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Russian Roulette

English, Political, 1 season, 107 episodes, 3 days, 4 hours, 40 minutes
About
Russian Roulette takes a look at the politics, economics, and culture of Russia and Eurasia through both interviews and lively discussion with experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and around the world. Hosted by CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program experts Olga Oliker and Jeffrey Mankoff.
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Dmitri Alperovitch and "World on the Brink: How America Can Beat China in the Race for the Twenty-First Century"

On this week's episode, Max and Michael Kimmage sat down with Dmitri Alperovitch, chairman of Silverado Policy Institute, to discuss Dmitri's recent book, "World on the Brink: How America Can Beat China in the Race for the Twenty-First Century." Recorded on July 2, 2024, the conversation covers the geopolitical parallels between the European and Indo-Pacific theaters today, and what the dual strategic challenges emanating from Moscow and Beijing mean for Western policymakers.   SHOW NOTES: Check out a new CSIS report from Max Bergmann and Christopher B. Johnstone, "Europe's Security Role in the Indo-Pacific: Making It Meaningful."
7/11/202444 minutes, 32 seconds
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A Sanctions Update with Eddie Fishman and Sergey Aleksashenko

 Maria recently sat down with sanctions expert Eddie Fishman and economist Sergey Aleksashenko to provide a timely update on the evolving sanctions regime leveled against Russia. (Recorded on June 18, 2024.)
6/27/202448 minutes, 10 seconds
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Understanding the Growing Collaboration Between Russia and Iran

This week, Max sat down for a public conversation with Hanna Notte and Jon B. Alterman to discuss how the governments of Russia and Iran have strengthened their political, economic, and security collaboration since the launch of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
6/14/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Recent Anti-Corruption Purge and New Leadership at the Russian Ministry of Defense with Mikhail Zygar and Christopher Davis

Maria sat down with Russian independent journalist and author Mikhail Zygar, and University of Oxford professor Christopher Davis, to discuss the recent string of anti-corruption charges at the Russian Ministry of Defense, and the replacement of Sergei Shoigu with Andrei Belousov at the ministry’s head. What does all this mean for the current composition of the Russian elite, and what impact will these changes have on the Russian war effort in Ukraine?
5/31/202440 minutes, 28 seconds
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"Collisions: The Origins of the War in Ukraine and the New Global Instability," the latest book by Michael Kimmage

 On May 2, 2024, Maria sat down with Michael Kimmage and Mary Elise Sarotte to discuss Michael's newest book, "Collisions the Origins of the War in Ukraine, and the New Global Instability." "Collisions" is available for purchase from Oxford University Press.
5/16/202455 minutes, 38 seconds
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The Ongoing Protests in Georgia and What Is at Stake with Tinatin Japaridze and Eto Buziashvili

For today's special bonus episode, Max sat down with Tinatin Japaridze and Eto Buziashvili to discuss the ongoing protests taking place in Georgia. Georgian civil society is mobilizing yet again in opposition to the controversial "foreign agents" law being pushed by the ruling Georgian Dream party.
5/14/202451 minutes, 31 seconds
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Back in Stock? The Latest Report on the Russian Defense Industry from CSIS

Today, Max and Maria were joined by Tina Dolbaia and Nick Fenton, two members of the team at CSIS, to discuss the CSIS Europe, Russia, and Eurasia program's latest report, "Back in Stock? The State of Russia's Defense Industry after Two Years of the War." 
5/3/202440 minutes, 37 seconds
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A New Investigative Report on the "Havana Syndrome" Phenomenon with Roman Dobrokhotov

On this week's episode, Max and Maria sat down with Roman Dobrokhotov, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Russia-focused investigative media outlet, The Insider. Roman's team, along with colleagues at CBS's 60 Minutes and the German outlet Der Spiegel, recently concluded an investigation that uncovered evidence potentially linking Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU, with the health incidents impacting U.S. government officials and their families that have come to be known as "Havana Syndrome." Show Notes: "Unraveling Havana Syndrome: New evidence links the GRU's assassination Unit 29155 to mysterious attacks on U.S. officials and their families" by Roman Dobrokhotov, Christo Grozev, and Michael Weiss (The Insider)
4/18/202443 minutes, 20 seconds
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Innovations on the Battlefield in Ukraine with Paul Schwartz and Samuel Bendett

Max and Maria sat down with Paul Schwartz and Sam Bendett to discuss the different technological and tactical battlefield innovations taking place in Ukraine today, and what they mean for military analysts studying the war. Disclaimer: Paul and Sam's views as expressed in this episode are their own, and do not necessarily represent the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA).
4/4/202441 minutes, 41 seconds
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Nicolas Véron and the Continued Debate Over Russia's Frozen Central Bank Reserves

Nicolas Véron of Bruegel and the Peterson Institute for International Economics joined Max to discuss the ongoing debate over Russia's frozen central bank reserves. This conversation was recorded on March 15, 2024. See "The European Union should do better than confiscate Russia's reserve money" by Nicolas Véron for Bruegel. At the time of this episode's publication, the European Council met for a summit in Brussels and was considering a plan to use the profits accrued to frozen Russian assets to provide military support for Ukraine.
3/21/202438 minutes, 35 seconds
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Liana Fix and Nikolay Petrov on Russia's March 2024 Presidential Election

This week, Maria was joined once again by Liana Fix and Nikolay Petrov to discuss Russia's March 2024 presidential election, and what "politics" looks like in the country today. Be sure to read the new paper written by Maria and Liana, "Leadership Change in Russia: Contingency Planning Memorandum" (Council on Foreign Relations).
3/7/202451 minutes, 47 seconds
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The Death of Alexei Navalny with Miriam Lanskoy

This week, Max and Maria are joined again by Miriam Lanskoy from the National Endowment for Democracy to discuss the recent news of Alexei Navalny's death in a Russian penal colony.
2/22/202430 minutes, 3 seconds
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Maria's New Book: "When Left Moves Right"

On this week's episode, listen to Max interview Maria on her new book, "When Left Moves Right: The Decline of the Left and the Rise of the Populist Right in Postcommunist Europe." Max and Maria were joined by Dan Kelemen, a Senior Associate non-resident fellow at CSIS and an expert on the European Union. This conversation was recorded on January 30, 2024. To order a copy of Maria's book, please click here.
2/8/20241 hour, 1 minute, 55 seconds
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Russian Influence Operations in 2024 with Catherine Belton

This week, Max and Maria were joined by acclaimed reporter, Catherine Belton. Catherine currently writes for the Washington Post, and has written extensively on the Russian elite and security services. Max, Maria, and Catherine discussed ongoing Russian efforts to influence democratic societies, and the particular vulnerability facing Western countries as they gear up for a series of elections across the globe in 2024.
1/25/202432 minutes, 3 seconds
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Aid to Ukraine and the Future of the War with Michael Kofman

Michael Kofman, a leading expert on the Russian military and a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace joined Max, Maria, and Michael Kimmage, to discuss the status of further Western military and financial aid to Ukraine, and the impact a lack of additional assistance would have on the battlefield. This recording took place on December 20, 2023. The full video of the conversation can be found here.
1/11/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 4 seconds
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Russia, Ukraine, and the Question of Containment

This week, Max and Maria were joined again by Michael Kimmage, and Michael's frequent co-author and a fellow for Europe at the Council on Foreign Relations, Liana Fix. Recently, Michael and Liana published a piece in Foreign Affairs titled, "A Containment Strategy for Ukraine: How the West Can Help Kyiv Endure a Long War," and they shared their piece's main arguments and conclusions over the course of the episode. This conversation was recorded on December 8, 2023. Learn More: "A Containment Strategy for Ukraine: How the West Can Help Kyiv Endure a Long War," by Liana Fix and Michael Kimmage
12/14/202335 minutes, 52 seconds
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Maria Reports Back After a Trip to Ukraine

