Recently, the Federation Council suggested introducing a "stop-list" for foreign NGOs in Russia that either implement political tasks to the benefit of foreign states or finance Russian NGOs for the same purpose.
The issue of "political NGOs" has become relevant again lately. It was about the story of Dynasty Foundation, which the Russian Justice Ministry labeled as a "foreign agent". In addition, President Putin made a speech in the Public Chamber, where he spoke about political NGOs, separating them from the part of the "third sector" that deals with social problems.
Let's take a look at well-known political NGOs. Many of them do not work in Russia officially anymore. However, there are organizations that still work on the territory of the Russian Federation, such as The Council for International Research and Exchanges, or IREX.
The organization was created in 1968 to oversee exchange issues between the United States, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union within the scope of educational, scientific and socio-political programs. IREX really can hardly be called a "non-profit organization. Officially, the organization is registered as an independent foundation. In fact, the lion's share of its annual financial turnover - about $60 million - consists of funding from the USAID and the Office for Culture and Education of the US State Department.
In some countries of the former Soviet Union - Belarus, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan - the work of this NGO has been officially banned "for anti-state and anti-government activities." In Russia, IREX focuses on journalists and media. A recent report from the organization about mass media in Russia is very eloquent: "We see an example of Kremlin's total control of national television stations and the press."
On this occasion, IREX has a "training of journalists" program in Russia, so that they write "correct news" and provide information the "right way."
Generally, IREX targets humanitarian personnel in the countries with "emerging democracies." That is, in fact, the organization is preparing platforms for color revolutions, to establish US-loyal political regimes.
American Councils for International Education is another similar organization, funded by the US State Department. The fund was established in the first half of the 1970s, specifically to manage research and educational programs in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
In 2006, a US citizen of 27 years of age, James Matthew Dirmon, decided to improve his knowledge of the Russian language. American Councils for International Education sent him to the city of Vladimir. During his entire stay in Russia, Dirmon was collecting specific information, for example, about Russia's migration legislation. He studied and analyzed the appearance of interethnic conflicts in Russia and corruption in the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation.
The young man did not receive specific instructions of what he was actually doing. He went straight to the Migration Service in Vladimir and asked for a report on migration in the past five years. As a result, Dirmon was invited for an interview, where he said a lot about his work with American Councils, about the ties of the organization with diplomats and politicians in Russia and the former Soviet Union and about the interest of the organization in Russia's Far East and Siberia.
The USA is not the only country that promotes its interests in Russia. The UK invests for the same purposes too by introducing its own NGOs. For example, there is the British Council working in Russia, a non-ministerial department of the government of Great Britain. That is, the gentlemen do not even hide that they are a public service. The organization works to spread British culture in the world.
Noteworthy, the names of many employees of the British Council were put on the list of secret agents of British intelligence working abroad. It goes about the so-called "Tomlinson List." In Russia, there was only one office of the British Council left - in Moscow. Yet, the organization is much more active in Ukraine. The official goal is to teach Ukrainians English. However, a bit more than one thousand Ukrainian officers and employees of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry have taken part in "Peacekeeping English" program since 2008.
Separate political parties promote their interests in Russia via NGOs as well. The most straightforward one of them is the International Republican Institute. The head of the fund is Senator John McCain; the organization is financed by the Government and the Congress of the United States. Officially, the organization has no party affiliation, but most of the staff are members of the Republican Party. The organization says that its mission is to bring democracy to the world. The fund works with political parties, officials and state system of foreign countries.
In Russia, IRI works since 1992. The fund actively participated in the events of 1993 on the side of Yeltsin and his team, of course. During the Cold War, the fund was involved in several coups in Latin America. Generally speaking, the organization works to arrange color revolutions without hiding its goals. This is not surprising at all as its chief is Senator John McCain. He is definitely an enemy of Russia, but he is a straightforward man, who remains alien to subtle diplomacy.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a much talked-about organization. This is a fully politicized organization funded officially and publicly by US Congress. The NED is closely related to US foreign intelligence. In Russia, the NED is banned, but it still funds Russian NGOs. In 2014, Russian foreign agents received more than 40 million rubles from the NED. The money is transferred "to develop democracy and civil society to teach protest action techniques to politicians and public figures.
Noteworthy, it is considered a crime in several countries to receive finance from the NED.
We can not but mention the Soros Foundation. This structure, like NED, is widely known in Russia, although it has not been working in Russia for years. More specifically, the work of the Fund in Russia was discontinued in 2003. Yet, the fund created a network of NGOs that now work without direct participation of the parent organization, at least on an official level. From 2013 to 2015, the Soros Foundation wired more than 250 million rubles on accounts of "foreign agents" in Russia.
This is only a small part of foreign funds that invest in socio-political organizations in Russia. All of them invest their funds to promote specific political and ideological interests. One can see now that the "humanitarian work" of American and British philanthropists leads to humanitarian catastrophes, rather than achievements: think about the bombings of civilians in the Donbass and the total collapse of the Ukrainian statehood.
Therefore, developing protective measures is a question of Russia's national security.
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