25 Sep 2003 Overwhelming Response to New Web Site on Russia Conveys Concern to President Bush Over Possible Return to “Evil Empire”
Since its launch two weeks ago, tens of thousands of Americans have visited and used the National Center’s new “Future of Russia” Web site (www.Future-of-Russia.org) to convey deep concerns to President Bush about recent alarming events in Russia on the eve of his September 26-27 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Even though the Web site is brand new, we have seen more than 10,000 hits per day, more than 5,000 emails and scores of bulletin board posts expressing deep concerns about the future of democracy in Russia. I think that we have hit upon a great area of concern for many citizens who worry about warning signs coming from Russia,” said Amy Ridenour, President of the National Center for Public Policy Research.
As the Web site chronicles, ominous “warning signs” include Putin’s troubling disregard for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, including:
* The free media, previously vibrant in the country, has been completely overrun and is now again controlled by the state.
* The return of the KGB — Vladimir Putin’s reamalgamation of the security apparatus in Russia has followed a Soviet-style KGB structure and points to the enormous access and influence of the FSB/former KGB in Putin’s inner circle.
“With tomorrow’s upcoming summit, I sincerely hope that President Bush takes into account the fears of many ordinary Americans who remember our nearly half-century battle with the ‘Evil Empire,'” added Ridenour. “I have been truly astounded at the public’s response to this site.”
The www.Future-of-Russia.org Web site also includes:
* A detailed account of the rise of the former KGB in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle;
* A description of all of the alarming rollbacks of attempts at democratization;
* A blog highlighting current news and events; and
* Interactive tools that enable site visitors to tell their friends, sign up for email updates and share their concerns with President Bush.
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