On this week's episode, Maria fills in Max and Michael Kimmage after her recent trip to Kyiv. The three of them then discuss the current state of the war with Russia, and examine some of the key questions facing Ukraine and its partners as we head into 2024.
11/30/202336 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Ideology of Putinism with Sergei Guriev

On October 31st, Max moderated a conversation between Maria and Sergei Guriev on the ideology of Putinism. Does Vladimir Putin have an ideology? If so, will this ideology help him retain power in Russia? Maria recently co-authored a report on this same topic, and the paper's findings were the main topic of discussion. Dr. Sergei Guriev is the Provost at Sciences Po in Paris, and a renowned professor of economics. Previously, he led the New Economic School in Moscow from 2004-2013. Additionally, he served as the Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2016-2019. Learn More: "The Ideology of Putinism: Is It Sustainable?" by Maria Snegovaya, Michael Kimmage, and Jade McGlynn "Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century" by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman
11/16/202358 minutes, 49 seconds
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Russia and the Global South with Hanna Notte

On this week's episode, tune into a conversation Max had on October 24, 2023 with CSIS Senior Associate non-resident fellows, Michael Kimmage and Hanna Notte. Hanna, based in Berlin, is an expert on Russian foreign policy, the Middle East, and arms control and nonproliferation. While Hanna was in DC, she sat down with Max and Michael to discuss Russia's strategy towards the Global South in the wake of Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Learn More: "Putin is Getting What He Wants," by Hanna Notte (The New York Times) "How Russia Globalized the War in Ukraine," by Michael Kimmage and Hanna Notte (Foreign Affairs) "Russia's Axis of the Sanctioned," by Hanna Notte (Foreign Affairs) "The Age of Great-Power Distraction" by Michael Kimmage and Hanna Notte (Foreign Affairs) "Seller's Remorse: The Challenges Facing Russia's Arms Exports," by Max Bergmann, Maria Snegovaya, Tina Dolbaia, and Nick Fenton (CSIS)
11/2/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
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Russia as a Strategic Threat: Ukraine, NATO, and Beyond Europe

This conversation was recorded as a CSIS event on September 18, 2023. Max sat down with Lisa Aronsson, John Deni, and Paul Schwartz, to examine how sanctions-induced limits on Russia's defense industrial capacity have been impacting, and will continue to impact, Russia's ability to wage war on Ukraine, counter NATO, and remain a major actor in global arms sales. The panelists discussed the findings of recent reports they authored for CSIS, which are included in the show notes below. Learn More: "A War of Attrition: Assessing the Impact of Equipment Shortages on Russian Military Operations in Ukraine," by Paul Schwartz | CSIS "Agile and Adaptable: U.S. and NATO Approaches to Russia's Short-Term Military Potential," by Lisa Aronsson, John R. Deni, and Hanna Notte | CSIS "Seller's Remorse: The Challenges Facing Russia's Arms Exports," by Max Bergmann, Maria Snegovaya, Tina Dolbaia, and Nick Fenton | CSIS Please click here to read an analysis by the New York Times on the findings of "Seller's Remorse."
10/19/20231 hour, 31 minutes, 59 seconds
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Security Assistance to Ukraine Under Threat

This week, Maria interviews Max about the emerging crisis around the future of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. Max deep dives into the mechanics of how U.S. funding for Ukraine's war effort actually works, the impact of the ouster of Kevin McCarthy from the House speakership on the funding debate, and the potential role of the EU in filling the gap if the Biden administration fails to gain additional congressional authorization to support Kyiv. Learn More: "U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine Is Going to Get Complicated," by Max Bergmann (War on the Rocks, 3/3/2023)
10/5/202328 minutes, 18 seconds
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Eric Ciaramella and Ukrainian Security Outside of NATO

On this week's episode, Max is joined by Eric Ciaramella of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to discuss his recent writing on possible long-term security arrangements for Ukraine while the country remains outside of the NATO alliance. Learn More: "How the West Can Secure Ukraine's Future: Kyiv Needs a Binding Commitment Before NATO Membership" by Eric Ciaramella (Foreign Affairs) "Envisioning a Long-Term Security Arrangement for Ukraine" by Eric Ciaramella (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
9/21/202333 minutes, 8 seconds
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Prigozhin's Death, the Ukrainian Counteroffensive, and a Summer Update on Sanctions

After a few weeks off for the summer, Max and Maria are back, and are joined again this week by Professor Michael Kimmage. Max, Maria, and Michael discuss all the biggest headlines coming out of Russia and Ukraine since our last episode at the start of August, and give their takes on where events might be headed next. Learn More: The Eurofile | CSIS Podcasts "How Russia Globalized the War in Ukraine: The Kremlin's Pressure-Point Strategy to Undermine the West" by Michael Kimmage and Hanna Notte | Foreign Affairs
9/7/202348 minutes
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An Interview with Rose Gottemoeller: Ukraine, NATO, and the State of the Russian Regime

On this week's episode, Max and Maria are joined by long-time Russia hand and national security specialist, Rose Gottemoeller, for a wide-ranging conversation on Russian politics, the war in Ukraine, NATO, and nuclear non-proliferation. A former Deputy Secretary General of NATO and Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the U.S. Department of State, Rose reflects on her many years working in U.S.-Russian relations to provide insight on global politics today.
8/10/202338 minutes, 21 seconds
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An Update on the Russian Economy with Elina Ribakova and Sergey Aleksashenko

In this week's episode, Max and Maria are joined by economists Elina Ribakova and Sergey Aleksashenko to discuss the current state of the Russian economy.   Learn More: "Sanctions Evaporate with Time" by Sergey Aleksashenko | Substack "Russia's War Machine Is Still Running on Western Equipment" by Elina Ribakova
7/27/202350 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Sea in Russian Strategy with Andrew Monaghan and Richard Connolly

In this episode, Max and Maria are joined by Andrew Monaghan and Richard Connolly to discuss their most recent work, "The Sea in Russian Strategy," a new edited volume on the growing importance of naval and maritime concerns in Moscow's foreign policy. (Note: This episode was recorded before Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative on Monday, July 17, 2023.)
7/18/202354 minutes, 59 seconds
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Prigozhin's Uprising

Max and Maria recently sat down with Jeffrey Mankoff and Catrina Doxsee to discuss how Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, marched his troops towards Moscow in a direct challenge to the Russian leadership. Prigozhin's actions and the Kremlin's response raise important questions about the future of Vladimir Putin's rule, and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
6/27/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
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"Russia's War" with Jade McGlynn

In this week's episode, Max and Maria sit down with CSIS Senior Associates Jade McGlynn and Michael Kimmage to discuss Jade's latest book, "Russia's War." The book explores the domestic political approval for Russia's ongoing invasion and occupation of Ukraine within Russian society. This episode was recorded on May 25, 2023 as part of a CSIS book event. You can watch the video from the conversation here.
6/15/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 14 seconds
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Russia's Frozen Reserves with Martin Sandbu

On this week's episode, Max and Maria are joined by Federico Steinberg, a CSIS Visiting Fellow and economist, and Martin Sandbu of the Financial Times. Martin has closely followed the debate around sanctions, with a particular focus on Russian financial reserves that have been frozen by Western governments. His thorough breakdown of this topic is a must-listen for anyone trying to understand the Russian economy today.
6/1/202340 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ukraine's Coming Counteroffensive

