University of Pittsburgh

Ronald Brand Quoted in Time Magazine Article about Chief Advocate of Russian Ban on American Adoptions

Professor Recalls Commissar’s Time at Pitt Law
Publish Date/Time: 
February 8, 2013

Ronald Brand, Pitt Law professor and director of the Center for International Legal Education, served as a kind of liaison back in 2001 when then Congressman John Peterson (R-PA) paved the way for Russian lawyer Pavel Astakhov to attend Pitt Law as an LL.M. student. Only one year earlier—the same year Vladimir Putin had become president of Russia—Astakhov had made a name for himself while representing Edmond Pope, a Pennsylvania resident and the first American in 40 years to be put on trial in Russia for espionage. Pope’s defense team lost the case, but after Putin granted him a pardon, the congressman was grateful for the role the young lawyer had played in bringing Pope home.

Brand recalls keeping tabs on Astakhov (who refers to Brand as a mentor and “professor from God”) in a Feb. 5 Time magazine article titled “Putin’s Commissar to Protect Russian Orphans—from Americans.” The article, written by Moscow correspondent Simon Shuster, focuses on Astakhov, who later would become the Kremlin commissar for children’s rights—the most senior official in charge of advocating for Russia’s recent ban on American adoptions of Russian children.

Read the entire Time magazine article here.

(Note: The article incorrectly refers to the University of Pittsburgh as "Pittsburgh University.")

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