January 01, 2022

Undesirable Outcome

Last spring the Vermont nonprofit Project Harmony (PH International) was placed on the Russian government’s list of undesirable organizations. Apparently, a Russian nonprofit it supported was suddenly added to the Russian government’s list of “foreign agents” (see story, page 6).

Project Harmony was started by three good friends of mine back in 1986, at the height of the Cold War. We met in 1989 and I had the honor of serving on PH’s board of directors for 15 years. One of PH’s founders, David Kelley, cofounded this publishing company with me in 1990. It’s why we ended up in Vermont, actually, and our first offices were in their back room.

From the get-go, PH was all about citizen diplomacy – conducting student exchange programs, specifically choir exchanges. The US side would raise money for a trip of high school students to the USSR, and the funds raised would be enough to fund the future trip of Soviet students to the US.

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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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