Max and Maria are joined again by CSIS Senior Associate Michael Kimmage to discuss Ukraine's impending counteroffensive, and what it could mean for global politics going forward. Learn More: The Eurofile | Tories Battered in UK Local Elections, A Rant about the Stability and Growth Pact, and a Conversation with Jude Blanchette Russia Sanctions at One Year Out of Stock? Assessing the Impact of Sanctions on Russia’s Defense Industry
5/18/202340 minutes, 33 seconds
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Escalating Waves of Repression

Today's episode is about the escalating waves of repression in Russia, and what they mean for both the regime and what remains of the organized domestic opposition. Maria sat down with Natalia Arno, the founder and president of the Free Russia Foundation, and Miriam Lanskoy, the Senior Director for Russia and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy, to discuss this important topic.
5/4/202347 minutes, 28 seconds
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Sanctions and Russia's Defense Industry

Today's episode is a recording of an event Max and Maria held on April 14, 2023 to discuss the findings of a new CSIS report, "Out of Stock? Assessing the Impact of Sanctions on Russia's Defense Industry." Joined by Samuel Bendett and Paul Schwartz, Max and Maria discuss the effects Western sanctions and export regulations have had on Russia's ability to produce key weapons systems, in addition to the Kremlin's efforts to circumvent the sanctions regime. Read the full report here.
4/20/20231 hour, 33 minutes, 18 seconds
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The Russian Elite Today -- with Michael Nacke and Nikolai Petrov

On this week's episode, Max and Maria sit down with Russian journalist Michael Nacke, and scholar Nikolai Petrov, to talk about the state of the Russian elite today. Topics include the recently leaked phone call between Iosif Progozhin and Farkhad Akhmedov, the impact of individual sanctions on powerful Russians, and whether or not fragmentation is occurring within Russia's ruling circles and power vertical.
4/7/202354 minutes, 2 seconds
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Aliona Verbitskaya and the Rights of Ukrainian POWs

In this special episode, Max and Maria sit down with President Zelenskyy's Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Military Personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Aliona Verbitskaya. As you will hear, this conversation was conducted in Russian, with Vera Mironova serving as Aliona's translator.
3/23/202327 minutes, 52 seconds
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Special Episode: A Conversation with Kakha Gogolashvili on Georgia’s Foreign Agents Law

This week’s special episode of Russian Roulette features an interview on Georgia’s foreign agents law conducted by our sister podcast, The Eurofile. Max Bergmann and Donatienne Ruy from the CSIS Europe, Russia, and Eurasia program sit down with Kakha Gogolashvili, Senior Fellow and Director of EU Studies at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, to discuss the recently abandoned foreign agents law, Russia’s presence in the South Caucasus, and Georgia’s EU membership aspirations.  Listen to The Eurofile | CSIS Podcasts  Read more: In Georgia, Civil Society Wins against Russia-Style ‘Foreign Agents’ Bill (csis.org) 
3/16/202323 minutes, 33 seconds
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Empires of Eurasia with Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff

In this week's episode, you will hear a conversation Max had in December 2022 with Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, discussing Jeff's book, Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security. Jeff argues that the imperial histories of contemporary China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey are critical in studying the international actions of these four Eurasian powers today.
3/9/202355 minutes, 35 seconds
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Russia After a Year of War

In this episode, Max and Maria are joined by Michael Kimmage to discuss the state of affairs in Russia after a year of war in Ukraine, and where the country may be headed in 2023. Max, Maria, and Michael all highlight their recent writing connected to the war, and note the various debates around the impact of sanctions, Russia's shifting domestic political scene, and what all this means for Russia's leadership. Read the articles discussed in the episode: Putin's Last Stand by Michael Kimmage and Liana Fix (Foreign Affairs) Wartime Putinism by Michael Kimmage and Maria Lipman (Foreign Affairs) What Could Come Next? Assessing the Putin Regime's Stability and Western Policy Options by Max Bergmann (csis.org) Russia Sanctions at One Year: Learning from the Cases of South Africa and Iran by Maria Snegovaya, Tina Dolbaia, Nick Fenton, and Max Bergmann (csis.org)
2/23/202344 minutes, 19 seconds
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The War in Ukraine, One Year On

Listen to the audio from an event our team hosted at CSIS on February 15, 2023. Max Bergmann moderated a panel comprised of Maria Snegovaya, Michael Kimmage, and the RAND Corporation's Dara Massicot, a Senior Policy Researcher and expert on the Russian military. The discussion took stock of the war in Ukraine so far, its implications for both Ukraine and Russia, and the ongoing impact the war is having on European politics and US policy in the broader region.
2/21/20231 hour, 33 minutes, 43 seconds
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Sino-Russian Military Cooperation

On this episode of Russian Roulette, listen to Max Bergmann interview Brian Hart and Meia Nouwens about a recent report from the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at CSIS, titled "Understanding the Broader Transatlantic Security Implications of Greater Sino-Russian Military Alignment." Brian and Meia both contributed papers to the report and discuss their findings with Max, along with their thoughts on the impact of Russia's war in Ukraine on the Sino-Russian strategic relationship at large. This conversation was originally recorded in early December 2022. Read the full report: https://www.csis.org/analysis/understanding-broader-transatlantic-security-implications-greater-sino-russian-military
2/9/202358 minutes, 38 seconds
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Sanctions and the Russian Economy

After a long hiatus, Russian Roulette is back! For our first episode after our time away, listen in to a conversation Max and Maria recently had at CSIS in Washington, DC.  Following Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, The US, EU, and their partners imposed severe sanctions on the Russian economy. Sanctions of this scale and scope are unprecedented in recent history, and have major potential implications not just for the course of the war in Ukraine, but also for Russia's broader geopolitical position.  Max and Maria hosted held a wide-ranging conversation on this topic, and they were joined by our CSIS colleague and global energy market expert, Ben Cahill. Additionally, we welcomed Dr. Sergey Aleksashenko, a Russian economist and Member of the Board of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, and the Board of the Free Russia Foundation.  This event and podcast episode was made possible through the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 
1/26/20231 hour, 6 seconds
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Russian Roulette is Back!

After a long hiatus, Russian Roulette is back! Hosted by Max Bergmann and Dr. Maria Snegovaya of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at CSIS, Russian Roulette explores the politics, history, and complex societies of Russia and Eurasia. Tune in for fascinating interviews and discussions on some of the biggest questions facing the broader post-Soviet space. Produced by Tina Dolbaia and Nick Fenton.
1/19/20231 minute, 18 seconds
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Of the State and Future of Russian Journalism and Society – Russian Roulette Episode 118

In this final episode of the year, Heather sits down Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist, author, translator and activist, and staff writer for The New Yorker. They discuss Masha’s piece “Can Russia’s Press Ever Be Free?” as well as the current state and future of journalism, society, and freedom of expression in Russia. Masha’s latest article and other pieces can be found here: www.newyorker.com/contributors/masha-gessen  If you are interested in all things NATO, listen to Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program’s new podcast “NATO’s Road to Madrid” here: www.csis.org/podcasts/natos-road-madrid Although we gladly bid farewell to all the challenges that 2021 presented, we sadly note that this is the final episode of Russian Roulette featuring host Heather Conley. Beginning in January 2022, Heather will be the new president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Don’t worry - we will have guest hosts pick up the mantle in 2022 for another great Russian Roulette series. Until then, we send heartfelt thanks to our podcast guests and listeners for making this such an exciting year of interesting and important conversations. With best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a healthy new year! С наступающим 2022 годом!
12/21/202134 minutes, 50 seconds
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Of UK-Russia Relations: Its History and Future – Russian Roulette Episode 117

