Letter regarding NY Senate resolution on the Immortal Regiment Marches

New York State Senate
Capitol Building
Empire State Plaza, Albany
New York, 12224

September 12, 2018

Dear Senators,

This letter is in response to a passing of New York State Senate Resolution J4960, commemorating the 4th Annual New York Immortal Regiment March organized by the Russian Youth of America on May 5, 2018.

We, the undersigned, American citizens and residents are profoundly concerned by Resolution J4960 passed on May 8, 2018 by the New York State Senate, that commemorates the 4th Annual New York Immortal Regiment March and the Russian Youth of America that organizes this event in New York City.

We have all reasons to think that the Immortal Regiment March in the U.S. is backed by the Russian government via financial and informational support. Moreover, it serves as an instrument of the Kremlin’s “soft power” – economic and cultural influence to promote Putin’s agenda in the United States.

While the Immortal Regiment March began as a nonpolitical private grassroots initiative in Russia in 2011, it was soon hijacked by the Russian government to serve official propaganda efforts that praises Russian military victories. The aggressiveness and ideological orientation of the marches manifest themselves through effective visual symbols, most recognizably the St. George ribbon. This ribbon has recently became a symbol of Russian backed troops in Eastern Ukraine. As well as pro-Kremlin organizations, such as AntiMaidan, NOD and SERB that attack pro-democracy activists in Russia. Thereafter, the Immortal Regiment March was effectively transplanted abroad via organizations like the Russian Youth of America, and gained popularity in many parts of the U.S., including cities in N.Y. State. Russian Youth of America has direct connections to the Russian embassy in the U.S. and Russian Foreign Ministry. It is being used by Kremlin as an enlistment vehicle for Russian-language diaspora in their propaganda efforts against the West in order to mask aggressive Russian expansionism.

The Immortal Regiment March manifests its true nature by using flags and banners representing the Russian Federation as an exclusive participant in the fight against Nazism. It neglects the important role of its Western allies as well as many other nationalities of the former Soviet Union, which participated in the WWII, and perpetuates the image of WWII as “The Great Patriotic War.” The endorsement of the Senate’s Resolution J4960 helps legitimize these myths, disallowing the true history of the WWII.

The Senate’s Resolution J4960 was passed in the midst of debates about the massive interference of the Russian Federation in America’s elections and political life. Recognition by the New York State Senate of the Kremlin-financed Russian Youth of America and the Annual Immortal Regiment March offers unambiguous and inexplicable support of the hybrid war against the United States. The Senate thereby, unknowingly and unintentionally, played a role in the effort to spread Russian propaganda message.

We believe that the senators have been misinformed when adopted the resolution J4960. Therefore, we are kindly requesting to stop supporting Russian government’s initiatives in the United States. This includes any initiative connected with Immortal Regiment that uses offensive, militaristic, and chauvinistic symbols. Symbols, which are forbidden in some NATO countries as well as in Ukraine, and Georgia.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Alexander Ivanov, on behalf of the following signatories:

