On March 1st the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation hosted a virtual conversation about the 100th Anniversary of the Kronstadt Rebellion with Andrei Illarionov and David Satter.
A hundred years ago, on March 1, the “Red Sailors” of the Kronstadt Naval Base rose up against the Bolshevik dictatorship and demanded honest elections, freedom of speech and an end to police terror. They were crushed by the Red Army but their doomed idealism revealed that the essence of communism is not democratic slogans but the drive for total power.
Andrei Illarionov is a Russian economist and chief economic adviser of Russian President Vladimir Putin from 2000 to 2005 and the president’s personal representative in the G-8. At the end of 2005 he resigned and became an outspoken critic of Putin and the Kremlin. He served as a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity from 2006 to 2021. He is one of Russia’s most forceful and articulate advocates of an open society and democratic capitalism. From 1993 to 1994 Illarionov served as chief economic adviser to the prime minister of the Russian Federation, Viktor Chernomyrdin. He resigned in February 1994 to protest changes in the government’s economic policy. In July 1994 Illarionov founded the Institute of Economic Analysis and became its director. Illarionov has coauthored several economic programs for Russian governments and has written three books and more than 300 articles on Russian economic and social policies. Illarionov received his Ph.D. from St. Petersburg University in 1987.
David Satter is a member of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Academic Council, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a long-time observer of Russia and the former Soviet Union. Satter graduated from the University of Chicago and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and earned a B.Litt degree in political philosophy. He worked for four years as a police reporter for the Chicago Tribune and, in 1976, he was named Moscow correspondent of the London Financial Times. He worked in Moscow for six years, during which time he sought out Soviet citizens with the intention of preserving their accounts of the Soviet totalitarian system for posterity. Satter has written three books about Russia: It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past; Age of Delirium: the Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union; and Darkness at Dawn: the Rise of the Russian Criminal State.