OTTAWA, ON (August 22, 2022): Russian media are reporting that the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, alongside the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and Ukrainian National Federation of Canada, have been added to the Russian Ministry of Justice’s list of “foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities are recognized as undesirable in Russia.”
These sanctions effectively bar MLI, UCC, and UNF Canada from operating in Russia. This latest action from Russia is but the most recent in a series; Russian officials have already sanctioned six MLI fellows – including Chris Alexander, Charles Burton, Balkan Devlen, Marcus Kolga, Shuvaloy Majumdar, and Richard Shimooka – while UCC staff and board members were similarly targeted. We are among only 65 groups outside of Russia who have been blacklisted in this way.
According to MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley, “to be singled out among thousands of activists, human rights organizations, media commentators, politicians, professors, think tanks, and other civil society organizations and contributors speaks to a fundamental truth: Russia believes that the work of MLI is so effective that it must be specifically targeted by the regime.”
MLI’s work on Russia’s illegal and unconscionable invasion of Ukraine has included hundreds of comments and mentions in the media, several webinar and high-level roundtable events, op-eds in major national papers, world-class commentaries, and much more. “That Putin finds MLI ‘undesirable’ is proof that our work is invaluable,” adds Crowley.
“Russia has routinely demonstrated its willingness to target regime critics,” says MLI Senior Fellow Marcus Kolga. “Ottawa must ensure that civil society organizations and human rights activists are adequately protected from foreign interference and intimidation.”
MLI Senior Fellow and Foreign Policy Director Shuvaloy Majumdar further notes that “we will not rest until Ukraine is restored, from Kharkiv to the Donbas, from Mariupol to Crimea. And we will not be deterred by the Kremlin’s threats and intimidation. Slava Ukraini.”
Sanctions from the Kremlin and other authoritarians serve as badges of honour that prove the effectiveness of our work and the impact of our experts.
To learn more about MLI’s work in promoting Canada’s interests in the face of Russian aggression, read our previous releases:
- Majumdar, Devlen, and Shimooka recognized as MLI’s latest additions to Kremlin “Stop List”
- MLI Senior Fellow Marcus Kolga recognized in Kremlin’s “blacklist”
- MLI Senior Fellow Charles Burton added to Russian sanctions list
For more information, media are invited to contact:
Communications and Digital Media Manager