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with David Owen, former UK Foreign Secretary from 1977 until 1979 and author of a new book: Riddle, Mystery, and Enigma: Two Hundred Years of British-Russian Relations. They discuss the state of UK-Russia relations starting with a historical overview of the past two hundred years and ending with the future of the difficult relations of today. Subscribe to Russian Roulette, so you do not miss an episode: www.csis.org/subscribe Finally, check out the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program’s new podcast “NATO’s Road to Madrid,” which explores how the alliance is approaching the update of its Strategic Concept, the innerworkings of the organization, and how challenges from the inside complicate its ability to respond effectively: www.csis.org/podcasts/natos-road-madrid Thanks for listening!
12/20/202137 minutes, 16 seconds
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Of Russia’s Climate Gamble and the Northern Sea Route – Russian Roulette Episode 116

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather provides a brief overview of a new CSIS report, “Russia’s Climate Gamble: The Pursuit and Contradictions of its Arctic Ambitions,” which examines the implications of climate impacts for Russia’s economy, internal political dynamics, and security posture. Heather then sits down with Felix H. Tschudi, the Chairman and owner of the Tschudi Group, a Norwegian-based global shipping and logistics company with a long history in the Arctic. They discuss Russia’s ambitious plans for transforming the Northern Sea Route (NSR) into a major global shipping corridor, the impact of climate change and environmental activism on the NSR’s viability, and the prospects of China’s Transpolar route.   Check out the Center for High North Logistics to track developments in the High North and along the Northern Sea Route as well as the Marines Exchange of Alaska to track shipping traffic and emerging maritime issues in the Bering Sea as well as Alaska. For further information on the Bering Strait as a maritime passage, check out this CSIS report “Maritime Futures: The Arctic and the Bering Strait Region.”   To learn more about how climate change will reshape Russian politics, economics, and society, explore the recent work by Russian voices on climate change, civil society, and center-region dynamics here. To learn more about military and security issues related to the Arctic, follow CSIS’s Arctic Military Activity tracker for latest Russia and NATO’s military activities in the region.   Finally, subscribe to Russian Roulette, so you do not miss an episode. Thanks for listening!
10/8/202140 minutes, 4 seconds
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Of The Tale of Two Russian Occupations: Georgia and Ukraine – Russian Roulette Episode 115

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Mykola Bielieskov, Ph.D. student at the National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS), Ukraine, and Natia Seskuria, associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).  We discuss the effectiveness and shortcomings of Russia’s hard and soft power influence tools in Georgia and Ukraine, including its “borderization” policy in Georgia, its “passportization” in Donbas, and the role of the Orthodox Church. Finally, we finish the conversation with recommendations regarding how the West can resist the challenges presented by Russia’s occupation of Georgia and Ukraine’s territories. Both Natia and Mykola participated in CSIS “Understanding the Russian Military Today” executive education program in June and this episode is inspired by their papers written as part of their independent research. In his paper, Mykola dissects Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine’s borders this spring, while in her paper, Natia focuses on Russia’s “hybrid aggression” and influence tools in Georgia. Definitely check out their papers! Read Natia’s bio here and follow her on Twitter @nseskuria Subscribe to Russian Roulette, so you do not miss an episode. Thanks for listening! This program was funded by the Russia Strategic Initiative U.S. European Command, Stuttgart Germany. Opinions, arguments, viewpoints, and conclusions expressed in this work do not represent those of RSI, U.S. EUCOM, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
9/29/202148 minutes, 46 seconds
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Of Sino-Russian Military Cooperation: Alliance or Alignment? - Russian Roulette Episode 114

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Paul Schwartz, research scientist in the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses, and Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute. Paul and Richard are authors of the latest reports focusing on Sino-Russian cooperation, including Russia’s arms transfers to China and Sino-Russian military exercises.   They discuss the strategic conundrum presented by the Sino-Russian military cooperation to the United States. They also examine the costs to Russia of this partnership, the purpose of such cooperation, and whether their relationship is based on alignment or has turned into an alliance.   Paul’s report on Russian military transfers to China can be found here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/changing-nature-and-implications-russian-military-transfers-china Richard’s report on Chinese-Russian military exercises: https://www.csis.org/analysis/assessing-chinese-russian-military-exercises-past-progress-and-future-trends   You can find Paul’s bio here: https://www.cna.org/experts/Schwartz_P and Richard’s bio here: https://www.hudson.org/experts/433-richard-weitz   Thanks for listening!
7/12/202141 minutes, 40 seconds
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Of Russia’s Arctic Council Chairmanship and Sino-Russian Collaboration in the Arctic - Russian Roulette Episode 113

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Andrei Zagorski, Head of Department for Disarmament and Conflict Resolution Studies at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), and Elizabeth Buchanan, Lecturer of Strategic Studies with Deakin University for the Defense and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian War College.   They discuss Russia’s plans for its Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and its broader economic and security policy in the Arctic. They also explore China’s Arctic strategy since the unveiling of its Arctic white paper and shifts in its approach since becoming a permanent observer to the Council in 2013. Lastly, they do some myth-busting regarding the strategic conundrum presented by Sino-Russian cooperation in the Arctic.   If you are interested in learning more about Russia and NATO’s military activities in the region, check out our Arctic Military Activity tracker and read our primers on this important topic: The Ice Curtain: Russia’s Arctic Military Presence and America's Arctic Moment: Great Power Competition in the Arctic to 2050. But importantly, the Arctic region may be one of the few areas where the U.S and Russia can achieve some modest bilateral success.   You can find Dr. Zagorski’s bio here and Dr. Buchanan’s bio here. You can also follow her on Twitter: @BuchananLiz   Stay safe and healthy. 
7/9/202143 minutes, 13 seconds
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Of Politics in Moldova and Diversity in Russia and Eurasia Studies Field - Russian Roulette Episode 112

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Ambassador Dereck J. Hogan, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, who previously served as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the U.S. Department of State, and Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires in U.S. Embassy Baku, Azerbaijan, and Nicole B. Aandahl, the director of CSIS’s Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Program, which is dedicated to elevating diverse voices and perspectives to lead to more ideas, more innovation, and more robust policy solutions.   In this two-part episode, we begin the discussion with a focus on Moldova, including the impact of Covid-19, the reform agenda of and political challenges faced by President Maia Sandu’s administration, and the status of the “frozen” conflict in Transnistria. We then turn to a conversation about careers and diversity in the Russia and Eurasia studies field. In this second part of the conversation, Nicole Aandahl and Ambassador Hogan share their experiences in how they became interested in Russian studies, the importance of intentionality and inclusivity in the workplace, and the ways in which allies and mentors can help foster greater diversity among professionals in the field and the policymaking community.   You can find Ambassador Hogan’s bio here: https://md.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/our-ambassador/ and follow the U.S. Embassy in Moldova on Twitter: https://twitter.com/USembMoldova   You can find Nicole’s bio here: www.csis.org/people/nicole-breland-aandahl If you’re interested in learning more about CSIS’s Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Program, check out the page here: www.csis.org/programs/diversity-and-leadership-international-affairs-project.   Stay safe and healthy. 
4/12/202140 minutes, 29 seconds
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Of the Quad and Russia’s Role in the Indo-Pacific - Russian Roulette Episode 111

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Michael J. Green, senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of Asian Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. They discuss the key takeaways from a U.S.-Japan-Russia Track 2 conference in which CSIS participated late last year, the strategic implications of a robust Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), and the challenges presented by closer Sino-Russian coordination to the U.S. and other Quad members, such as Japan and India. They also explore Russia’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific and opportunities for the U.S. to maintain a regional dialogue with Moscow.  The co-written piece on the Quad mentioned by Heather Conley has been published. You can read it here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/return-quad-will-russia-and-china-form-their-own-bloc If you’re interested in hearing more from Michael Green, check out his expert page at CSIS.org here: www.csis.org/people/michael-j-green and listen to the podcast he hosts, the Asia Chessboard: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/asia-chessboard Lastly, you can follow the Japan Chair on Twitter @JapanChair to receive updates on their latest events and analysis. Stay safe and healthy. 
4/2/202136 minutes, 36 seconds
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Of Russia’s Energy Markets, Transitions, and Future - Russian Roulette Episode 110

