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Commentary

Our work calling out Russia

Friday, 11 May 2018

Since its inception, the Legatum Institute has been a strong champion of freedom, liberty, and democracy. Our vision for a prosperous world is one in which nations value economic and social wellbeing.

To achieve this, national leaders must ensure their economies are open, individuals are empowered, and societies are inclusive. A key principle underpinning a prosperous society is that its people are free to make their own decisions. 

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Commentary

Why is Trump Suddenly Talking About World War III?

Friday, 28 October 2016

Putin uses the scare tactics to stay in power—and in Syria—but now Trump is repeating the threats, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post)

Commentary

In This Post-Fact World, Putin’s Web of Lies Is Entangling the West

Sunday, 23 October 2016

The deluge of information on the internet makes it ever harder for us to discern the truth—something the master of the Kremlin is exploiting in an attempt to wreck democracy, writes Peter Pomerantsev-Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (The Times, £)

Commentary

How Russia Could Spark a US Electoral Disaster

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Russian meddling in the US election could spell a disaster for the democratic process and for any result that may occur, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post

Commentary

The Secret to Trump: He’s Really a Russian Oligarch

Friday, 19 August 2016

The real problem with Trump isn’t that he is sympathetic to Russian oligarchs, it’s that he is a Russian oligarch, albeit one who happens to be American, writes Anne  Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post

Commentary

Erdogan, Putin and the Strongman Ties That Bind

Thursday, 11 August 2016

In a world with dictators and authoritarian leaders like Presidents Erdogan and Putin respectively, they look for allies that share their world-view and the paranoia to deal with their enemies, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post) 

Commentary

Putin TV Channel Twists the Thinking of Western Viewers

Monday, 1 August 2016

Kremlin-backed television station Russia Today (RT) is propagating a steady and relentless stream of propaganda to turn viewers against the West, remarks Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (The Times)

Commentary

How Putin Plans to Disrupt the US Election

Saturday, 30 July 2016

As the furore around the Democratic National Committee email hack grows, fingers have started to point to Russian involvement and the implications for this are disturbing, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Spectator)

Commentary

Kremlin Sows Discord With New Weapon at Heart of UK

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Russian media outlets’ disinformation campaigns during the Scottish Referendum represent a darker trend happening across the West to destabilise the region, with analysis provided by Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (The Times—£)

Commentary

Why We're Post-Fact

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Crimea, Putin, mass media and post-modernism all combine to make truth and reality fragmented and ungraspable, writes Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Granta)

Commentary

Vladimir Putin's Message to the World: You Are Just as Bad

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Following the furor surrounding the doping scandal around Russian athletes and the Olympic games, Moscow falls back on tropes essential to the presidents power, writes Peter Pomerantsev-Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Financial Times, £)

Events

The Master Plan

Monday, 27 June 2016

The Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum hosted a screening of the documentary 'The Master Plan', followed by a discussion and reception.

News

Peter Pomerantsev Wins 2016 Ondaatje Book Prize

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Legatum Institute's Peter Pomerantsev has been awarded the prestigious 'Ondaatje Prize' for his book, Nothing is True and Everything if Possible, an insight into the surreal heart of twenty-first-century Russia.

Commentary

How the US and Britain Help Kleptocracies Around the World

Friday, 13 May 2016

The British property market functions like an old-fashioned Swiss bank, providing safe real estate investments for owners who wish their identities and sources of income to be hidden, argues Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post)

Events

Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Legatum Institute hosted a conversation with the authors of 'Authoritarianism Goes Global', a new collection of essays that presents fresh insights on the complicated issues surrounding authoritarian resurgence.

Commentary

The ‘Trump effect’ Will Help Authoritarians Around the World

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The success of ‘The Donald’ has already lent significant aid to anti-democratic movements worldwide, argues Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post)

Commentary

The Dutch Just Showed the World How Russia Influences Western Europe Elections

Friday, 8 April 2016

The Dutch vote against a European trade deal with Ukraine shows the power of small groups of angry people, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post).

Commentary

Russia: Implications for UK Defence and Security

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Peter Pomerantsev, Legatum Institute Senior Fellow, appeared as a witness before a recent UK Defence Committee hearing on Russia's military capabilities and implications for the UK.

