FINROSFORUM 2009 | Speakers

List of speakers at the third annual conference of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum, FINROSFORUM 2009, to be held in the Annex to the Parliament House in Helsinki, Finland, on 25-26 May 2009.

SERGEY AKSENOV (Сергей Аксенов) is Chairman of the Election Committee of the Russian opposition’s proto-parliament, the National Assembly (, head of the presidential election campaign of the leader of the banned National Bolshevik Party ( Eduard Limonov, and Coordinator of the Russian Union of Prisoners (

NIKOLAY ALEXEYEV (Николай Алексеев) is one of the leading LGBT rights activists in Russia. He is the main organiser of the Moscow Pride parade, leader of the LGBT organisation GayRussia, and International Secretary of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. His blog:

MAXIM ANMEGHICHEAN (Максим Анмегикян) is Programmes Director and Member of the Board of ILGA-Europe, the European section of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). He has worked to develop ILGA-Europe’s Eastern European strategy. Mr Anmeghichean is originally from Moldova.

NIKOLAY BAYEV (Николай Баев) is a member of the organising committee of the Moscow Pride parade and a leading member of the LGBT organisation GayRussia. He is an active member of the Russian libertarian movement, Free Radicals ( His blog:

MIKHAIL BORZYKIN (Михаил Борзыкин) is lead singer and songwriter of the St Petersburg-based rock group, Televizor. He often performs at the Russian opposition’s Marches of Dissent. Televizor is banned from Russian television screens due to the political content of Mr Borzykin’s songs. More information at

OKSANA CHELYSHEVA (Оксана Челышева) is Deputy Executive Director of the Nizhny Novgorod-based Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, which was refused registration in Russia. The society has since been registered in Helsinki. The organisation is active in protecting the rights of Russia’s Chechen minority and promoting interethnic dialogue. Ms Chelysheva’s activities span across the wide spectrum of human rights work in today’s Russia.

YEVGENI CHETVERGOV (Евгений Четвергов) is Deputy Chairman of the Foundation for the Salvation of the Erzyan Language and Editor-in-Chief of the Foundation’s newspaper, Erzyan Mastor. The organisation protects the rights of the Erzyan people, a Finno-Ugric nation in Russia’s Republic of Mordovia. More information at

VYACHESLAV FERAPOSHKIN (Вячеслав Ферапошкин) is a journalist working for The Caucasian Knot (“Кавказский узел”) and a member of the Committee of Anti-War Action ( and the Memorial Foundation ( in Moscow. Mr Feraposhkin is one of the founders of a new organisation, Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. More information at

LEOKADIYA FRENKEL (Леокадия Френкель) is Director of the library of the Jewish Community Centre in St Petersburg. The Jewish Community Centre organises various activities to support Jewish culture in St Petersburg, including music and theatre lessons for children, Yiddish classes, and art exhibitions. In addition, the centre organises an annual festival of traditional Jewish music, Klezfest. More information at

EILINA GUSATINSKY (Эйлина Гусатинская) is Editor-in-Chief of Finland’s leading Russian-language monthly newspaper, Spektr ( She is one of the leading opinion makers in Finland’s Russian-speaking community, and takes an active part in the discussion of the problems of the Russian-speaking minorities in Finland and the Baltic States.

HEIDI HAUTALA (Хейди Хаутала) is Chairperson of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum. She is a Member of the Finnish Parliament, representing the Greens, and a former Member of the European Parliament. Ms Hautala is Chair of the Committee of Legal Affairs of the Finnish Parliament. She was the Greens’ candidate in the Finnish presidential elections in 2000 and 2006, and is now running for reelection to the European Parliament. More information at

YURI IGNATYEV (Юрий Игнатьев) is Deputy Chairman and Member of the Board of the leading Mari national organisation, Mari Ushem, based in Yoshkar-Ola, capital of Russia’s Republic of Mari El. Mari Ushem was established in 1917 in Ufa. The organisation has faced severe harassment by the local authorities since the election of Leonid Markelov as the republic’s President. More information at

ILKKA KANTOLA (Илкка Кантола) is Chairman of the Human Rights Group in the Finnish Parliament. He is Member of Parliament from the Social Democratic Party since 2007. The Human Rights Group has around 30 members from all parties, and its function is to contribute to the international cooperation of the Parliament. Mr Kantola’s website:

TARJA KANTOLA (Тарья Кантола) is Deputy Chairperson of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum. She is Chairperson of the International Solidarity Foundation (, affiliated with the Social Democratic Party of Finland, and Secretary of International Affairs of the Finnish service sector union, Service Union United (, and and Chair of the Finnish Refugee Council ( More information at

IGOR KOCHETKOV (Игорь Кочетков) is Chairman of Russia’s first nationwide LGBT organisation, the Russian LGBT Network. He is co-author of a recently published report on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Russia. The Russian LGBT Network is engaged in advocacy of LGBT rights, monitoring cases of discrimination, providing legal and psychological assistance, and supporting LGBT organisations throughout Russia. More information at

GALINA KOZHEVNIKOVA (Галина Кожевникова) is Deputy Director of the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, which is a Moscow-based non-profit organisation founded in October 2002 by a group of people working for the Panorama Center for Information and Research and the Moscow Helsinki Group. The SOVA Center conducts research on nationalism and xenophobia, relations between church and society, and political radicalism. More information at

OLEG KOZLOVSKY (Олег Козловский) is the Moscow Coordinator of the Russian democratic youth movement, Oborona (, in Moscow. Oborona is an active participant and organiser of the united opposition’s Marches of Dissent. In late 2007, Mr Kozlovsky was illegally drafted into the Russian Army. Following an international campaign in his support, he was finally released after 75 days in captivity. More information at