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down Georgy Safonov, visiting fellow with our program and director at the Center for Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow; and Nikos Tsafos, deputy director and senior fellow at the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program.   They discuss what global carbon-neutrality pledges and policies mean for Russia’s energy transition, how the Russian energy industry may adapt to the changing European and Asian markets, and what energy alternatives Russia might focus on in the future.   The CSIS Europe, Russia and Eurasia Program is engaged in a new line of research dedicated to understanding the impact of climate change on Russia. Georgy – along with visiting fellows Andrei Semenov and Angelina Davydova – are leading Russian voices on climate change, civil society, and center-region dynamics. You can find the fellows’ commentaries here: https://www.csis.org/programs/europe-russia-and-eurasia-program/russia-and-eurasia/russia-time-climate-change and watch their remarks on Russian climate policy and the effects of climate change on Russia’s strategic future here: https://www.csis.org/events/russia-time-climate-change   You can find Georgy’s bio here: https://www.hse.ru/en/org/persons/512771. Nikos’s bio: https://www.csis.org/people/nikos-tsafos and Twitter handle: @ntsafos   We thank Carnegie Corporation of New York for sponsoring this initiative.   Stay safe and healthy. 
3/26/202144 minutes, 27 seconds
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Of The Dawn of a New Era in Arms Control?: Extending the New Start Treaty - Russian Roulette Episode 109

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down Rebecca Hersman, Director of the Project on Nuclear Issues (or PONI), and Senior Adviser, International Security Program at CSIS, and Dmitry Stefanovich, Research Fellow at the Center for International Security, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS) in Moscow.    They discuss the reasons why the Biden and Putin administrations are extending the last remaining U.S.-Russian arms control agreement, the New START treaty; the treaty’s importance; and the prospects for addressing new weapon systems and capabilities in a future agreement. The New START Treaty is also discussed as a pillar of a future, global and multilateral arms control and nuclear nonproliferation negotiating framework.    You can find Rebecca’s bio here: https://www.csis.org/people/rebecca-hersman and follow her on Twitter: @rebeccahersman    Dmitry’s bio: https://www.imemo.ru/en/about/persons/department/full?id=2228 and Twitter handle: @KomissarWhipla    Stay safe and healthy. 
1/28/202133 minutes, 32 seconds
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Of The End of a Very Long Year for U.S.-Russian Relations - Russian Roulette Episode 108

In this last Russian Roulette episode of the year, Heather sits down with Ambassador John J. Sullivan, the U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation and former Deputy Secretary of State. They discuss the highlights (the power of hockey diplomacy) and low points (the imprisonment of Paul Whelan) of his tenure as Ambassador, why there wasn’t a New START extension this year, as well as the impact of the changes to the Russian constitution, the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, and the foreign agent law on American interests. Finally, they also discuss the internal political dynamics in Russia in the lead up to next year’s Duma elections.   Ambassador Sullivan’s bio can be found here: https://ru.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/our-ambassador/ We gladly say farewell to 2020 and wish our listeners healthy and happy holidays. We have many exciting projects and conversations planned for 2021, so please keep an eye out for our announcements by subscribing to our mailing lists and following us on @CSISRussia and @CSISEurope. Thank you again for listening. Happy New Year! С наступающим 2021 годом!
12/30/202037 minutes, 10 seconds
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Of The Cost of Engineering Victory: Russia's September Elections and Impact of Team Navalny - Russian Roulette Episode 107

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather and Cyrus Newlin, associate fellow with the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia program, sit down with Masha Lipman, Senior Associate at the Institute of European, Eurasian and Russian Studies at George Washington University, Ben Noble, Assistant Professor in Russian Politics at the University College in London and Senior Research Fellow at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, to discuss the outcome of the September 13 elections in Russia and what they portend for next year’s high stakes Duma election. This episode assesses the success of Alexey Navalny’s “Smart Voting” strategy and what his poisoning meant to opposition forces in Russia. Experts also discuss the “menu of manipulation” deployed by the Kremlin during the election for nearly 9,000 municipal or regional seats and 18 governors and describe different levels of political competition across Russia. Although Putin’s popularity is once again on the rise, the dramatic change of the Kremlin’s policy toward Navalny speaks to its concern about securing victory for the United Russia Party in the future. Finally, they discussed the attitudes of the youth in Russia towards politics and how they will shape Russia’s future. You can find Ben’s bio here: https://www.ben-noble.com/, and follow him on Twitter: @Ben_H_Noble Cyrus’s: https://www.csis.org/people/cyrus-newlin We encourage you to listen to Maria Lipman’s insightful conversations on the PONARS Eurasia podcast on Russia and Eurasia: https://blubrry.com/ponars/ Stay safe and healthy.
10/8/202040 minutes, 42 seconds
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Of Russia’s Politics of Memory – Russian Roulette Episode 106

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Hannah Alberts, analyst with U.S. European Command based in the United Kingdom, and Jade McGlynn, researcher and lecturer at the University of Oxford. They were participants in CSIS’s Understanding the Russian Military Today, a five-day, professional development program that explored the elements of Russian military power, including its composition and prospects, social and historical foundations, doctrine, and current operations. As a final exercise, participants were tasked with developing short, independent research papers that explored one of four major themes: Russian society, strategy, and history; elements of Russian military power; recent uses of Russian military power; and resources behind Russian military power. Hannah and Jade discussed their papers, both of which focus on how Russia instrumentalizes history and culture at home as well as abroad to serve a political or military purpose. You can find Hannah’s paper here: https://www.csis.org/blogs/post-soviet-post/next-generation-fighters Jade’s: https://www.csis.org/blogs/post-soviet-post/constructing-memory-alliances You can also follow Jade on Twitter: @jademcglynn122 You can find papers written by other participants here: https://www.csis.org/programs/russia-and-eurasia-program/understanding-russian-military-today Stay safe and healthy.
9/25/202037 minutes, 14 seconds
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Of A ‘Pause’ in the Belarusian “Democratic Revolution” - Russian Roulette Episode 105

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, and David J. Kramer, Senior Fellow in the Václav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy at the Florida International University to discuss the current situation in Belarus, the implications of the Lukashenko regime’s brutal response to peaceful protests, the prospect for future free and fair elections, the role of Russia in the crisis and the policy responses from the E.U and U.S. The Minister’s bio can be found here: https://www.urm.lt/default/en/officials/ministras You can follow him on Twitter: @LinkeviciusL   David Kramer’s bio is here: https://sipa.fiu.edu/people/senior-fellows/profiles/davidj.kramer.html Stay safe and healthy.
8/26/202026 minutes, 10 seconds
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Of Russian Influence in Germany - Russian Roulette Episode 104

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather Conley sits down with Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff and Tabea Wilke to discuss elements of Jeff’s report “With Friends Like These: Assessing Russian Influence in Germany.” This report is the Germany case study of an ambitious year-long CSIS initiative to analyze Russian influence activities in the United Kingdom and Germany and Chinese influence activities in Japan and Australia. Jeff’s biography can be found here: https://inss.ndu.edu/Media/Biographies/Article-View/Article/2142394/mankoff-jeffrey/ Tabea’s here: http://tabeawilke.de/about/ The report can be read on the CSIS website: https://www.csis.org/analysis/friends-these-assessing-russian-influence-germany As for the other reports on Russian influence in the United Kingdom and Chinese influence in Japan and Australia, you can find them on the project webpage: https://www.csis.org/programs/europe-program/countering-russian-chinese-influence-activities You can find Dr. Amy Searight discussing Chinese influence in Australia on the Asia Chessboard podcast here: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/asia-chessboard/hidden-moves-countering-russian-and-chinese-influence-activities-chessboard Stay safe and healthy.
8/11/202031 minutes, 57 seconds
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Of Improvisation and Adaptability in the Russian Military, Part II - Russian Roulette Episode 103

