Friday, March 31, 2017

Tillerson ‘Empowers’ Dictators By Not Responding to Andrea Mitchell’s Hectoring

By Kyle Drennen | March 31, 2017 | 4:59 PM EDT 

According to former Obama State Department flack (and former Time magazine editor) Richard Stengel, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refuses to answer shouted questions from hostile liberal NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, America’s top diplomat “empowers” authoritarian regimes around the world.   
On Mitchell’s 12 p.m. ET MSNBC show on Friday, Stengel wailed: “And when people see that our own Secretary of State doesn’t bring journalists with him, that he doesn’t take questions, that he’s not transparent, what that does is it empowers these autocratic countries to not take questions implicitly empowers these autocratic regimes.” Mitchell replied: “I agree with you completely.” 
At the top of the show, Mitchell played a clip of herself yelling questions at Tillerson during a N.A.T.O. meeting in Brussels: “What would you like to see N.A.T.O. do on ISIS, Mr. Secretary?! Would you possibly take a few questions, sir?!”
She later teed up Stengel to denounce the Trump cabinet official: “...he left here without taking questions. He continues to avoid, you know, media interactions....What about the public diplomacy aspects of the job, which you know so well, that was part of your mandate?” 
It has become a favorite pastime of Mitchell’s to hurl questions at Tillerson during photo-ops with world leaders and other public appearances in order to get footage of him not responding. She then goes on television and breathlessly accuses the Secretary of avoiding the press. All of it done in an effort to portray herself as the heroic journalist taking on the stonewalling Trump administration.
While it’s certainly fair for journalists to request more access to government officials and want their questions answered, it’s completely irresponsible to accuse those officials of somehow aiding brutal dictators when they chose not to engage with journalists in a  rticular 
Here are excerpts from Mitchell’s March 31 MSNBC show:
12:01 PM ET
ANDREA MITCHELL: And Presidential Envoy. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson here at N.A.T.O. headquarters, calling on N.A.T.O. to do more against terrorism.
REX TILLERSON: We want to discuss how we can build on N.A.T.O.’s already important involvement in the fight to defeat ISIS and other counterterrorism actions that N.A.T.O. can provide that ultimately bring stability to the Middle East. So I'm delighted to be here and it's good to see all of you.
MITCHELL: What would you like to see N.A.T.O. do on ISIS, Mr. Secretary?! Would you possibly take a few questions, sir?!
12:37 PM ET
ANDREA MITCHELL: And Rick Stengel, he [Secretary of State Rex Tillerson] left here without taking questions. He continues to avoid, you know, media interactions. He did have a news conference in Turkey yesterday. What about the public diplomacy aspects of the job, which you know so well, that was part of your mandate?
RICK STENGEL [FMR. U.S. UNDER SECY. OF STATE]: Yes, I think it’s unfortunate, Andrea. When you’re the Secretary of State, you are, in effect, the ambassador for American foreign policy around the world. You are the representative of that. You’re the articulator of that.
And when people see that our own Secretary of State doesn’t bring journalists with him, that he doesn’t take questions, that he’s not transparent, what that does is it empowers these autocratic countries to not take questions themselves. And to not, you know, be transparent. He just came from Turkey, where Turkey imprisons more journalist than any other country in the world, and he only brought two American journalists and didn’t take questions. What that does is it implicitly empowers these autocratic regimes.
MITCHELL: And I agree with you completely. He did take two questions at a news conference, I understand, but he certainly did not bring in the press corps as previous secretaries going back to Harry Kissinger all have. And that’s a very important symbol as well.

G7 Culture Ministers Discuss Threat Of Cultural Trafficking

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — During their first-ever formal meeting, culture ministers representing Group of Seven industrialized nations on Thursday decried the looting and trafficking of cultural treasures by terror groups while experts acknowledged that objects believed looted by extremists are starting to surface in the marketplace.

The topic was on the table both during technical sessions by experts and law enforcement and during the afternoon meeting of G-7 cultural ministers and top officials. The gathering in Florence came a week after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution co-authored by Italy and France warning that the destruction of cultural treasures may constitute war crimes.

Now, the discussion is turning not just to the destruction of cultural treasures, as seen in Syria and Afghanistan, but also to their trafficking as a source of funding to support the activities of extremist groups.