JEVGENI KRISHTAFOVITSH (Евгений Криштафович) is Chairman of the Board of the Estonian liberal youth organisation, Avatud Vabariik (Open Republic). The organisation monitors the development of Estonia’s education system and strives to engage youth to take an active part in society. Open Republic has more than 1,000 members. More information at

OLGA KURNOSOVA (Ольга Курносова) is Chairperson of the St Petersburg branch of the United Civic Front, led by Mr Garry Kasparov. Ms Kurnosova is member of the political council of the democratic opposition’s Solidarity movement ( and an active organiser of the Marches of Dissent in St Petersburg. She has faced regular harrassment from the authorities. More information at

KIRSTI LAINE (Кирсти Лайне) is Deputy Chairperson of Finland’s leading LGBT organisation, SETA, which has 19 member organisations throughout Finland. SETA, established in 1974, receives financial support from the Finnish Slot Machine Association (RAY), the Ministry of Education, and municipalities. More information at

VLADIMIR LINDERMAN (Владимир Линдерман) is Chairman of the National Bolshevik Party in Latvia. He is running for a seat in the European Parliament on the Za Rodina (For Homeland) party ticket. Mr Linderman is one of the main ideologues of the broader Russian opposition coalition. He was detained and deported to Latvia in March 2008, ahead of the Russian presidential elections.

YELENA MAGLEVANNAYA (Елена Маглеванная) works for the Volgograd-based newspaper Svobodnoye Slovo (“Free Word”) and collaborates with several human rights organisations in Russia. She has focused on cases of persecution against Chechens. On 12 May 2009, Ms Maglevannaya was found guilty of defamation after she released information about torture in a local prison. Her blog:

YULIA MALYSHEVA (Юлия Малышева) is a member of the municipal council in the Yaroslavskoe district of the Russian capital, Moscow, member of the presidium of the People’s Democratic Union of Russia, led by former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, and member of the political council of the democratic opposition’s Solidarity movement. Her blog:

ALEXEY NIKONOV (Алексей Никонов) is lead singer of the Russian punk band, Poslednie Tanki V Parizhe (“Last Tanks in Paris”), which was established in 1996 in Vyborg. PTVP has recorded six albums. The group’s leader, Mr Nikonov, is also known as a poet. He has published four collections of poems critical of societal institutions. More information at

KERKKO PAANANEN (Керкко Паананен) is Communications Secretary and Member of the Board of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum. He is a trade union representative of the Finnish Media Union ( In addition, Mr Paananen is the Information Secretary of the union branch, Grafinet (, and a personnel representative at Finnish media group Sanoma’s European Works Council.

GRIGORY PASKO (Григорий Пасько) is a free-lance journalist, specialising in environmentalist issues. As Editor of the newspaper of the Russian Pacific Fleet, “Boyevaya Vakhta”, Mr Pasko disclosed the dumping of nuclear waste into the sea, for which he was convicted to three years in prison. He has reported extensively on the Russian-German gas pipeline project, Nord Stream.

YELENA RYABININA (Елена Рябинина) is Director of the programme to assist political refugees from Central Asia of the Civic Assistance Committee, member of the Memorial human rights centre, and member of the Expert Council of the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation. She is a regular contributor to “Human Rights in Russia” ( More information at

YELENA SANNIKOVA (Елена Санникова) is a Moscow-based human rights defender. She was one of the last political prisoners of the USSR who was sentenced for publishing an undergound (“samizdat”) magazine. Ms Sannikova is an outspoken journalist and a regular contributor to Grani.Ru and The Daily Journal ( She voices her support for political prisoners in today’s Russia.

GULYA SULTANOVA (Гуля Султанова) is an activist of the St Petersburg-based LGBT organisation, Coming Out (Выход). The organisation was established in April 2008 following the Week against Homophobia in St Petersburg. Coming Out is a member of the Russian LGBT Network. More information at

JOHANNA SUURPÄÄ (Йоханна Суурпяя) is Finland’s current Ombudsman for Minorities, which is an independent authority located administratively within the Ministry of the Interior. The Ombudsman supervises compliance with the prohibition of ethnic discrimination under the Non-Discrimination Act and aims to prevent ethnic discrimination through public statements. More information at

NINA TAGANKINA (Нина Таганкина) is Executive Director of the Moscow Helsinki Group. She chaired the Nizhny Novgorod Society for Human Rights until her move to Moscow. The mission of MHG is to assist in observing the development of human rights and democracy in Russia. More information at

FATIMA TLISOVA (Фатима Тлисова) is an independent journalist from Russia’s North Caucasus who has worked for several Russian and international media. She was Fellow at Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University in 2008-2009. Tlisova has covered human rights abuses and freedom of speech issues in Russia as well as political and social developments in North Caucasus.

MIKHAIL TREPASHKIN (Михаил Трепашкин) is a Moscow attorney and former FSB colonel, who was imprisoned following his investigation into the Moscow apartment bombings in 1999. He was released in November 2007 with the expiration of his four-year prison term. Since his release, Mr Trepashkin has defended several people persecuted for their political activities. More information at

ISLAM TUMSOEV (Ислам Тумсоев) is a Chechen journalist and web administrator. Since 2000, he has worked on several websites supporting the Chechen struggle for independence as web administrator, journalist, and translator. Currently, he works for the magazine Kafkasya’nin Sesi (“Voice of the Caucasus”), which is published in Turkey, and for the Islamic news agency Kavkaz Center based in Sweden and Finland.


FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInVKWordPressBlogger PostLiveJournalTumblrTelegramWhatsAppSMSEmailGoogle GmailOutlook.comMail.RuPrintFriendly