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Andreas Turunen and Joe Cheravitch to discuss the Russian military's electronic and psychological operations, and the roles they play in Russian doctrine and strategy. Andreas and Joe contributed chapters to the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program's report "Improvisation and Adaptability in the Russian Military." Andreas’s biography can be found here: http://www.conflictstudies.org.uk/current-work.php The report can be read on the CSIS website: https://www.csis.org/analysis/improvisation-and-adaptability-russian-military You can find Part 1 of the conversation with the other authors here: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/russian-roulette/improvisation-and-adaptability-russian-military-part-i-russian-roulette Stay safe and healthy!
8/11/202028 minutes, 37 seconds
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Of Improvisation and Adaptability in the Russian Military, Part I - Russian Roulette Episode 102

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Stephen Blank, Michael Petersen, and Samuel Bendett to discuss the Russian military's developing operational concepts and capabilities, and what they mean for the United States and its Allies. Steve, Mike, and Sam contributed chapters to the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program's recent report "Improvisation and Adaptability in the Russian Military." Their biographies can be found here: Stephen’s: https://www.fpri.org/contributor/stephen-blank/, Michael’s: https://usnwc.edu/Faculty-and-Departments/Directory/Michael-Petersen, and Sam’s: https://www.cna.org/experts/Bendett_S The report can be found here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/improvisation-and-adaptability-russian-military You can follow Sam and Michael on Twitter: @SamBendett, @Mi_Petersen38 We thank the Russia Strategic Initiative, U.S. European Command, for their interest and support for the project. Stay safe and prosper.    
5/1/202030 minutes, 17 seconds
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Of COVID19 Measures--or lack thereof--in Russia - Russian Roulette Episode 101

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff is joined by Judy Twigg, Professor of Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University and a Senior Associate with the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program. They discuss the COVID19 outbreak in Russia and how well the government and the public health system are coping with this challenge. Judy also mentions the situation in Ukraine, so keep listening for that, too.   You can find Judy Twigg’s bio and selected work here: https://politicalscience.vcu.edu/people/faculty/twigg.html, and follow her on Twitter: @jtwigg9 Her previous appearance on Russian Roulette discussing a co-authored report “Putin and Global Health: Friend or Foe?" can be found on our website: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/russian-roulette/putin-and-global-health-friend-or-foe-russian-roulette-episode-91. Judy’s recent publications on COVID19 and Russia can be accessed: https://www.thinkglobalhealth.org/article/russias-not-ready-coronavirus and https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/what-lies-behind-russias-coronavirus-containment-effort.   Stay safe and prosper.
4/7/202035 minutes, 51 seconds
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Of Coronavirus in Central Asia - Russian Roulette Episode 100

In this 100 episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff is joined by Torokul Doorov, the Director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Kazakh Service, and Aigerim Toleukhanova, digital editor with RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service. They discuss the coronavirus outbreak in Central Asia and what its implications are for regional politics, economics, society, and more.   You can find Torokul and Aigerim’s bios here: https://pressroom.rferl.org/experts   Both are also avid Twitter users, so consider following them @Torokul and @aygeryma   We thank all our listeners for their support—we couldn’t have reached episode #100 without you. Stay safe and prosper.  
3/31/202038 minutes, 41 seconds
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Of Prospects for U.S.-Russia Arms Control - Russian Roulette Episode 99

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff is joined by Andrey Baklitskiy, a recent CSIS Visiting Fellow and a consultant at the PIR Center in Moscow. They discuss Andrey’s forthcoming CSIS report on the future of U.S.-Russia arms control, whether strategic arms control is needed in today’s context, and Russian experts’ and officials’ views of arms control. Andrey also discusses his wager on whether New START is extended or not.   You can find Andrey's report on the CSIS website: https://www.csis.org/analysis/prospects-us-russian-arms-control The video of our recent public event with Andrey can be found here: https://www.csis.org/events/prospects-us-russia-arms-control   Andrey’s bio can be found here: https://www.csis.org/programs/russia-and-eurasia-program/staff-and-affiliates/fellows   Andrey is also an avid Twitter user, so consider following him @baklitskiy. He also hosts his own podcast (in Russian), called Принуждение к миру, which you can access on Apple Podcasts at: https://apple.co/2xQDh47   We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and prosper.  
3/19/202036 minutes, 37 seconds
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Of Russia’s Political Transition and its Constitution - Russian Roulette Episode 98

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute and author of Law and the Russian State: Russia's Legal Evolution from Peter the Great to Vladimir Putin (Bloomsbury, 2018). They discuss the proposed Russian constitutional reform, its key provisions, and what their impact is likely to be.   Will’s previous appearance on Russian Roulette, when he discussed his book, can be found here: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/russian-roulette/law-and-russian-state-%E2%80%93-russian-roulette-episode-78 Will’s book is available for purchase here: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/law-and-the-russian-state-9781474224246/, or for order from your local bookstore.   You can find his bio as well as his other works here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/william-e-pomeranz   We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
2/27/202032 minutes, 46 seconds
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Of Russian’s Moral Dilemmas and Compromises - Russian Roulette Episode 96

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Joshua Yaffa, correspondent for The New Yorker in Moscow. They focus on his recently published book Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin’s Russia. They discuss how entrepreneurs, artists, or historians balance the demands of the state and their ambitions and whether “double think” that was present in the Soviet Union is present in Russia today.   You can find Joshua’s bio and purchase the book here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/555637/between-two-fires-by-joshua-yaffa/   If you would like to follow Joshua on Twitter: @yaffaesque   We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
1/24/202031 minutes, 17 seconds
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Of Russia, U.S., and BRICS - Russian Roulette Episode 95

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Rachel Salzman, who was recently a Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. They discuss her recent book Russia, BRICS, and the Disruption of Global Order, as well as role BRICS plays in U.S. policy.   You can find Rachel’s bio here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/rachel-s-salzman   As Jeff said, her book can be a great gift to the people in your life who like reading about Russia, global institutions, and global order. You can purchase her book here: https://www.amazon.com/Russia-BRICS-Disruption-Global-Order/dp/1626166617   The recent event she did with us at CSIS can be found here: https://www.csis.org/events/book-discussion-putin-america-and-brics Her twitter handle is: @RSSalzman   We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you. We wish you a Happy New Year!    
1/3/202036 minutes, 54 seconds
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Of Russian Prospects in the Middle East- Russian Roulette Episode 94

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Alexey Khlebnikov, Middle East/North Africa expert at the Russian International Affairs Council and private consultant at various think tanks around the world. They discuss Moscow’s successes and failures in Syria as well as the changes in the region that have taken place since Russia’s military intervention in Syria. Khlebnikov also discusses how the U.S. and Russia could cooperate in the Middle East. You can find Alexey’s bio here: https://russiancouncil.ru/en/aleksey-khlebnikov/ Follow him on twitter here: @AleksKhlebnikov We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
12/17/201936 minutes, 43 seconds
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Of Russian Intelligence and Political Emigres - Russian Roulette Episode 93

