The first congress of “foreign agents,” was held in Berlin on February 2-3.

Eurasianet reports that the event brought together 130 individuals each branded by the current Russian government as being tools of foreign influence.  

Like their Marxist predecessors in 1903, the assembled foreign agents in Berlin reportedly engaged in messy, meandering debates on a variety of issues, aiming to develop a coordinated action plan to bring about political change in Russia.  

In the end, the congress adopted a declaration outlining two strategic aims: ending the war in Ukraine and dismantling Putin’s smothering political system.

“Power in Russia has been usurped by a corrupt regime led by a man who long ago lost his legitimacy. … Putin’s regime is depriving the country of its future. He's depriving her of her past: officially approved lies about the country's history permeate everything.  We strive to protect the real interests of Russia, not those invented by Putin” the declaration read, according to Eurasianet.  

Beyond expressing the lofty desire of bringing rule-of-law and peace to their homeland, the foreign agents’ declaration reportedly contained little about practical steps to achieve their goals.  Participants couldn’t agree on the creation of a mechanism to implement their agenda.  Indeed, it often appeared they weren’t on the same page, in terms of the congress’ significance and participants’ role in trying to influence Russia’s political course.

Some clearly saw the congress as a launch pad for a coordinated opposition movement.

Many participants reportedly said they had little input into the wording of the final declaration, which was drafted by a small group of congress organizers.