Sustaining the Momentum: Countering Kleptocracy in Russia and Beyond

13 October 2022  02:00 - 03:30

Virtual Event | Organised by NED National Endowment for Democracy | Held in Washington DC in English
Defending against authoritarianism
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Please join the International Forum for a conversation with Shannon N. GreenNikita Kulachenkov, Nate Sibley, and Paul Massaro on how to sustain momentum in the battle against kleptocracy after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite the dramatic and unified response sanctioning Russian oligarchs at the outset of the invasion, it is no longer clear whether bold words will lead to necessary actions to finish the fight against kleptocracy that fueled the conflict and are at the heart of the corrosive engagement pursued by autocratic regimes around the world. As the conflict continues and winter approaches, inflation, refugees, and energy shortages will surely test this unity.

The democratic community has called for increasing transparency in the U.S. financial sector, leveraging sanctions against malign actors, and connecting anti-kleptocracy across sectors with promising first steps. The Biden Administration released a presidential memorandum identifying corruption as a core national security threat, the U.S. Agency for International Development launched the Dekleptification Guide: Seizing Windows of Opportunity to Dismantle Kleptocracy, and legislation is pending on Capitol Hill focusing on the professions in open societies that enable kleptocrats to hide their illicit resources. Ahead of the next Summit for Democracy in 2023, how can democracies sustain the momentum against kleptocracy and build comprehensive strategies to address this critical global challenge?


Shannon N. Green serves as senior advisor to the Administrator and executive director of the Anti-Corruption Task Force with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Previously, she was the senior director of Programs at the Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) as well as the director and senior fellow of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS, Green was the senior director for Global Engagement on the National Security Council. For nearly a decade, Shannon led strategic planning, program design, and policy engagement at USAID.

Nikita Kulachenkov is a forensic accountant and political activist fighting against corruption in the Russian government. In 2016, Kulachenkov was detained at an airport in Cyprus and targeted by Russian authorities. His parents’ apartment in Moscow was raided by police in connection to a photograph authorities claimed had been stolen in the city of Vladimir, an accusation widely believed to be politically motivated. This form of political targeting forced Kulachenkov to relocate to Lithuania, where he sought asylum. He continues to be politically active today tracing assets of sanctioned individuals and violations of sanctions.

Nate Sibley is a research fellow at Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative. His research explores how authoritarian corruption is reshaping global politics and security. He has worked closely with successive administrations and Congress to advance policies that safeguard the U.S. financial system, target corrupt adversarial regimes, and promote American global leadership. Sibley is co-author of three Hudson reports and has been published in the Wall Street JournalWashington Post, Foreign Policy, among others. His media appearances include the BBC and CNN, as well as hosting Hudson’s award-winning Making a Killing podcast.

Paul Massaro is the senior policy advisor for counter-corruption and sanctions with the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). His work has advanced the recognition of corruption as a national security threat. He has worked on over 13 pieces of counter-corruption legislation and facilitated the founding of the Congressional Caucus against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance against Kleptocracy. Massaro is regularly quoted and published by major media outlets such as the New York TimesWashington PostPOLITICO, and Foreign Policy, and he speaks frequently on panels, podcasts, and broadcasts about corruption, sanctions, and European security policy.