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, investigative journalists based in Moscow and co-founders of the website agentura.ru. They discuss their recently released book The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia's Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad. You will get to hear the history of Russian intelligence as well as its relationship with exiles and emigres abroad. Andrei and Irina also comment on how they do their research and how the Skripal poisoning in the U.K. affected their sources. Their website: http://www.agentura.ru/english/ You can purchase their recently released book as well as others here: https://amzn.to/2qw1lWF Follow them on twitter: @irinaborogan and @AndreiSoldatov We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
11/22/201940 minutes, 7 seconds
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Of Mirziyoyev’s Uzbekistan- Russian Roulette Episode 92

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Anthony Bowyer, Programmatic and Research Advisor, Europe and Eurasia at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). They discuss President Mirziyoyev’s reform program in Uzbekistan and how the country has changed, including its parties and elections, and what has remained constant. You can find Anthony Bowyer’s bio here: https://www.ifes.org/people/anthony-bowyer. You can read his paper “Political Reform in Mirziyoyev's Uzbekistan: Elections, Political Parties and Civil Society” here: https://www.silkroadstudies.org/publications/silkroad-papers-and-monographs/item/13284-political-reform-in-mirziyoyevs-uzbekistan-elections-political-parties-and-civil-society.html We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
11/5/201937 minutes, 35 seconds
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Of Putin and Global Health: Friend or Foe? - Russian Roulette Episode 91

In this special joint episode of Russian Roulette and Take as Directed, Jeff is joined by J. Stephen Morrison, the Senior Vice President and Director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and Judy Twigg, Professor of Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University and a Senior Associate with the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program. They discuss Stephen and Judy’s recent report “Putin and Global Health: Friend or Foe?” which outlines their recommendations for expanding U.S. engagement to promote health security and counter Russian influence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.   The report is available at: https://www.csis.org/analysis/putin-and-global-health-friend-or-foe   You can find Stephen Morrison’s bio here: https://www.csis.org/people/j-stephen-morrison and his twitter is @MorrisonCSIS   Judith Twigg’s bio is at: https://politicalscience.vcu.edu/people/faculty/twigg.html, and her twitter handle is @jtwigg9   Consider subscribing to Global Health Center’s podcast Take as Directed at: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/take-directed.   You can also follow the Global Health Center on Twitter: @CSISHealth   We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you!    
10/2/201932 minutes, 16 seconds
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Of Putin and Xi – Russian Roulette Episode 90

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Hilary Appel, the Podlich Family Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College in California. They discuss her memo “Are Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin Partners? Interpreting The Russia-China Rapprochement,” as well as the reinterpretation of Chinese investment as a ‘debt trap.’ You can find Hilary Appel’s bio here: https://www.cmc.edu/academic/faculty/profile/hilary-appel Her memo is here: http://www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/are-xi-jinping-and-vladimir-putin-partners-interpreting-russia-china-rapprochement The “China’s Rise in Eurasia” event where Dr. Appel discusses her memo is on our website: https://www.csis.org/events/chinas-rise-eurasia Keep an eye out on the PONARS website to read Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick’s memo on the two leaders as well here: http://www.ponarseurasia.org/ We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
9/20/201937 minutes, 51 seconds
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Of a Post-INF World and NATO - Russian Roulette Episode 89

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Rachel Ellehuus, deputy director and senior fellow with the Europe Program at CSIS. They discuss the European reaction to the lapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the effect of the demise on NATO’s strategy, and the prospects for the new START agreement. You can find Rachel Ellehuus’s bio here: https://www.csis.org/people/rachel-ellehuus Her recent piece “A NATO Strategy for a Post-INF World” is here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/nato-strategy-post-inf-world We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
9/10/201931 minutes, 54 seconds
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Of Potential Catastrophes and How to Avoid Them - Russian Roulette Episode 88

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with George Beebe, the Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for the National Interest, and former head of Russia analysis at the Central Intelligence Agency. They discuss the American schools of thought on Russia, how the new tools and technology complicate strategic stability, and how to avoid potentially catastrophic outcomes. You can find George Beebe’s bio here: https://cftni.org/expert/george-beebe/ You can order his book The Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral into Nuclear Catastrophe starting in September: https://www.amazon.com/Russia-Trap-Shadow-Could-Escalate/dp/1250316626 We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
8/30/201944 minutes, 39 seconds
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Of Kyrgyzstan and Political Transitions - Russian Roulette Episode 87

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Erica Marat, who is an associate professor at the College of International Security Affairs at the U.S. National Defense University. Her recent book, The Politics of Police Reform, explores transformation of law enforcement agencies in former Soviet countries. They discuss the recent upheaval in Kyrgyzstan, as well as protests and police reforms in the former Soviet Union more broadly. You can find Erica Marat’s recent book here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-politics-of-police-reform-9780190861490?cc=us&lang=en& We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
8/21/201938 minutes
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Of Russian Protests (and mailbag questions) – Russian Roulette Episode 86

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with…well, himself, to talk about the Moscow protests and what they may mean for Russia and for the Kremlin. He also answers mailbag questions, including on the differences between U.S. and Russian ideologies and the role of nationality and history in the countries sandwiched between the West and Russia. We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
8/8/201933 minutes, 39 seconds
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Of Prospects for U.S.-Russia Relations – Russian Roulette Episode 85

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Dmitry Suslov, who is Deputy Director, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. They discuss the Trump-Putin meeting in Osaka, strategic stability, competing U.S. and Russian views of international order, and much else besides. You can find Dmitry Suslov’s bio here: https://www.hse.ru/en/org/persons/1165509 You can find the video of his recent public presentation at CSIS here: https://www.csis.org/events/prospects-us-russia-relations-perspective-moscow We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
7/24/201942 minutes, 24 seconds
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Of Politics in Moldova - Russian Roulette Episode 84

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Lyndon Allin, currently a D.C. based lawyer, who was a U.S. State Department secondee to the OSCE Mission to Moldova from 2011 to 2016. They discuss Moldova’s political transition, what it means for Russia, U.S., and Europe as well as devote time to Transnistria. You can find Lyndon Allin’s bio here: https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/people/a/allin-lyndon-k The piece he co-wrote on the ouster of Moldova’s ruling party is here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/draining-the-moldovan-swamp You can follow him on Twitter: @scrapsofmoscow We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
7/12/201945 minutes, 32 seconds
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Of Russian Influence in Europe - Russian Roulette Episode 83

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Jakub Janda, head of Kremlin Watch and Director at the European Values Think-Tank in Prague. They discuss Russian disinformation and influence operations in Europe as well as European states’ responses to them. If you are interested in China’s operations in Europe and how they differ from Russia’s, stay tuned to hear Jakub mention this as well.     You can find Jakub Janda’s bio here: https://www.kremlinwatch.eu/#our-team  The Kremlin Watch’s 2018 ranking of EU28’s responses to Russian operations is here: https://www.kremlinwatch.eu/userfiles/2018-ranking-of-countermeasures-by-the-eu28-to-the-kremlin-s-subversion-operations.pdf We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
6/26/201939 minutes, 34 seconds
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Of Translating Russian Fiction - Russian Roulette Episode 82

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff welcomes Marian Schwartz, a prize-winning translator of Russian fiction and other works. They discuss her new translation of Olga Slavnikova’s novel The Man Who Couldn’t Die, as well as the state of Russian fiction today. Marian recommends other authors for you to discover and mentions a funny story illustrating the dangers of translating classical literature.     You can read Marian’s bio here: https://www.marianschwartz.com/about and purchase the book here: https://cup.columbia.edu/book/the-man-who-couldnt-die/9780231185950 We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
5/31/201940 minutes, 55 seconds
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Of President Zelenskiy - Russian Roulette Episode 81

