Lecture (6/13) - Russia is always directly associated with Putin. Putin is the synonym for corruption, usurpation of power and infringements of human rights. Russia is more than Putin. 145 million inhabitants are living in this territorial biggest country of the world, working, studying and traveling abroad. They are facing the same problems as people in the West, such as the struggle against climate change and pollution, being addicted to social media and working on healthy ageing. Since the annexation of Crimea and the downing of the MH17 in 2014, nothing positive can be said anymore in the Dutch media about Russia, because if you do you may have connections with the Russian regime. The adverse side of this typical Dutch media behaviour is factually a limitation of the freedom of speech and the principle of a fair hearing, because dissenting opinions are not welcome. If the media quotes Putin, the context and the necessary circumstances plus legal background of the case are often withheld.
Heleen over de Linden (Delft, 1965) is attorneyatlaw in Amsterdam and 4th year PhD student at the University of Groningen. Heleen studied Russian language, and literature at the University of Amsterdam (1985 –1991) and Tax Law (2000–2004), also at the University of Amsterdam. In 1988 she studied one year Russian language in Moscow, at that time still SovietUnion. In 1998 Heleen lived and worked in the Russian countryside. Her PhD research is about the EU sanctions against the former president of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych and against Russia, EasternUkraine and Crimea.