Irina Abarinova, Journalist, New York, NY
Joseph Adelsky, PhD in polymer chemistry, retired, New York, NY
Igor Aizenberg, Professor and Department Chair, Manhattan College, Bronx, NY
Irina Akc, Russian poet and journalist, NY
Alisher Aliev, HVAC installer, helper, Philadelphia PA
Leonid Aptekar, Senior IT professional at major financial companies, retired, Staten Island, NY
Oleg Asaulenko, Chief Cameraman at RTN Channel, documentary filmmaker, photographer, Brooklyn, NY
Karina Avanesian-Weinstein, pianist, Instructor AT Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, IN
Michael Berg, Center Associative scientist at Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, MA
Michael Bernadsky, NYPD officer. Brooklyn, NY
Lilia Bilyaletdinova, Homestay mom, Wilmington, DE
Rustem Bilyaletdinov, Courier, packer, driver, Wilmington, DE
Yakov Brayer, Senior IT professional at major Financial organization, New York, NY
Vladimir Davidenko, Artist, Brooklyn, NY
Serge Davydov, PhD of Chemical Engineering, Retired, Rockville MD
Regina Davydova, Travel consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Lev Deych, PhD. Professor of Physics at Queens College of CUNY, New York, NY
Eugenia Dimant, Library Assistant, Widener Library, Harvard University. Boston, MA.
Ksenia Doliakova, Self-emloyed, Philadelphia, PA
Andrey Dolyakov, Tower Technician, Philadelphia, PA
Nina Doliakova, Music teacher, Violinist, Honored Musician of Russia, Philadelphia, PA
Katherine Dovlatov, Translator, editor, manager of the Dovlatov estate, Forest Hills, NY
Elena Dubinets, VP at Seattle Symphony, Bellevue, WA
Sergey Dubinets, Senior software engineer at Microsoft, Bellevue, WA
Konstantin Dubinets, Senior Software Engineer, New York, NY
Yuri Elson, IT Security Consultant, NJ
Alex Ferenets, Self-employed businessman, Boca Raton FL
Valeriia Ferenets, Self-employed businessperson, Boca Raton FL
Anzhelina Fesun (Zeppieri), Travel consultant, Queens, NY
Alexander J Flint, Blogger, columnist, NY
Vladlen Fridman The author of “HEM Nanoconcrete” technology, retiree, Blakeslee, PA
Igor Frolov, IT Professional, Lead Developer, Ivyland, PA
Yevgenia Frumin, Real Estate Specialist, Miami Beach, FL
Tatiana Gaines, ESL Instructor, Bethel Board of education, CT
Tetyana Galushka, Housewife, Philadelphia, PA
Dmitry Garanin, Professor of Physics at Lehman College of the CUNY, Russian poet and essayist, NY
Alim Gelyastanov, Data analyst, Austin, TX
Anna Georgiyan, Brooklyn, NY
Irina Genseruk, Home Certified Professional inspector CPI, Live On Air Radio host, Philadelphia, PA
Vitaliy Genseruk, Independent registered Contractor HVAC, Philadelphia, PA
Olga Gilpatrick, Speech-Language Pathologist, M.S., CCC-SLP, Brooklyn, NY
Lyosha Gorshkov, PhD, Co-President, RUSA LGBT, New York, NY
Natalya Granovskaya, Sommelier, Philadlphia, PA
Helen Groysman, IT professional, NJ
Tamara Gruzbarg, Big Data Specialist, Head of Industry Insights at ActionIQ, New York, NY
Vladimir Gurin, Professor, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Co-Founder and President of Russian-American Music Association, Boston, MA
Alexander Ivanov, MBA in Finance and Investment, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, Senior Accountant, New York, NY
Pavel Ivlev, Executive director of KRES Poliskola Russian-Speaking School, New-York, NY
Yury Kalinin, Freight Forwarding, Clark, NJ
Rustam Karimov, The Head of sales, Philadelphia, PA
Alexander Kashapov, Musician, journalist, observer at Radio Philadelphia 106,5 FM, Philadelphia, PA
Ivan Khlopchyshyn, Construction professional, Philadelphia, PA
Alexandra Khristitch. Office manager, Philadelphia, PA
Boris Khurgin, Fencing Coach, US National Cadet and Junior Coach at World Championship 2008, NY
Eugene Koblents, Self employed tour guide, St Louis, MO
Rodion Kolesnikov, PhD, MBA, Business Improvement Expert, Brooklyn, NY
Victoria Kolesnikova, PhD, DVM, Veterinary Doctor, Brooklyn, NY
Andrii Kolesnyk, Real estate agent, contractor, Bayonne, NJ
Nelia Kolesnyk, Teacher, Bayonne, NJ
Vitaliy Konnov, Asst. Vice President in Barclays Capital, PhD in Mech. Engineering, retired, New York, NY
Andrey Kostyul, IT professional, Staten Island, NY
Svetlana Kostyuk, Doctor physician, Staten Island, NY
Alex Kuzmin, Member of the Anti-Putin movement, Staten Island, NY
Valeriya Kuzmina, Businesswoman, Staten Island, NY
Elena Larchenko, VNSNY, HCC business development, Home Care Consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Dora Lauren, Senior Business Analyst and Data Analyst, Express Scripts, Fair Lawn, NJ
Igor Lauren, Senior quantitative analyst, DTCC, Fair Lawn, NJ
Alisa Lavrentyeva, Office & Facilities Manager, Boston, MA
