Captive Nations Summit

Each July, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation leads efforts to mark National Captive Nations Week, in fulfillment of the 1959 congressional resolution adopted during the Eisenhower administration to show American solidarity with nations subjugated by communism.

This year’s Captive Nations Summit will bring together senior leaders, international experts, and human rights activists to discuss the deadly, and sadly, enduring legacy of communism, as well as memory politics, and the lessons learned for current and future generations of freedom fighters.

Today, the free world is facing increasingly complex challenges. Internally, democratic societies have frayed in response to the impact of economic, political, and security crises. Externally, nations are confronting growing threats from Russian and Chinese influence operations, human rights violations, and outright war. Bolstering our collective resilience to these threats is now more relevant than ever as we fight to secure peace, prosperity, and security.

Please join us on Wednesday, July 19th at 9:00 AM EDT at the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington, D.C.

Panel I: Society’s Perceptions of Russia’s War in Ukraine – From West to EastFrom thousands of civilian casualties, as well as the destruction of Ukrainian homes, infrastructure, and lives, Russia’s war in Ukraine has been devastating. The international community has responded with financial, military, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and criticized Putin’s illegitimate war against Ukrainians. But the response has not been fully united. How do societies in the West and the East think about the conflict, more than a year since Russia’s invasion, and how do they view the future of the war?

Panel II: Collective Memory, Its Instrumentalization, and Memory PoliticsCollective memory has long played a critical role in shaping our understanding of the concepts of nation, identity, and sovereignty. Now, Russia and China are seeking to manipulate history for their benefit. How can the free world strengthen its collective memory to build lasting resilience to these communist and authoritarian forces, and how can we push back with our own stories of freedom and truth?

Panel III: Global Voices of Freedom – Key to Enduring ResilienceAs communist and authoritarian regimes across the globe continue their attack on liberty, a new generation of human rights defenders have stepped up to the challenge. These courageous leaders are now facing increasingly sophisticated persecution, from imprisonment and torture to digital methods of surveillance and oppression. How can the international community help these activists and what can the free world do to make their voices be heard?