Dr. Sergei Kambalov, former Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development, appeared at the Pawling Library for his lecture, “Russia: Adversary or Partner to the US,” on Tuesday, December 18. His presentation was a condensed version of a course he teaches at the University of Connecticut.
Much of the information he shared was his own opinion and views. Dr. Kambalov, who grew up in Siberia, interjected a bit a humor between serious topics and jokingly spoke of the Siberian winter: “When they say it’s cold outside – it’s cold outside.”
In 2010, Dr. Kambalov retired after serving in the UN for 21 years and now lives happily in a secluded wooded area in Connecticut that he calls ‘the middle of nowhere.’ Many in attendance found this fact amusing, coming from a person who once lived in Siberia.
As for international politics he said, “Nothing is purely black or purely white. Everything is a shade of gray.” Dr. Kambalov spoke about possible Russian interference in the United States elections. “One problem is: Was there collision by the Trump campaign and government with any foreign government? If there was, this is very serious.” He asked, “Was there hacking into the United States political process and social media by outsiders?” Dr. Kambalov is certain there was by not only some Russian hackers, but also hackers from China, North Korea, and other countries. “Everybody does all the time,” he said. “The big question here is: Was this hacking done by the Russian government, or was it Russian individuals who may have used Facebook, Twitter, and so on to spread fake news, or whatever it was. Do we know the answer? I don’t.”
Nearing 8:30 in the evening, Dr. Kambalov concluded his lecture and received great applause. He had so much information to share, but there was simply not enough time. A member from the audience turned to ask, “Can you arrange that he comes back two or three times?” Dr. Kambalov responded with a smile, “I’m available.”
This presentation was made possible by the United Nations Association of Connecticut.
Donald Partelow is the Adult Programming Coordinator at the Pawling Free Library.