Miron Leznik, Senior IT Professional, West Milford, NJ
Eugene Linetsky, Blogger, columnist, Staten Island, NY
Pavel Litvinov, Member of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, veteran of Soviet human rights movement, NY
Yury Loginov, Registered nurse, Brooklyn, NY
Dordzhi Mandzhiev, Sale manager in Petrovsky Market, Philadelphia, PA
Yelena Makhnin. Brooklyn NY
Alexander Malygin, Self-employed sales person, Philadelphia, PA
Leonid S. Martynyuk, Author, investigative journalist, co-author with Boris Nemtsov, NY
Alexander Mikishev, Professor at Sam Houston State University and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Houston, TX
Gretta Miller. Fashion designer, Brooklyn, NY
Anna Nayfeld, Lawyer, Morganville, NJ
Natasha Novitskaia-Adams, Award winning opera singer, dramatic mezzo, New York, NY
Evgeny Novozhilov, QA engineer, North Hollywood, CA
Julia Novozhilova, QA analyst, North Hollywood, CA
Alexandra Odesska, Brooklyn, NY
Mikhail Oganov, CAMS technician, WA
Boris Palant, Attorney at Law, the first President of the American Association of Russian-Speaking Attorneys, lecturer, New York, NY
Eric Pervukhin, Professor at Missouri State University, Master of Fine Arts, Director of MFA program, Springfield, MO
Natalia Pervukhin, Professor at the University of Tennessee, PhD, author, Knoxville, TN
Alexandre Peshansky, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Lead Bioinformatics Analyst, Emerson, NJ
Liudmila Poliakoff, Manager, Business Development Manager at IT ERP-Projects, retired, New York, NY
Elena Prigova, Journalist, owner of advertising agency, Staten Island, NY
Valeriy Privis, Entrepreneur, Miami, FL
Yuri Rashkin, Blogger, broadcaster, instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Rock County Supervisor, interpreter, WI
Vladimir Raskin, Senior Environmental Engineer, Philadelphia, PA
Vitaly Rozenshain, Sr. Construction Cost Consultant/Civil Engineer, retired, Brooklyn, NY
Evgeny Salnikov, Principal Robotics Engineer, Amazon, Seattle WA
Nikolay Sergeevykh, psychotherapist in private practice, Baltimore, MD
Nina Serova, Musician and Piano Teacher, Los Angeles, CA
Boris Shapiro, Ph.D. in Electric Power, Executive Consultant in Energy Economics, Boston, MA
Alena Sharenda, Self employed handmade stuff teacher Philadelphia, PA
Eugeniy Sheer, Emergency care doctor, retired, Brooklyn. NY
Dmitriy M. Shenker, RA, AIA, Director of Architects Council of NYC, Brooklyn, NY
Larissa Shenker, Research Scientist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Svetlana Shestopal, Psychologist, Los Angeles, СА
Yulia Shilnova, Sales representative, NY
Katia Shraga, Philologist, museum and exhibit content developer, archivist, Columbia University, New York, NY
Tetyana Sirman, Preschool director, Brooklyn, NY
Helen Skorodinsky, Client Service Associate, New York, NY
Serge Skorodinsky, Software/hardware engineer, Brooklyn, NY
Sofya Slavina, Senior Database Analyst, Enterprise Data Architect, New York, NY
Irina Smirnova, Senior Software Engineer, Houston, TX
Leonid Soroka, Retired Engineer, Stanford University, Sunnyvale, CA
Lora Soroka, Assistant Archivist, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Sunnyvale, CA
Inessa Soybel, Engineer, retired, Atlanta GA
Yelena Starostenko, Accountant, payroll coordinator, JVS of Metro Detroit, MI
Natalia Stepanenko, Medical Billing and Collection Specialist, New York, NY
Andrey Stolyarov, IT Engineer , Philadelphia, PA
Tatyana Stolyarova, Manager, Psychologist, Accountant-economist, Philadelphia, PA
Galina Strukova, Physicist, North Potomac, MD
Inna Subotin, MSW, psychotherapist at Advanced Center for Psychotherapy, Forest Hills, NY
Gary Yuri Tabach, Captain at U.S. Navy, Philadelphia, PA
Yulia Timashpolsky, MD, New York, NY
Leonid Timashpolsky, MD, New York, NY
Anzhelika Tkachenko , Chemist, Staten Island, NY
Yuri Tkachenko, CAD operator, Staten Island, NY
Roman Tsiroulnik, IT professional, Los Angeles, CA
Evgenii Tumbusov, Self-employed businessman, Aventura, FL
Dmitry Valuev, Community Development and Outreach Coordinator, Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Nadia Valueva, Community Development and Outreach Coordinator, Free Russia Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Irene Vesne, Business banker at Santander Bank, NY
Alexander Vinitsky, PhD, Affina Biotechnologies, President, New York, NY
Boris Vladimirov, Vice President, Merrill Lynch Bank of America, retired, NY
Alexander Weitsman, IT Manager, New York, NY
Alexandra Yarmak, Radiologic technologist, VA Medical Center, New York, NY
Igor Yarmak, Senior IT professional, New York, NY