Commentary

Propagandalands

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute, reports from Ukraine’s Donbas region, examining the surreal nature of propaganda in the war zone (Granta)

Commentary

So Putin Killed Litvinenko. Carry On.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Britain has been cosying up to Russian money for years, and a dead spy isn’t going to change that, writes Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Foreign Policy)

Commentary

Brave New War

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A new form of conflict emerged in 2015—from the Islamic State to the South China Sea, writes Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum (The Atlantic)

Commentary

Kharkiv, City of Vagabonds and Poets

Friday, 18 December 2015

Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute, reflects on the strangeness of war-torn urban Ukraine (Politico)

Commentary

The TV vs the Fridge

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

In Russia, economic decline isn't translating into dissatisfaction with Putin. The Legatum Institute's Peter Pomerantsev and Nathan Gamester explain why (Democracy Lab)

Commentary

How Turkey Confounded Putin’s Favourite Narratives

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

In her latest column for the Washington Post, the Legatum Institute's Director of the Transitions Forum, Anne Applebaum, explains how the Russian media are using the downing of the Russian jet fighter as part of a wider conspiracy theory

Events

An Exchange of Views with Zhanna Nemtsova

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Zhanna Nemtsova, journalist, human rights activist and daughter of slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, was guest speaker at discussion to launch the Legatum Institute's new partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Foreign Affairs.

Commentary

Ukraine Battles a Second Enemy: Corruption

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Russia isn’t the only threat. Kiev is also fighting a war against corruption, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post)

Commentary

Russia's New Kind of Friends

Friday, 16 October 2015

The Soviet Union had “useful idiots.” Vladimir Putin has an array of European allies willing to advance his cause, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post)

Events

Winter is Coming: A Conversation with Garry Kasparov

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Legatum Institute was pleased to host renowned democracy activist and chess master Garry Kasparov for a breakfast discussion of his upcoming book 'Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped'.

Events

2015 Conservative Party Conference: Securing Prosperity in an Uncertain World

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Tim Montgomerie moderated a discussion with Johnny Mercer MP, Legatum Institute Senior Fellow Peter Pomerantsev, and Ian Betts of G4S on the biggest threats to Britain’s security.  

Commentary

Realists, Beware of Russians Making Deals

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Vladimir Putin just wants to make a deal with the West on Syria. What could be the harm in that? Christian Caryl's latest for Democracy Lab

Commentary

Putin's Power Plays

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Russian president's mission in Syria is about projecting strength at home—not influencing global events, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post)

Events

Putin’s Useful Idiots: Russian Media and the European Far Right

Thursday, 24 September 2015

At a recent lunch discussion moderated by Anne Applebaum, Anton Shekhovtsov, Visiting Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum, exposed the increasingly strong ties between the Russian media and the European far right.

Publications

Bringing the Rebels

Thursday, 24 September 2015

In a new briefing paper, Anton Shekhovtsov, Visiting Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum, exposes the increasingly strong ties between the Russian media and the European far right.

Events

International Security Debate: Russia Poses a Greater Threat to Europe than ISIS

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Young leaders, professionals, and thinkers gathered at 11 Charles Street to debate future threats to Europe in the latest meeting of the 1675 Club. The motion for the evening was whether Russia poses a greater threat to Europe than the Islamic State.

Events

21st Century Information War: How Should NATO and Democratic Governments Respond?

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

As part of its 'Beyond Propaganda' series, the Legatum Institute hosted a panel discussion, chaired by Peter Pomerantsev, to launch a collection of papers that look at how 21st century warfare is changing and what can be done to react to information warfare.

Publications

Information at War: From China’s Three Warfares to NATO’s Narratives

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

This week, the Legatum Institute's 'Beyond Propaganda' series launched a collection of essays that look at how 21st century warfare is changing and what can be done to react to information warfare.

Commentary

Obama and Europe: Missed Signals, Renewed Commitments

Thursday, 20 August 2015

How Putin took advantage of Obama's complacency—by Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Foreign Affairs)

Commentary

While Russia Bans Books, the Useful Idiot Corbyn Swallows Its Lies Whole

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The would-be leader of the Labour party is the latest in a long line of Russia's "useful idiots", writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (The Sunday Times)

Commentary

Robert Conquest: Speaking Truth to Terror

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Historian Robert Conquest revealed the horrors of the Soviet Union long before many were willing to believe, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post)

Commentary

How to Beat Vladimir Putin in the Battle for Hearts and Eyeballs

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Kremlin still has media hegemony over Russian citizens, writes Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (FT)

Events

Counter Propaganda Past and Present: From the Reformation to Putin’s Russia

Friday, 24 July 2015

What can history teach us about counter propaganda? Nicholas J. Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, launched his paper for the Legatum Institute, Counter Propaganda: Cases from US Public Diplomacy and Beyond.

Commentary

Helping Russia’s Sidelined and Exiled Journalists Tell Their Stories

Friday, 24 July 2015

Much of the Russian media is toxic. Here’s how the US can help the journalists who are not—by Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Washington Post)

Commentary

Ukraine Says Goodbye to Red October

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Kiev is making a sweeping bid to purge the national map of its Soviet-era place names, writes Ievgen Vorobiov for Democracy Lab.