U.S. Ambassador Bruce Wharton, acting undersecretary for public diplomacy, told reporters that the ministers discussed the grave risk posed by "looting and trafficking at the hands of terrorist organizations and criminal networks."

He cited the pillaging of heritage sites in Timbuktu in Mali, Palmyra in Syria and the Mosul museum in Iraq, which experts are just beginning to assess after 2 ½ years being under control of Islamic State group extremists.

"Looting, trafficking and the illicit sale of cultural heritage objects have helped ISIS-Daesh finance its operations, along with trafficking in drugs, weapons and people," Wharton said.

German Minister of State Maria Boehmer said "terrorism feeds on illegal trafficking of cultural treasures" and applauded moves by the International Criminal Court to make "the targeted destruction of cultural property a war crime."

"The barbaric destruction by terrorist groups is targeting people's identity," she said.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Deputy Assistant Director Ray Villanueva said developments in identifying artifacts looted by extremists "are very fresh ... happening as we speak." Villanueva said providing details, including of the countries of origin of looted objects, could compromise the ongoing investigations.

"However, I can tell you in general that (through the) internet (and) art dealers we are seeing artifacts coming up from different places," Villanueva said, adding that the public, museums and art dealers were key to providing law enforcement with information.

Milan lawyer Manlio Frigo, who represents museums and art dealers, acknowledged that not all the trafficking in war zones was at the hands of extremists. Refugees crossing the border from Syria have been seen with plastic bags containing artifacts, Frigo said.

Director-General Irina Bokova of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said there is plenty of evidence that extremists are looting for profit.

A group of partners that includes Interpol and the world customs organization are creating a common database and sharing information in a bid to recover the treasures, Bokova said.

'Every single day something happens somewhere that testifies to the fact that it is a systematic, I would say, looting of sites to engage with the illicit trafficking," she said.

Why the National Symphony Orchestra went to Moscow

  Washington Post

 — The applause began in the upper balcony of the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and spread through the auditorium until the entire audience was clapping in rhythm, like a crowd at a sports stadium, speaking a universal language: Play us an encore.
The National Symphony Orchestra had just finished its first performance in Russia in nearly a quarter of a century. It arrived at a time when official relations between the United States and Russia are, to put it mildly, fraught. And it demonstrated that, at a time when political rhetoric is heated, music may be offering the real language of diplomacy, formalized and couched in centuries of tradition. Indeed, it wasn’t even clear whether people were clapping for what they had just heard or for what this visit represented.
Sometimes a concert is just a concert. And sometimes it dips its toe into the complex world of cultural diplomacy.
“Culture stands tall above the din of politics,” said John Tefft, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, speaking at a reception for the NSO at his residence on Tuesday night.
The NSO played another concert in Moscow on Thursday and will perform one in St. Petersburg on Friday before flying home. And the reason for this lightning-quick trip isn’t actually diplomatic at all. The NSO has come to honor its late music director, Mstislav Rostropovich, at the annual festival that his daughter Olga created in his memory, on what would have been his 90th birthday.
Rostropovich, a brilliant cellist who took up conducting relatively late in life, led the NSO for 17 seasons, after he was exiled from the Soviet Union due to his support for Alexander Solzhenitsyn. When he returned in 1990 for the first time, he brought the NSO with him — and got a Beatles-style welcome, with people literally scaling the outer walls of the Moscow Conservatory’s Great Hall to look in through the high windows that run around the top. Then came the 1993 tour, when the orchestra became the first in history to perform in Red Square, to a crowd of 100,000 people — while across town, guns were trained on Moscow’s White House in a showdown between the president and the parliament. 
The present tour comes at another critical historical moment. As both countries deal with the fallout from allegations that Russia interfered with the U.S. election, an American orchestra has come to Russia — still a relatively infrequent occurrence; the last big American orchestras to play here came in 2012 — to pay homage to a great Russian by playing a lot of Russian music.
On one level, these performances can be seen as an act of homage. The Russians are certainly noting the symbolic implications of an American orchestra coming to honor a Russian, playing literally under a banner emblazoned with Rostropovich’s portrait above the Conservatory stage. On Tuesday afternoon, after the Rostropovich Festival held a news conference with the NSO at the TASS news agency’s building here, Russian television — which is state-sponsored — ran a brief report that emphasized how important Rostropovich remains to the NSO today.
On another level, the NSO’s performances can be seen as a viable alternative to political diplomacy, showing people from different societies brought together by a common love. The tour could even be read as an act of subversion, by both sides. In the United States, the new administration is trying to stamp out the federal funding for the arts that used to make just this kind of cultural exchange possible. (The current tour is privately funded, in part by the state-supported Rostropovich Festival and in part by private donors.) As for Russia, where people around the country just took to the streets to protest government corruption: Rostropovich, an outspoken foe of totalitarian governments, might well have had a thing or two to say about the current Russian regime. Although, a message from Russian President Vladi­mir Putin stands on the first page of the Rostropovich Festival program book.
For diplomats on both sides, there’s a lot about this tour to love. “Culture,” said Tefft, the U.S. ambassador, “does things that traditional diplomacy can’t.”
Two weeks before the orchestra left, the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak — the man notable for his conversations with now-ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions — hosted a reception for the NSO and its patrons, similar to the one Tefft gave in Moscow, at the Russian Embassy in Washington.