Inna Yaroslavsky, Mathematician, Mathematics Professor of Mathematics at West Valley College, retired, San Jose, CA
Igor Yevmenenko, Manager at the New York City Transit Authority, NY
Dmitrii Zagornyi, Manager in Carolina Logistic Company, Asheville, NC
Alexander Zaporozhtsev, Sports trainer, human rights activist, Brooklyn, NY
Yulia Zaporozhtseva, Science teacher, Brooklyn, NY
Ilya Zaslavskiy, Head of Research, Free Russia Foundation, Washington, DC
Alla Zeide, Cultural historian of Post-Revolutionary Russian emigration, New York, NY
Nina Zheltova, PhD in Economics, retired, NY
Yana Karlson, Scientific employer, Brooklyn, NY
Peter Fayn, retired, New York, NY
Ekaterina Guryanova, office manager, Closter, NJ
Alexander Lichtman, Math professor in the University of Wisconsin, Retired, Madison, WI
Dmitri Daniel Glinski, Nonprofit management professional; President & CEO, Russian-speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc. (RCCMB), New York, NY
Igor Kokarev, AWFF, Advisory Board Member, Santa Monica , CA
Ilya Tarasenko, Business owner, Sherman oaks, CA
Eugene Savitski, Programmer, Briarwood, NY
Oleg Svechkov, Business Consultant, Brooklyn, NY
Boris Koltsov, Journalist, Palisades Park, NJ
Roman Bogatikov, Mathematics teacher, Milford, CT
Anna Meschansky, Attorney, Boston, MA
Arthur Tkachenko, Finance, Staten Island, NY
Igor Korelov, LLC, Pittsburg, CA
Dmitrii Sorokin, Radio host, New York, NY
Isabelle Gusev, Scientist, Boston, MA
Ruban Apkaryan, Self employed, Brooklyn. NY
Natalia Ukrainska, Waitress, Singer, conductor, Oakland, CA
Boris Khurgin, Coach, Roslyn Heights, NY
Alexander Guretsky, Business, Bellevue WA
Anatoliy Ryvkin, Producer, Manhattan Business TV, NY
Ludmilla Kashutskaya, Freelancer, Las Vegas, NV
Elena Sklyar, Notary public, Richboro, PA
Olga Zabelina, Asylum, Guam
Nina Arshavsky, Researcher, Chapel Hill, NC
Valery Tydykov, Principal Software Architect, Newton, MA
Tatyana Shapiro, Sr. Business Systems Analyst, Ph.D, PMP, CBAP, Boston, MA
Maya Brodotskaya, classical musician, Chicago, IL
Maria Mafter, Teacher, Brooklyn, NY
Zakhar Leventul, Sr. System Engineer, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Brooklyn, NY
Elena Malimenkova, Lead Revenue Analyst, New York, NY
Peter Goldberg, Director, computer programming, New York, NY
Anatoly Zayaruzny, Retired, Cheshire, CT
Viktor Stolyarov, operator, Verona, NJ
Leonid Brodskiy, test technichian, Germantown, MD
Alona Yantunen, Cosmetologist, Brooklyn, NY
Igor Kuznetsov, Attorney, New York, NY
Tamila Savitskaya, RN, Staten Island, NY
Alexandra Odesska, Optician, Brooklyn, NY
Boris Gmiryansky, Engineer, Huntingdon Valley, PA
Vadim Baranovsky, Computer Technician, Brooklyn, NY
Edward Sorsher, web developer, New York, NY
Alex Kruze, Professional Driver, DE
Nikoloz Chkheidze, Medical Doctor, CEO, New York, NY
Tatyana Chernetskay, Business Analyst, Fair Lawn, NJ
Ethel Blumenthal, computer programmer, New York, NY
Aleksandr Koltunov, teacher, Valley Stream, NY
Dmytro Topchiy, Banking, Brooklyn, NY
Alex Klekovkin, Engineer, Johnstown, PA
Jacob Glozman, Engineer, Saint Paul, MN
Yury Loginov, Registered Nurse, Brooklyn, NY
Pavel Roshenets, Sculptor, Fairfield CTNY, NY
Roman Shipkevich, HAA, Brooklyn New York
Gleb Latnik, RUSA LGBT DC: President, Magnitsky Act Initiative: program director, Washington, DC
Serge Butovsky, Self-employed, Baltimore, MD
Dennis Bushmitch, Engineer, Somerset, NJ
Michael Levitian, Information Technology, Partner, Delray Beach, FL
Lyuba Serednyak, Graphic Designer, Journalist, Bronx, NY
Oleg Tomilin, Teacher, Washington, DC
Artur Bakhtriger, Senior, Philadelphia, PA
Yakov Nenaydykh, Professional Engineer, Executive VP, Milwaukee, WI

* * *

This letter was sent to:

Kathy C. Hochul, President of the Senate/Lieutenant Governor
John J. Flanagan, Republican majority leader
John DeFrancisco, Deputy Senate Majority Leader
Carl L. Marcellino, Majority Whip
Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Democratic Conference leader
Andrew Joseph Lanza, Assistant Majority Whip
Carl Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Pete King (Peter Thomas King), Congressman, member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
Kathleen Rice, Congresswoman, Ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, member of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
Dan Donovan, Congressman, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee
Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee
Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senate Minority Leader

Read more: “Hybrid Was Strike. Russian Militarism in Your City”

Based on the report by Zarina Zabrisky, American investigative journalist