Commentary

The Fearful Foe that Ought to Unify Europe

Friday, 26 June 2015

It has become clear that Russia is pursuing an ambitious grand strategy: divide the EU, undermine Nato, reverse the European transitions and the post-cold war settlement, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Financial Times)

Commentary

How Authoritarian Regimes Exploit Globalisation and the Information Age

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Authoritarian regimes are learning to engineer human souls in the age of Facebook, writes Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (Democracy Lab)

Events

The New Authoritarians: Ruling Through Disinformation

Monday, 22 June 2015

Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum, moderated a discussion on how neo-authoritarian and “hybrid” regimes have become more sophisticated in their use of propaganda, as he launched the Beyond Propaganda series with the publication of its first report, The New Authoritarians: Ruling through Disinformation.


Commentary

Dear Ukraine: Please Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot

Monday, 27 April 2015

A controversial new law sends the wrong signals about the past and threatens free speech, writes Josh Cohen, for Democracy Lab.

Events

What is the Future of Russia's Opposition?

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Leonid Volkov, a member of Russia's Central Council of the Party of Progress, gave an insider's perspective on the future of the Russian Opposition within the context of today’s challenges and in the lead up to the 2016 Parliamentary elections. 

Commentary

Pomerantsev Testifies to US Congress

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute, testified before the US Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, on how to counter Putin's propaganda.

Commentary

The West vs Russia

Friday, 10 April 2015

Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute, participated in a 'Munk Debate' in Toronto, where the speakers made the case for, and against, cooperation between Russia and the West.

Commentary

Inside the Kremlin’s Hall of Mirrors

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Has Putin’s Russia developed a new kind of information warfare—fought in the ‘psychosphere’ rather than on the battlefield? Or is it all just a giant bluff? By Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (The Guardian)

Commentary

How to Make the World’s Madmen Think Twice

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The West has forgotten how deterrence has worked in a nuclear world, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Legatum Institute's Transitions Forum (Washington Post)

Commentary

A Showdown in Moscow’s Power Elite

Monday, 16 March 2015

A political killing in the center of Moscow triggers an open feud between two of Russia's most powerful clans.

Events

Is There a Future for Ukraine?

Friday, 13 March 2015

Yevhen Hlibovytsky, Ukrainian lawyer and member of the Nestor Group, discussed a strategy for nation building in Ukraine—and how to win the information war against Putin.

Commentary

The Kremlin Pulls on Georgia

Monday, 9 March 2015

As Russian forces consolidate their gains in Ukraine over the flat protests of Western leaders, the specter of Russian revanchism is keeping much of Eastern Europe on edge. But lumbering tanks and legions of insta-separatists aren't the only concern. Ukraine isn't Russia's only target.

Events

Battling Russian Propaganda: On the Front Line of Ukraine’s Information War

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Nataliya Gumenyuk, Editor-in-Chief of Hromadske International, shared her experience of establishing independent and reliable media coverage in Ukraine with Hromadske.tv.

Events

Mr Putin: Operative in the Kremlin

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Fiona Hill, Director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, discussed the new edition of her book, 'Mr Putin: Operative in the Kremlin'.

Commentary

What Putin Wants, Putin (Usually) Gets

Monday, 23 February 2015

What does Vladimir Putin want, in Ukraine and beyond? In this podcast for NPR, Peter Pomerantsev, Legatum Institute Senior Fellow, discusses Putin's "game plan".

Commentary

What Putin Wants, Putin (Usually) Gets

Monday, 23 February 2015

What does Vladimir Putin want, in Ukraine and beyond? In this podcast for NPR, Peter Pomerantsev, Legatum Institute Senior Fellow, discusses Putin's "game plan".

Commentary

The Risks of Putting Germany Front and Center in Europe’s Crises

Friday, 20 February 2015

We may regret letting the German chancellor be the key to solving Europe’s looming crises in Greece and Ukraine, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute (​Washington Post​)

Commentary

It's Up To Putin To Make Ukraine Ceasefire Stick

Thursday, 12 February 2015

In conversation with NPR's Robert Siegel, Anne Applebaum, Director of the Legatum Institute's Transitions Forum, discusses the details of the Eastern Ukraine ceasefire and its prospects for success.

Events

Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

To celebrate the launch of ‘Nothing is True and Everything is Possible’, Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum, joined Ferdinand Mount, political commentator, and Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum, to discuss the book’s themes: Russia’s super-rich, authoritarianism, and media control.