An NSO bass player navigates the historic steps backstage at the Moscow Conservatory. (Scott Suchman/National Symphony Orchestra)

Concertgoers chat in front of a bust of Rostropovich in front of the venue’s concert hall. (Scott Suchman/National Symphony Orchestra)
“The tour,” Kislyak said, “is one of the brightest elements in our current relations.”
Trips such as these, says Nicholas J. Cull, the director of the master of public diplomacy program at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, “have immense significance because of their symbolic nature.” They fulfill what he describes as some essential functions of cultural diplomacy. “Most basically,” Cull says, “there’s the idea of a gift. If you give somebody a fantastic gift it starts to establish a reciprocal relationship.” It also is a chance to “actually tell the recipient something about you they might not already know. . . . Maybe today there’s value in reminding people that we’re not all about Taylor Swift. There is still high culture in America. Despite people backing out of humanities funding.” 
And, he adds, “It helps to show respect to a cultural figure of the country of origin.” 
For many of the NSO’s players, diplomacy is of far less concern than doing honor to their beloved former music director. At the news conference at TASS, William Foster, a viola player with the orchestra for nearly 50 years, took Olga Rostropovich’s hand, saying he remembered her as a child, and was so overwhelmed with memories that he choked up. “I wasn’t looking forward to this tour,” he said later. “It wasn’t until we got here that I really realized what we were doing here.” Later on Tuesday afternoon, Steven Honigberg, one of many talented cellists whom Rostropovich drew to the NSO, gave a master class to young string players. Outreach is a buzzword for American orchestras, and this kind of exchange is a popular tool of cultural diplomacy as well, but that wasn’t what motivated Honigberg. “It’s the least I can do,” he said, “for the man who was so important in my life.”
Art doesn’t offer neat answers. Indeed, performing during times of crisis underlines the messy way that crisis plays out. When the NSO was here in 1993, Daniel Foster, William’s son and the orchestra’s current principal viola, felt a sense of irony at learning what was happening by watching CNN, from Atlanta, in his Moscow hotel room.
It would be nice to say that the NSO had a triumphant return. But the reality wasn’t so clear cut, as the orchestra faced the challenge of trying to live up to its own past glory, in a somewhat diminished present. Although there was brisk scalper activity around the ticket lines, the hall wasn’t quite sold out. And Eschenbach’s cerebral approach to musical emotion didn’t seem to fully connect with an audience primed for a more vital, Rostropovich-like approach. Eschenbach, like Rostropovich, is a soloist turned conductor, with lots of ideas about music and spotty conducting ability, but Rostropovich conducted with such commitment and energy that it was easy not to notice. “There was never a concert that was just tossed off,” said Alice Kogan Weinreb, a flutist with the NSO since 1979. “It always felt like a matter of life and death whenever we performed, no matter how big or small the venue.” Today, the NSO does not always communicate the same sense of urgency, though it sounded unusually full and warm in the beautiful acoustics of this iconic hall. 
The tired truism that classical music is a universal language gets trotted out, like a dusty diplomatic ritual, for such occasions. If that were really true, it wouldn’t matter how well or badly any piece was played. And in fact, Wednesday’s concert got a little bit lost in translation: It was a concert pitched to Americans’ ideas about discriminating Russian listeners, but played to an audience that seemed eager for some of Rostropovich’s showmanship. With music, like diplomacy, it can take a while for the effects to sink in. When the last notes of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony died away, the applause seemed at first merely politely, then gradually built to that rhythmic, pounding clapping. We want to like music. And we want to like each other. That may be the most profound message, at the moment, that cultural diplomacy has to offer.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Trump Administration Should Streamline, Reorganize U.S. Foreign Policy, Assistance While Ensuring U.S. Continues Global Influence

