the regime. That’s very interesting kind of method of exchanging. You can see that this yeah, there is absolute consensus among these people about about future of Russia and Ukraine and Georgia and everything but so of course, there is no filter, everyone is let in the country. But there were several cases when some Russians were not allowed to enter and sometimes these Russians were very famous journalists against Russian regime or famous civic activists. So they have been excluded. We don’t know. I mean, this government is Border Service, they just reject it. And that’s all. That’s all. And we either know, even though we were asking the reason there was no proper and clear message, why they rejected to come into the country. So I bet these are not very fragmented.

Metta Spencer  1:35:30

I wonder if that is similar in in Warsaw, in Poland in general. What would you say that is, from the worse where is Alexey? I’ve lost him. Alexey have you gone? I don’t see your face.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  1:35:48

in Poland, in Poland, in Poland. And the Czech Republic it is absolutely prohibited entrance of Russian citizens through airports.

Shorena Lortkipanitze  1:36:01

Yeah, not absolutely. I know, for instance, one Russian…

Victor Kogan-Yasny  1:36:07

Through through through airports, through air through airports absolutely prohibited.

Shorena Lortkipanitze  1:36:12

Yes, you are right.

Victor Kogan-Yasny  1:36:16

By ground, we it is not prohibited by Airports it is prohibited completely.

Metta Spencer  1:36:23

Now, that brings up a whole different question about the situation of people like Konstantin and Vladimir, who left Russia because they didn’t want to fight. And they’re, they’re finding it quite difficult to, to get papers to come into some of the countries that they’d like to, to live in. I think Vladimir you may have your problem solved by now, or at least seem to be close to it. But can you can you tell us a little bit about the predicament of people such as yourself in Kazakhstan, who could lose the right to even remain in Kazakhstan? And might even be reported deported back to Russia? Can you explain that plight? Because I’ve been very concerned about helping men who have who had left Russia, because they didn’t want to fight but who, nevertheless, were not admitted to some of the countries they’d like to, to go to? Can you talk about it a little Vladimir?

Vladimir Krasnov  1:37:39

Thinking, yeah, there is a restriction for being here without residence, for example, and you must have kind of temporary permission for being here. I have that one. And well, local people helped me without them I couldn’t do it so and but in my situation I have to leave the country in this Autumn, or continue this permission, but it could be, can be a problem. And but I guess it depends on a situation. exact person. Yeah, I have something here and I know that Russia and Kazakhstan have kind of agreement for if you done something on like, prime or Russia requested a person for some reason and agreement means that Kazakhstan must give that person back to Russia. Yeah. What else.

Metta Spencer  1:39:22

Has anybody do you know of anybody who has actually been sent back to Russia?

Vladimir Krasnov  1:39:29

Personally No.

Metta Spencer  1:39:31

Do you know?

Vladimir Krasnov  1:39:33

Yeah, I I’ve seen a news about one person, but there was serious reason. Because the person had some some troubles with the law and he was deported.

Metta Spencer  1:39:54

Okay, because I was told that they if, if Russia tried to do that, At getting some extradited by using Interpol that it wouldn’t work, because Interpol will not send back anybody who’s charged with being a criminal when the crime involved just simply political opposition. And and so that that wouldn’t you know, they wouldn’t be able to do that through Interpol but maybe they have some other agreement with Kazakhstan, that would enable them to be able to require these people to be sent back. But you don’t personally know of any cases like that exception. I see, okay, okay. Thank you. Now, let’s see what else because there are a lot of people here who have been waiting patiently to, to share your concerns, Richard Denton. Hello. Personally, no.

Richard Denton  1:40:57

Hello, Metta. Great to be on your show, as certainly it’s been very interesting and deeply concerning about Ukraine and Russia. But I think many of us are also trying to get rid of nuclear weapons, which we see as the big threat right now. Many of us are remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the sixth and ninth of August. And so in Toronto, there will be a discussion on that. Or well there’ll be a presentation at City Hall on August 6, at 630. So everybody who is .in Toronto, is welcome to join that

Metta Spencer  1:41:48

That’s at the peace garden, isn’t it?

Richard Denton  1:41:50


Metta Spencer  1:41:51

Tell people how to get to the Peace Garden. I’m not well, maybe it’s obvious, but it’s a good idea.

Richard Denton  1:41:56

It’s obvious once you get to City Hall, it’s, it’s there on the in front of City Hall over if you’re looking at City Hall is on the right hand side. So that will be happening. I’m up in Sudbury, and we’ll be holding a proclamation from our city on the ninth. We’re also trying to get rid of war generally. And we’re doing that by educating people. And I’ve put in the chat, a link to ending war 101. It’s a six hour course that people can take online and it begins as September 4. But you can register for that. So just a couple of things, how we’re trying to get rid of war in general, as you know, CANSEC is the largest war sales show showmen that happens in Ottawa, here in North America. And we’ve had certainly a lot of protesters about that. And we were able to delay. Anita Anand and our Minister of Defense, quote, defense, it’s offense and by over an hour. So we are trying to protest and make some changes. We were unsuccessful in preventing the Canadian government buy in the F-35’s. unfortunately, but we carry on. So again, these problems are worldwide, but we’re also addressing them at home. Thank you.

Metta Spencer  1:43:36

Thank you very much. Can you tell us who did this course that people you’re wanting people to sign up for? I did nothing about it.

Richard Denton  1:43:45

We’ve had over 250 have signed up in July, and probably about 150 actually completed the course. Oh,

Metta Spencer  1:44:00

I didn’t know you’d already done this.

