Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pro-Kremlin "Think Tank" in New York Shuts Down

From Rosie Gray at Buzzfeed:
A pro-Kremlin think tank based in New York City is shutting down, an official with the group told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.
“I can confirm that the Institute is closing its operations,” Nikolay Pakhomov, an associate at the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, said.
Russian news site Gazeta.ru reported on Sunday that the organization is shutting down and that its director, Andranik Migranyan, is returning to Russia. Migranyan told the site that the group is stopping its work because its mission of monitoring human rights in the U.S. has been “accomplished,” because “The human rights situation has improved in the United States.” The institute would publish reports detailing human rights issues in the U.S. Sources told Gazeta that the institute was in fact closing its doors due to a lack of financing.
Migranyan used the institute to function as a kind of unofficial spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government. Migranyan told the Associated Press in 2008 that the creation of the institute had been approved by the Kremlin, but that it was funded privately through business donations.

The Institute for Democracy and Cooperation in New York is not to be confused with a different think tank in Paris with the same name.  Both were funded by the same Russian lawyer and a group of NGOs but have since gone their separate ways.