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Forbes: Absolutely Reorganize, But Don’t Break Foreign Assistance
Daniel Runde, William Chreyer chair and director of the Project on U.S. Leadership and Development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
“…President Trump … announced a potential reorganization of federal agencies, including the State Department and USAID. … Several principles should help guide any reorganization: First, titles and hierarchy matter so provide a real ‘Deputy Secretary of State’ title to the person in charge of development. … Second, recognize development and stabilization as a distinct profession on the same level as diplomacy and defense. … Third, development projects require longer time frames than political or diplomatic efforts and reorganization should reflect this reality. … Fourth, remember the breaking of our public diplomacy capacities with the death of [the U.S. Information Agency (USIA)]. … Fifth, the person who has the development job should control the development budget planning process known as the ‘F’ process. … Sixth, include all 16 agencies ‘doing development’ in this reorganization. … Seventh, the Trump administration should seek to change the mid-1990s OMB rule that gave free reign to independent agencies to freelance on international development with limited or no oversight by U.S. embassies and by USAID. … Eighth, any major reorganization will require congressional cooperation across multiple committees. The Trump administration should work with all of them. … U.S. foreign policy and assistance should be streamlined and organized better, but the Trump administration needs to be careful not to break our ability to exert influence around the globe in the process” (3/23).

Success of the British Royal family's cultural diplomacy-essay 代写


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Success of the British Royal family's cultural diplomacy-essay代写