Commentary

Why Britain Must Hold Russia’s Kleptocratic Elite to Account

Friday, 30 January 2015

Alexander Litvinenko’s murder has been treated as a spy story—but it is terrorism, writes Anne Applebaum, Director of the Legatum Institute's Transitions Forum (​Financial Times​)

Commentary

Richard Nixon’s Madman Theory Enjoys a Russian Revival

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Putin’s show of derangement is maybe a front to intimidate the west, writes Legatum Institute Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum, Peter Pomerantsev (FT)

Commentary

Inside Putin’s Information War

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute, gives an insider's account of Russia's TV channel industry, and why the West has every reason to be terrified (Politico)

Events

The Menace of Unreality: Combatting Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century

Thursday, 30 October 2014

This livestreamed panel examined how Russia’s extensive disinformation campaign undermines Western democracy.

Events

Failing Champion: How Moldova's European Chances Are Dwindling—and Why it Matters

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Legatum Institute launched the third paper in a series with the Institute of Modern Russia, Moldova: The Failing Champion of European Integration, written by Chisinau-based journalist Vladimir Soloviev.


Events

Looting Ukraine: the East, the West, and the Corruption of a Country

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Legatum Institute, in association with the Institute of Modern Russia, launched 'Looting Ukraine: How East and West Teamed up to Steal a Country', a new case-study by Oliver Bullough examining the endemic corruption that prevents Ukraine's transition-and that the West colludes in.

Events

Revolutionary Tactics: From Georgia to Ukraine?

Monday, 23 June 2014

The Legatum Institute hosted a panel discussion to launch a new 'Transitions Forum' case study on police and judicial reform in Georgia. Panellists included the report's author, Peter Pomerantsev, human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC, and Giorgi Badridze, Senior Fellow, Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies. The discussion was moderated by Anne Applebaum, Director of the Legatum Institute's Transitions Forum.

Events

What the Ukrainian Public Really Thinks: A Conversation with Ambassador Mark Green

Friday, 11 April 2014

Speaking at a private breakfast at the Legatum Institute, Ambassador Mark Green, President of the International Republican Institute (IRI), discussed the results of the IRI’s latest Ukrainian opinion polls, ethno-linguistic relations between the country’s Russian—and Ukrainian—speakers, the role of the Ukrainian (social) media, and the memories on display in Maidan Square.

Events

They Chose Freedom: The Story of Soviet Dissidents

Monday, 24 March 2014

In association with the Institute of Modern Russia, the Legatum Institute hosted a screening of 'They Chose Freedom', a documentary film on the history of the Soviet dissident movement, written and produced by Russian historian and television journalist Vladimir V. Kara-Murza. He was joined in conversation by Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet dissident.

Commentary

Dropping the Political F-Bomb

Sunday, 16 March 2014

 

Events

Russia: A Postmodern Dictatorship? (Washington, DC)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A discussion and livestream event to introduce the first in a series of papers commissioned jointly by the Legatum Institute and Institute of Modern Russia to analyse the challenges of transition in the former Soviet Union. Hosted at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC.

Events

Russia: A Postmodern Dictatorship? (London)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A discussion and livestream to introduce the first in a series of papers commissioned jointly by the Legatum Institute and Institute of Modern Russia to analyse the challenges of transition in the former Soviet Union, with Pavel Khodorkovsky, Peter Pomerantsev and Anne Applebaum.

Events

Transitions in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How can the Euro-Atlantic community protect democratic development in the new EU states and the Balkans while confronting aggressive authoritarianism further east? In conversation with 'The Economist's' Edward Lucas, representatives from Washington DC-based Freedom House presented their annual publication, 'Nations in Transit'.

News

Is Russia Heading For Crisis?

Monday, 4 March 2013

A new Legatum Institute paper argues that Putin’s ruling model is no longer functioning and identifies five ”traps” the Russian government now faces.

News

After the US Election: Democracy Challenges

Monday, 26 November 2012

Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, believes the strength of the West is crucial in reinforcing the strength of democracy.

Events

Russia After the Elections and Where Now for the Opposition?

Monday, 18 June 2012

Three of Russia’s most high profile opposition leaders discuss Russian politics, corruption, and the role of the West.

News

“We want to force the authorities and elites out of their comfort zones”

Monday, 18 June 2012

Three of Russia’s most high profile opposition leaders discuss Russian politics, corruption, and the role of the West.

News

The Debt Threat to Democracy: Part II

Monday, 28 May 2012

Tim Leunig argues that a democracy that works well will deliver sensible debt limits by consent, just as it will deliver sensible policies in a range of other policy areas.

Events

Russia After The Election: Do Svidaniya Mr Putin?

Monday, 19 March 2012

'Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West'Edward Lucas launches his new book at the Legatum Institute.

News

LI Hosts British Foreign Secretary for Arab Spring Speech

Monday, 3 October 2011

The Legatum Institute hosted British Foreign Secretary, William Hague MP for a speech at the 2011 Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.