Putin is the Best Hope for Russian Liberalism:
Mary Dejevsky, regular columnist and chief editorial writer for The Independent; Michael Binyon, former Moscow correspondent for The Times and author of Life in Russia; and Christopher Granville, Chief Strategist at United Financial Group, the leading Russian investment bank, spoke for the motion.
Dr. Boris Berezovsky, former adviser to President Yeltsin and Deputy Head of Russia's Security Council; Dr. Alex Pravda, Director of the Russian & Eurasian Studies Centre at St Antony's College, Oxford; and Andrew Jack, author of Inside Putin's Russia, spoke against the motion.
The debate, held on May 25, 2005, was chaired by Edward Lucas, foreign correspondent in Eastern Europe from 1988-2002, and most recently Moscow bureau chief for the Economist.
Intelligence Squared is London's leading forum for live debate, holding regular debates on the crucial issues of the day and inviting the leading intellectual and political lights on the given subject to participate in them. The format of the debates is modeled on the one employed at the Oxford and Cambridge university Unions: a challenging, sharply defined motion; a team of speakers to propose the motion and a like number to oppose it; and a moderator to keep the speakers and the audience in order and force everyone to stick to the issues. After the main speeches and before summation, contributions are asked from the floor: audience participation is a key feature of the occasion, providing a rare opportunity for the public to voice their opinions and to challenge those of the speakers. A vote is taken before the debate begins and then again at the end so as to give a measure, often a very dramatic one, of the extent to which the audience has been swayed by the oratory and arguments of the speakers in the course of the evening.