留学生essay代写精选范文:“Success of the British Royal family's cultural diplomacy”,这篇论文讨论了英国皇室成功的文化外交。英国皇室是如今现存最古老的王室之一,它对外的文化外交是非常成功的。首先英国皇室出访是不带政治性的,仅仅是为了和别国建立友好的关系,其次英国女王拥有众多的支持者,她是英国宗教的领袖,也为英国塑造了一个很好的国家形象。
First highlights in the movie plot of the George VI broadcast over the BBC to include Kenya, Jamaica, 44 countries issued Christmas speech and World War II wartime mobilization speech. The establishment of the BBC is a British public diplomacy is an important step, it continued development and the impact of BBC British public diplomacy is a bright spot. Investee BBC highlights reasons of public diplomacy:
Investee BBC of huge of cover scale almost including has world most national, its news of fast sex and comments of objective professional sex is big degree has effect even led has world opinion, "spread force decided influence, and discourse right decided led right", British through BBC this professional and and huge of platform, to others public convey with information, change with others public of concept, its as magazine, and British drama, and books, industry while in into others public of daily in the, subtle of shaping with British of image. Investee the British Royal family and the British public diplomacy
The King's speech for some dialogue is impressive, the old king when she finished her Christmas speech broadcast, let his son George VI also tried stuttering actor nervously refused, the King said: "If you're unable to do it, this evil machine will change everything. Previous Kings only need to behave in uniform sitting on the horse does not fall on the line, and now we must enter the public's home, to take the initiative to meet them. Royal role is changing, we are more like the cast and company. "This dialogue shows to some extent the British Royal family's role and mandate. As the British Royal family for a foreign audience is also a representative of British image to show them the best
References to the United Kingdom, the British Royal family is also one of the essential topics, as now the remains of the Royal family, the British Royal family has been draped with a strong history of mysterious clothing attracts numerous audience curiosity. Every year a large number of tourists visited Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle; Prince William and Kate's wedding are testimony to the Royal Princess won people's strong appeal. While the British Royal family is a symbol of personification of Britain, its every move represents the UK's image, audiences are prone to subjective impression is about equivalent to the British Royal impression.
Starting from George v, successive Kings of Christmas lectures and the Declaration of war is spread all over the world through radio, greatly encouraged the people, realization of distant monarch to monarch of the past deep and firm voice. Queen of the United Kingdom's previous speeches and even an excellent example for English learners compete to imitate, its video on the Internet concerns, broad audience in imitation of Queen standard pronunciation is also moved by the content of their speech, and thus more attention and respect of the British Royal family. Princess Diana joined the Royal family became sensational news, the story of Cinderella has also been achieved in real life, the Princess civilians to join the British Royal family has attracted more attention. Princess Diana's focus on charity, close contact with AIDS patients, through their high profile to attract donations, as well as by entering the mines on many occasions visited the area to attract world-wide attention to this cause, "international campaign" this obscure little organization to the thousands of groups in more than 60 countries to join international organizations.
Diana such a populist image as well as positive as greatly improving the reputation of the British Royal family has also increased among the public for the British Royal family's identity. Similarly, Royal manners of the rich and noble temperament is often referred to, and even affect the quality and character of its people, the British ladies and gentlemen of the civilized world, the same for the British created a show good manners, observe the ritual of cultivated the good image of the nation. As members of the British Royal family dress can also lead the fashion trend to attract international pursuit of fashion audience sought after, Kate wedding bridal show was followed by the Designers by nationality, their participation in the various activities in clothing are often fashion magazine covers. By dressing the most familiar with the issues of most concern in daily life, Royal success attracted a lot of attention, and narrow the distance between the Royal family and the public, but also improved the old boring conservative image of the Royal family, showing new life of royalty changes with the times.
British Royal family can be so successful as a British public diplomacy media for the following reasons: because the Royal family is not interference in domestic affairs, is largely symbolic, on behalf of the State visit of Queen, but after all, politics is not strong, there is generally no more diplomatic mission, almost exclusively about the friendly, more natural affinity. Countries easier for audiences at a time when attention to the Queen of England with Britain its long history and rich cultural ties together, rather than the British Government's policies. The Queen is the monarch of the Commonwealth countries and British religious leaders, supporters and advocates of the English King has a wider, audience and the religious believer in the Commonwealth because of historical reasons and feelings from the heart trust and accept the King of England, King of England have a broad audience base.
British Royal has with Castle, and Palace and various jewelry and art, this all for modern by all for are has great of mystery color, can provoked public strongly of exploration desire, and British Queen at open of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, measures for General by all provides has once directly taste British culture of opportunities and places, British Royal through directly spread of way, more image vivid of in States public Zhijian horizontal spread British of history and civilization, to better of shaping British of national image. The filming of the movie about the British Royal family has attracted the audience's attention, from the earliest to the Elizabeth the Queen to the King's speech, many in the British Royal family as a theme in the film show in the film, to a national audience shows a different, flesh-and-blood of the British Royal family, differs high above the image. These films were released by indirect spread of the British Royal family influence and the British image of the country.
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The first woman in space: 'People shouldn’t waste money on wars'

Mary Dejevsky,

In 1963 Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to go into space. On her 80th birthday, she looks back at a lifetime of immense political change

image from article

Parachuting was her first love. The moment she could, Valentina Tereshkova joined the renowned paramilitary flying club in her native Yaroslavl (without telling her mother) and trained almost every weekend. She has more than 90 jumps under her belt. “I did night jumps, too, on to land and water – the Volga river.” Day and night, she tells me, “it’s a very different experience, but both are wonderful”, and she spreads her arms wide as though balancing herself in flight, radiating delight. “I learned to wait as long as possible before pulling the cord, just to feel the air; 40 seconds, 50 seconds ... It’s not really falling; you experience enormous pleasure from the sensation of your whole body. It’s marvellous.”
It is hard to believe that the woman sitting across the table from me enthusing about her early hobby is 80. All right, she turned 80 only a few days ago, but even immaculate hair and makeup can only flatter so much. She looks to me not a day over 70. My gaze keeps alighting on her elegant hands with their flawless dark nail varnish. My own (rather younger) hands look wrinkled and gnarled by comparison.
We are somewhere deep and indeterminate within the cavernous Science Museum in London, and Tereshkova had arrived, as dignitaries tend to do, suddenly, and with a flurry of suited escorts. I had seen her so often, in photographs, in film, and from a distance in person – that she seemed entirely familiar, from her tailored suit to the medal she wears, red banner with gold star, denoting her status as a Hero of the Soviet Union, then the highest state award.
The reason for her celebrity is almost as hard to believe now as the parachuting. Over 50 years ago, in 1963, Tereshkova became the first woman to go into space, and it was her parachuting experience that qualified her for selection. She was only 26 when she made her one and only space flight, but that feat has defined the rest of her life. It propelled her into the upper reaches of the Soviet elite, and gave her security for life. That elevation though came at a life-long cost: a treadmill of obligations that has lasted more than half a century.
Public speaking, accepting honours, roving the world as a citizen-diplomat, being a very visible part of Soviet, and now Russian, public life, are roles that she continues to fulfil to this day. Hence her visit to London for the opening of a display of artefacts linked to her cosmonaut’s life. It is one of a series of UK-Russia collaborations, following the hugely successful Russian space exhibition at the museum last year.