Richard Denton  1:44:02

Yeah, so we’ve done it now. And we’re repeating it in September and we’ll repeat it sort of every two months.

Metta Spencer  1:44:08

Okay. Well, Alan Haber you have your hand up and I don’t see your face but let’s speak.

Alan Haber  1:44:16

Okay, I bring my face back and my hand up thank you. I follow in Hiroshima and Nagasaki day and nuclear weapons. A next focal point that could draw us to some sense of cooperative action is the United Nations Climate ambition summit on focused on September 20, Wednesday, and followed on September 21, International Day of Peace, and these two dates in the calendar conjoin and join the current climate question and the peace question and perhaps give an opportunity to prefigure what actually would be a peace meeting to resolve the questions in Ukraine, with Russia, and in the European Theater generally toward a collective security arrangement that is not unipolar and NATO, focusing with Russia, and looking to what is really the people’s call for peace, and dealing with the imperative that unless we redirect resources to deal with the climate questions, were all just gonna roast nuclear or otherwise. So I just draw those dates to your attention and think that perhaps maybe Metta in the next discussion, we might focus what are people thinking we could actually do to prefigure a peace conference that would deal with the fundamental questions is everybody seems to want to do and deal with the shift from the war system to peace and ability to deal with climate. And these two dates, Thursday, Wednesday, Thursday, September 2021. Coming up are perhaps times to focus on so I just wanted to say,

Metta Spencer  1:46:20

Alan, would you go to the website tosavetheworld.ca. Because we have an events calendar, there it is.

Alan Haber  1:46:30

I’ll try and do that from my place in France right now.

Metta Spencer  1:46:34

It takes you have to learn how to do it. But it shouldn’t be that hard. You can post your events on the on the events, columns. And that goes for all of you. Whenever you have something going on in your community. Richard up at Sudbury, put it in, put in about your your August 6 event and so on, all of you put your events into the peace calendar, and into the events calendar. Because even if you live in another country, there’s a place for people to put put, put it down in your own country. So we’d like I’d like to get more traffic going there. But if we don’t have any, anything for anybody to look at when they get there, then they’re not going to go very often.

Sandy Greer  1:47:19

I’m currently the situation for the proposed deep burial of high level radioactive waste. There are two sites in Ontario, Canada, that are still contenders for the deep burial of high level waste, which is still experimental, because Finland is the only country in the world, which has, in recent years, constructed a shaft based on the Swedish KBS three design for deep geological repositories, but it still does not have an operating license. And, um, there is no scientific evidence to actually guarantee any long term safety of deep burial or radionuclides aside from all of the above ground accidents, and worries about long distance transportation, because such a project, which is the acronym is DGR, that all of the nuclear waste produced in Canada now and in the future, would end up in the single place for deep burial of used fuel bundles. So that pertains to the the currently operating nuclear power plants across Canada. The also it’s possible and this is only recently being revealed by the nuclear waste management organization who is the proponent of this project, that also it’s possible the intermediate level waste may be added in future and on top of that, there are proposed Small Modular nuclear reactors that are being funded by the federal government to be developed in Canada. They also are experimental and will create other types of of nuclear waste, which also will end up in these proposed DGR’s. So it’s it’s a it’s it’s just keeps evolving through time about what could actually end up in unknown quantities and unknown costs. And it’s a huge worry. And unfortunately, news media is doing a very poor job of even informing the wider public about what’s going on. And it’s it’s a huge worry because the local activists don’t have the capacity to really educate the wider public. And it’s just really frustrating and really worrisome. Because if we don’t do something to stop it within the next year, because in a year’s time, there will be a site selection decision that one of the two communities and one is in Midwestern Ontario, the community of South Bruce, and it’s where there’s important farmland. So let’s either go to possibly happen on prime farmland, which is being lost every day in Ontario. Or, alternatively, the site selection could be chosen for Northern Ontario, where there’s many First Nation communities that are already dealing with contamination of water from various mining projects, and trying to get their human rights recognized that they have a right to be consulted the and be participants more actively in this decision-making process. So I could say more about it. But I hope that sort of, in a nutshell, gives you a picture.

Metta Spencer  1:51:08

Gives us some, some awareness of what you’re worried about and wait. Okay, we’re coming to the end of our little visit here. It’s been a stimulating and sometimes troubling conversation. But I think it’s useful. And it’s nice to know that we can all be friends, even though obviously, there are issues that are really very difficult to us to imagine how to completely resolve between our various points of view. I hope you’ll come back in a month, we always do this on the last Sunday of every month. And in the meantime, I hope I may very well be sending out notices to those of you who are members of Project Save the World, we have a few members already. But those of you who want to be members can can join and we need, you can’t just join but because you have been on the global townhall, we will be happy to invite you to become a member if that interests you. And then we may have a meeting one of these days, and and talk about other ways in which we can all participate better and and use our energies in concert together to try to accomplish a few things. So thank you all for attending. And unless somebody has one final word, if you do speak now, because I’m about to say goodbye to everybody. I don’t see any hands. So thank you all and I’ll see you, bye. Project Save the World produces these forums, and this is episode number 564. Please watch them or listen to them as audio podcasts on our website tosavetheworld.ca people share information there about six global issues. To find a particular talk show its title, or episode number in the search bar, or the name of one of the guest speakers. Project Save the World also produces a quarterly online publication Peace Magazine. You can subscribe for $20 Canadian per year. Just go to pressreader.com on your browser. And in the search bar enter the word peace. You’ll see buttons to click to subscribe.



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