We feel compelled to take as many Americans as possible to Russia in 2021.
WHY? Today most Americans assume that Russia and Putin are our “enemies.” Our U.S. media has increasingly denigrated Russia and demonized Putin for more than a dozen years. This has been patently dangerous. Given the nuclear weapons between us, all media and rumors must be investigated.
TRIP PLANS: We will take 100 Americans to Russia to explore the following:
What is Russia’s reality today? What do they think about their leadership? What are Russia’s intentions in the world? What issues are pushing our countries closer to nuclear war again and why? How to work with Russia as a rising power in our world? What are their concerns about relations with us? Finally, we need to know whether Russia is a threat to us, or not.
CO-LEADING: We are honored that Ambassador (ret.) Jack Matlock, our quintessential Ambassador, will co-lead our June 2021 delegation. Jack was the Ambassador to the USSR during President Reagan’s era. He created the strategy for the tense Reagan-Gorbachev meetings and still keeps a close eye on U.S.-Russia relations. He will give us morning lectures in Moscow and share insights with us throughout our fact-finding trip.
CCI’s INTENTION: To better understand the U.S.-Russia relationship and to make our research known to Congress members, business leaders, NGOs and fellow citizens, hopefully to stimulate wider debates among them all.
TRIP DATES: June 20 – July 5, 2021, if COVID permits; if not, we will shift to September.
MOSCOW EXPERT MEETINGS: Russian experts in ten different fields of expertise will provide two-hour lectures and Q&A’s with our group. They include former General Secretary and first President of Russia, Mikhail Gorbachev; Vladimir Pozner, Russia’s preeminent TV journalist; Vladimir Kozin, Leading Expert, Military-Political Studies Center, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and seven other experts TBA. Moscow days will be spent in discussions. Evenings we will explore Moscow with Russian friends. On June 25, we will board planes to Russia’s regions to continue our explorations.
REGIONAL CITIES: In dyads, triads and singles we will meet regional Russians for four days. We will live in hotels or homes, as each wishes. Local CCI coordinators will introduce us to their professionals, counterparts, millennials and youth. We will visit businesses, housing complexes, kindergartens, schools, NGOs, and all important, their World War II monuments, which every Russian city has. WWII left Russia a devastated nation with estimates from 20 to 27 million dead. We lost some 500,000 soldiers with no damage to our homeland. Regional TV and newspapers usually want interviews with our travelers. Today’s Russians, even those far from Moscow, are well informed, open and ready to discuss questions if asked in a good spirit. Plan to build relationships, share ideas about how to create better relations between our youth, citizens and leaders. We ask travelers to document their experiences and complete CCI’s questionnaires each day.
ST. PETERSBURG: Our first day will be a “Report Out” session. Sitting in two large circles facing each other, delegates will share their regional experiences, giving a wide variety of insights to the entire delegation. A videographer will record these sharings for YouTubes. Afterward, we will take a canal tour by boat at dusk. St. Petersburg offers inexhaustible choices starting with a city tour, Tsarist palaces, the Hermitage, Russian State Art Museum, private art galleries, elegant bridges, monuments, concerts, ballets, and the memorial to the “900 Day Siege of Leningrad.” We will meet with St. Petersburg’s entrepreneurs, professionals, millennials and students. Our Rotarians will visit with St. Petersburg Rotarians.
TRIP GOALS: To provide our travelers a 360-degree view of Russia with a wealth of personal encounters with which to ask questions, to comprehend the likenesses and differences between our two peoples and societies, all the while learning from the wisdom of the group through interactions. The most important question for us all is, “How can we bring these two nations closer together in the near future to avoid worldwide cataclysm?” During this process who knows what great ideas may emerge!
COSTS: We offer low-economy for students, regular economy, mid-priced and 1st-class options. Trip costs range from $3200 to $8000, depending on choices of airfare, hotels and lengths of stay. A bilingual PR specialist in addition to our videographer will travel with us to document our experiences for later media and educational purposes.
HISTORY: CCI was born in the early 1980’s when a tiny group of U.S. citizens in California feared that our nation was headed toward a Nuclear War with the USSR. We felt it critical to go to see the “Enemy.” See our history at ccisf.org.
Since 1983, CCI has created numerous multi-year programs across Russia that have supported the training and development of thousands of Russian entrepreneurs and NGO developers across 11 time zones. This explains why we have access to many Russians who are glad to meet our U.S. delegates.
Click here to see CCI’s official 2021 trip flyer.
Click here for CCI’s application for the June/July 2021 trip. (The CCI application will be downloaded to your computer where you can open it as a Word document)
If you have questions about the trip or the work of Center for Citizen Initiatives, email Sharon Tennison at sharon [at] ccisf.org.