Tereshkova after a parachute jump, summer 1960.
 Tereshkova after a parachute jump, summer 1960. Photograph: Yaroslavl State Historical-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve

Has she honestly enjoyed this life lived so much in the public eye? “I think it’s tremendously important to meet people, to establish a connection and tell people about space,” she says gravely. “It can increase trust, and that is something that is so badly needed, today.”
Aware of the current chill in the international climate, Tereshkova sees herself, (not for the first time) with a responsibility to help improve things through public diplomacy. In the UK, she might be surprised to discover how relatively few now know her name. The global impact of her flight, with the near-universal recognition that followed, has faded over the years, though not in Russia, and not for me, as a child of that era.
Unsmiling and austere, sometimes in military uniform, Tereshkova is a fixture in my memory as she remains for many Russians. She was always conspicuous, not least because women were so few in the top line-ups for official Soviet occasions. As a Moscow-based correspondent in the late 1980s, I saw her at the various political gatherings convened by Mikhail Gorbachev in his twin causes of glasnost and perestroika. She made the transfer, effortlessly, or so it seemed, into the elite of post-Soviet Russia. 
But it is the grainy footage of Tereshkova the cosmonaut that is most memorable. I am just old enough to remember the early “space race”, with the Americans and the Soviets vying for supremacy in the heavens. These were years when a distinction was observed between astronauts (American) and cosmonauts (Russian), and the terms “space” and “cosmos” existed side by side.
We knew about Laika, the dog who won the animal space race for the Soviet Union in 1957, but who died sooner than we knew. Four years later, Yuri Gagarin just pipped the American, Alan Shepard, to be the first man into space. A year later, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.
Then, in 1963, the pendulum swung back, with Tereshkova registering a win for the Soviets, when she became the first woman to fly in space. Perhaps the most coveted prize, though, went to the Americans when they made the first moon landing in 1969. You can sense, even 40 years on, that this victory still rankles just a little with Russians to this day.
Revisiting the rivalry of the space race helps cast light on mysteries that long surrounded Tereshkova’s flight. One is the suggestion that it was, in many respects, a failure: The charges were that the first female cosmonaut had been too ill and lethargic to conduct the planned tests on board; and/or that she had unreasonably challenged orders.
Tereshkova only gave her definitive account 30 years later, and she repeats it for my benefit. She denies being ill – or more ill than might be expected – or failing to complete the on-board tests; the voyage was, actually extended from one to three days at her request, and the tests had been planned only for one.

Tereshkova with the “Heroes of the Soviet Union, pilot-cosmonauts of the USSR”.
 Tereshkova with the ‘heroes of the Soviet Union, pilot-cosmonauts of the USSR’. Photograph: Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, Moscow

As for insubordination, there was a hitch, and a serious one, that emerged soon after lift-off. As she tells it, she discovered that the settings for re-entry were incorrect, to the point where she would have sped into outer space, rather than back to Earth. She was eventually sent new settings, but her space centre bosses made her swear to secrecy about the mistake, to save their own reputation and that of the programme. “We insisted that all was OK; we didn’t talk about it. We kept it secret for 30 years, until the person who made the mistake was in his grave.”

The view of the Earth from space remains with her, as it does with so many astronauts, as “a planet at once so beautiful and so fragile”. Everyone, she says, “Americans, Asians, everyone who has seen it says the same thing, how unbelievably beautiful the Earth is and how very important it is to look after it. Our planet suffers from human activity, from fires, from war; we have to preserve it.”
Had the experience changed her? “When you are up there, you are homesick for Earth as your cradle. When you get back, you just want to get down and hug it.”
She is particularly concerned about the risk from asteroids, and ferrets around in her bag to find a fragment of a meteorite that hit Russia. “It’s tiny,” she says, “but very heavy.” She wants more work to be done to avert the threat of a devastating collision. “People shouldn’t waste money on wars, but come together to discuss how to defend the world from threats like asteroids coming from outer space.” 

