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Past Interviews

What’s Going on in Ukraine?

Guest: Balazs Jarabik is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where his research focuses on Ukraine and Eastern Europe. His most recent article is “Reform and Resistance: Ukraine’s Selective State.” Music: Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean,” Thriller, 1982. Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts...

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The Economics of Putinism

Guest: Peter Rutland is a professor of government at Wesleyan University. He writes widely on Russian political economy and politics and is author of two books The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union and The Myth of the Plan: Lessons of Soviet Planning Experience. His most recent...

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Dissecting Ramzan Kadyrov

Guest: Joshua Yaffa is a contributor to the New Yorker, a New America fellow and author of many articles covering Russia. His most recent article for the New Yorker is “Putin’s Dragon: Is the Ruler of Chechnya Out of Control?” Music: Jim Croce, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” Life and...

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Critical Junctures in Russia’s Authoritarian Path

Guest: Vladimir Gel’man is a professor in the Department of Political Science at European University at St. Petersburg and author of many books and articles on contemporary Russian politics. His most recent book is Authoritarian Russia: Analyzing Post-Soviet Regime Changes. Music: Johnny Cash, “Cocaine Blues,” At Folsom Prison, 1968...

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The Ukrainian Left and the Maidan Protests

Guest: Volodymyr Ishchenko is a sociologist studying social protests in Ukraine. He is the deputy director of the Center for Social and Labor Research, a member of the editorial board of Commons: Journal for Social Criticism and the LeftEast web-magazine, and a lecturer at the Department of Sociology at...

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Treating War Trauma in Ukraine

Guest: Roman Torgovitsky, Harvard-trained biomedical scientist, social entrepreneur and founder of the Wounded Warrior Ukraine project, an NGO seeking to provide psychological rehabilitative assistance to Ukrainians affected by the visible and invisible wounds of war. You can donate to the project here. Music: Black Sabbath, “War Pigs,” Paranoid, 1970. Podcast:...

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The Mysterious Poisoning of Vladimir Kara-Murza

Guest: Carl Schreck, journalist who has been reporting on Russia for fifteen years. He’s worked for the Moscow Times, RIA Novosti, and currently for RFE/RL. His most recent article is “Poison Puzzle: A Search For Answers In Kremlin Critic’s Mysterious Illness.” Music: David Bowie, “Moonage Daydream,” The Rise and...

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Western Journalism and the Ukraine Crisis

Guest: Keith Gessen, journalist, translator, and writer. He’s one of the founders of N+1 Magazine and the translator of Kirill Medvedev’s It’s No Good: Poems / Essays /Actions. His most recent article is “Western Journalists in Ukraine” part of N+1’s special symposium on Ukraine. There are a few texts mentioned in...

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Revisiting Nashi and Russian Youth Politics

Guest: Julie Hemment, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts where she specializes in Russia, post-socialism, gender and transition, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and global civil society. She is the author of Youth Politics in Putin’s Russia: Producing Patriots and Entrepreneurs. Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe:...

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Neoliberalism in Russia

Guest: Ilya Matveev, PhD student in Political Science at the European University at St Petersburg, Russia where he studies Russian political economy and neoliberalism in comparative perspective. He is an editor of the online platform Openleft.ru and a member of the Public Sociology Laboratory. Podcast: Play in new window |...

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Gulag Town, Company Town

Guest: Alan Barenberg, Associate Professor of History at Texas Tech University where he specializes in the social and economic history of the Soviet Union from the 1930s to the 1970s. He is the author of Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and its Legacy in Vorkuta. Podcast: Play in...

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Interrogating the Power Vertical

Guest: Brian Whitmore, the Senior Correspondent in RFE/RL‘s Central Newsroom, covering European security, energy and military issues and domestic developments in Russia. He is longtime “Russia Watcher” and the author of the highly influential Power Vertical Blog and host of the Power Vertical Podcast. Before joining RFE/RL in 2007,...

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