EESC is hosting CEPA expert Brian Whitmore

On May 27-31, 2019, EESC had a privilege to host Brian Whitmore, Head of Russia Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC. Brian is also a host of Power Vertical podcast where he analyses latest developments in Russia by looking into historical thread of events and explaining what to expect in the nearest future.

Mr Whitmore’s visit during which he attended public discussions, lectured Lithuanian students and shared insights and policy advice with Lithuanian decision makers was possible by funding from the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation.

Two public meetings-discussions titled “Russia and the West: a New Era of Conflict?” were held at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library in Vilnius and at the Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library in Kaunas. The aim of these discussions was to offer an opportunity for citizens interested in international relations to hear how the U.S. sees Russia, what are prospects for the U.S. – Russia relations. Also, what is the U.S. – Baltic cooperation to address such Russia-posed threats as disinformation, propaganda, and fake news.

Mr Whitmore gave a lecture to students at the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy. His lecture titled “Broken Windows & Hybrid Warfare” focused on explaining how Putin’s regime works in Russia. He did it by explaining that “sistema”, a complex thing of how everything is done in Russia, including corruption, has always been in Russia. Each leader was adopting the “sistema” to himself; only Putin externalized it by taking it beyond borders of Russia. He weaponized it and turned it against the West. Among Mr Whitmore’s advice is to learn to tell our Western story better. Western values, democratic principles and institutions is what ensure and respect human rights and rule of law, among other; people need to be reminded about it. At the moment, many good lessons could be learned from Ukraine, which is fighting Russia in defence of its pro-European path.

More Brian’s insights are available at his interview for Delfi “American analyst: Russians got confused after hearing Zelensky’s proposal” in Lithuanian and Russian.