Tereshkova shares with astronauts and cosmonauts around the world a profound nostalgia for the experience of space. Having hoped against hope to make another flight, she is on record as saying that she would volunteer for a one-way trip to Mars.
I flick back to the day she was selected for the space mission, after hard months of training and continual monitoring, from among five women who were competing for the single slot on Vostok 6. Was she surprised, and weren’t the others envious? Not at all, she says almost scornfully. “We believed each of us was worthy of being chosen.” Had she kept up with the others since? I ask, (there have been reports that she is less solicitous of friends and family than she could have been). Surprised by the question, Tereshkova allows herself a rare smile and her eyes light up. Yes, she says, the group meets up from time to time, obligations and illness permitting. “There is a bond, a comradeship, that never goes away.”
There may indeed be a special bond among the early cosmonauts, but as she grew used to fame, Tereshkova’s personal life became rocky. Her first marriage to a fellow cosmonaut, Andriyan Nikolayev, had been encouraged, if not actually arranged, by the space authorities as a fairytale message to the country. The then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev officiated at the nuptials. But this state-sanctioned element made it hard when the relationship turned sour. The split was finally formalised in 1982, when Tereshkova married Yuli Shaposhnikov, a surgeon, with whom she lived happily until his death in 1999. 

Tereshkova’s life is unique as the first woman in space, but she is also inevitably a child of her times. Her 80 years span an extraordinary kaleidoscope of Russian history. I run through it, for her response. She was born in 1937, a year that casts, I suggest, a certain shadow (when Stalin’s purges were at their height). She catches the reference, but does not elaborate.
After the political thaw, under Khrushchev, came the long “stagnation”, under Leonid Brezhnev, followed by the tumultuous reforms introduced by Gorbachev. Tereshkova stops me mid-flow. “The Soviet Union was important for more than one generation. I am not ignoring the mistakes, the highs and the lows, but as a whole … It is wrong to paint it only in dark colours. There was a lot of good as well.”
This is a familiar defence of the Soviet Union. For many Russians who lived through those years, the end of the Soviet Union is regarded as a betrayal. How does Tereshkova see it? In an echo of Putin’s much-quoted remark, she says “We all experienced the end of the Soviet Union as a personal tragedy and can’t forgive those who allowed it to happen.” How does she rate Gorbachev? She almost spits out her answer. “I don’t respect him; I don’t even want to hear his name.” How about Boris Yeltsin, who wrested power, to be the first president after the Soviet collapse? “I didn’t know him. The one I know is Vladimir Putin.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin wishes Valentina Tereshkova happy 80th birthday.
 Russian president Vladimir Putin wishes Valentina Tereshkova happy 80th birthday. Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images

Tereshkova is a big fan of Putin and he, it would appear, of her. He congratulated her personally on her 70th and 80th birthdays and added to her tally of awards. “An awful lot depends on leaders,” she says. “Putin took over a country that was on the brink of disintegration; he rebuilt it, and gave us hope again.” People trust him, she says. “You only have to see how he is received, how people respond to him. He’s a splendid person.”
It appears that the habits of a Soviet lifetime die hard. In so saying, Tereshkova reflects the views of many ordinary Russians, of a generation that has lived through almost continual, and often alarming, change. They grew up, consciously or not, if not in fear, then knowing the price of not conforming. They embrace the stability they associate with Putin – and that is at least part of his success. 
Could Tereshkova have done more – to advance the cause of women, say, to promote individual rights – given her privileged position and the status she enjoyed? Perhaps. But, she showed that women could do what was then regarded as the most state of the art, most demanding feat – going into space, solo.
Seen from today’s Russia, her one pioneering feat, followed by a lifetime of civic duty, have served to keep both the capability of women and the fragility of the planet in the public eye, and that must be accounted a contribution, too.
Valentina Tereshkova: First Woman in Space is at the Science Museum until 17 September 2017.
Guardian women seminar: How women can change the world is being held at the Guardian offices in London on Thursday 4 May. Register to attend here.