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff welcomes back Melinda Haring, editor of the UkraineAlert blog at the Atlantic Council. As the dust settles from a raucous Ukrainian presidential campaign (though by all measures a smooth and fair election day) they discuss what a Zelenskiy presidency means for Ukraine, for Russia, and for the West, and delve into Ukraine’s parliamentary politics in the runup to October Rada elections. testtest You can read Melinda’s bio and recent publications, here: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/about/experts/list/melinda-haring We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
5/7/201937 minutes
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Of Rogue and Peer Competitors - Russian Roulette Episode 80

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Ambassador James Dobbins, Howard Schultz, and Ali Wyne, authors of the recent RAND Corporation report “Russia Is a Rogue, Not a Peer; China Is a Peer, Not a Rogue.” They discuss what type of challenge Russia and China pose to U.S. interests, how the two challenges are similar and different, and what U.S. policy can do in response to each. We encourage you to read their report, here: https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE310.html You can view their bios and other publications, here: https://www.rand.org/about/people/d/dobbins_james.html https://www.rand.org/about/people/s/shatz_howard_j.html https://www.rand.org/about/people/w/wyne_ali.html
4/16/201945 minutes, 44 seconds
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Of Putin's World - Russian Roulette Episode 79

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Angela Stent, director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and a professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, and author of the recent book “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest” (Twelve, 2019), for which she won the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy’s prize for the best book on U.S-Russia Relations. They discuss Angela's new book, U.S.-Russia relations, Vladimir Putin's role in the construction of Russian foreign policy, and much, much more. You can read Angela's bio and other publications, here: https://www.brookings.edu/experts/angela-stent/ We highly encourage (insist!) you pick up a copy of Angela's book at your local bookstore, or order it, here: https://www.twelvebooks.com/titles/angela-stent/putins-world/9781455533015/
4/4/201941 minutes, 41 seconds
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Of Law and the Russian State – Russian Roulette Episode 78

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute and author of Law and the Russian State: Russia's Legal Evolution from Peter the Great to Vladimir Putin (Bloomsbury, 2018). They discuss the evolution of law in Russia, the role of state power in the Russian legal tradition, the criminalization of commercial disputes, including the recent Michael Calvey case, Russia’s succession question and its legal ramifications, and much, much more. We sincerely recommend Will’s book, available for purchase, here, https://www.amazon.com/Law-Russian-State-Evolution-Bloomsbury/dp/1474224229, or for order from your local bookstore. You can view Will’s bio and read more about his other projects, here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/william-e-pomeranz We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
3/14/201945 minutes, 57 seconds
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Of Fractured Regions – Russian Roulette Episode 77

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Anna Ohanyan, the Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Stonehill College. They discuss the concept of “regional fracture” in the post-Soviet world, how Russia employs this strategy to secure its own aims, what can be done about it, and why we should care. For more on this topic, check out Anna’s new book, an edited volume titled Russia Abroad: Driving Regional Fracture in Post-Communist Eurasia and Beyond (Georgetown University Press, 2018) - http://press.georgetown.edu/book/georgetown/russia-abroad. And don’t miss Anna’s recent presentation at CSIS: https://www.csis.org/events/russia-abroad You can view Anna’s bio and read more about her other projects, here: https://www.stonehill.edu/directory/anna-ohanyan/ We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
2/27/201932 minutes, 3 seconds
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Of Kazakhstan – Russian Roulette Episode 76

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Joanna Lillis, an Almaty-based journalist for The Economist, The Guardian, and EurasiaNet and author of the recent book Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan, a vibrant portrait of the country based on 13 years of on-the-ground reporting. They discuss Nursultan Nazarbayev’s legacy, Kazakh identity and lots more. You can follow Joanna, here, https://twitter.com/joannalillis?lang=en, and we recommend you purchase her excellent book through your local independent book store.  We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
2/13/201943 minutes, 56 seconds
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Of Russia and the New Congress – Russian Roulette Episode 75

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Louis Lauter, Vice President for Congressional and Government Affairs at CSIS, and Colin McElhinny, Associate Director and Associate Fellow for Congressional and Government Affairs at CSIS. They discuss the role of Congress in U.S. relations with Russia, attitudes and approaches to Russia in the new Congress, and what sanctions legislation may be on the horizon. Note that this episode was recorded on January 25, before the government shutdown had ended. You can learn more about Louis, here, https://www.csis.org/people/louis-lauter, and Colin, here, https://www.csis.org/people/colin-mcelhinny. Be sure to check out their excellent work measuring the internationalism of Congress, here: https://www.csis.org/features/beyond-waters-edge We want more mail! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
1/29/201930 minutes, 20 seconds
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Of the Day after INF, and Mail – Russian Roulette Episode 74

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Adam Mount, a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists, to discuss the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, its apparent demise, and the future of nuclear arms control. Then, Jeff answers our listeners’ mailbag questions on missile defense, the link between national identity and security orders in the post-Soviet region, and the future of Crimea. Check out Adam’s bio and his recent publications, here: https://fas.org/expert/adam-mount/ We answered your mail, and we need more! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
1/15/201940 minutes, 22 seconds
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Of an Old Year (and New Beginnings)

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Olya and Jeff offer their take on a busy 2018 in Russia and Eurasia: the Mueller investigation, Vladimir Putin 4.0, Skripal, the World Cup, Trump and Putin’s Helsinki encounter, a new government in Armenia, the Sea of Azov crisis. It's all here, and much, much more.   2018 brought some good news and some bad news. In the latter category, we are sad to report that this is the final episode of Russian Roulette featuring co-host Olya Oliker (though not the final episode of Russian Roulette, nor, likely, even the final episode with Olya participating). Olya is off to an exciting new position as head the Europe & Central Asia division of the International Crisis Group. Olya bids her farewell and thanks to all Russian Roulette listeners. This has been one of her favorite parts of the job, and your support made it possible. Meanwhile, Jeff will continue to carry the Russian Roulette torch into 2019.   It’s a New Year and we need new mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you. С наступающим 2019 годом!  
1/1/201942 minutes, 17 seconds
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Of Ukraine’s Election Campaign – Russian Roulette Episode 72

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Melinda Haring, Editor of the UkraineAlert blog at the Atlantic Council and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. They discuss the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine: the candidates, the issues, how it’s likely to play out, and what it all means for Ukraine and for the West. You can view Melinda’s bio, here, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/about/experts/list/melinda-haring#fullbio, and follow the excellent UkraineAlert blog, here, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert. Check out video of a recent CSIS event on Ukraine’s elections, here: https://www.csis.org/events/ukraines-election-campaign. As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
12/18/201829 minutes, 11 seconds
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Of Famine and Memory in Kazakhstan – Russian Roulette Episode 71

In this episode, Jeff sits down with Sarah Cameron, associate professor of history at the University of Maryland and author of the recent book The Hungry Steppe: Famine, Violence, and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan (Cornell University Press, 2018), which examines an important though oft-overlooked episode in Soviet collectivization, the Kazakh famine of 1930-33. They discuss the causes and consequences of the famine; Sarah’s experience researching the topic in Kazakhstan; why the Kazakh famine is so little known in the West; how Kazakh society interacts with this episode of its history; and the state (and politics) of scholarship on Soviet collectivization.   You can view Sarah’s bio, here, http://history.umd.edu/users/scameron, and you can purchase her book, here: http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140109782010   As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
12/5/201842 minutes, 36 seconds
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Of Bipartisanship and Bilateral Relations – Russian Roulette Episode 70

In this episode, Jeff sits down with Philip Stewart, Director of the Program in Dialogue in Organizations at the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, and a Senior Associate at the Kettering Foundation. Phil directs a bipartisan dialogue on U.S. policy towards Russia—a Track 2 for Republicans and Democrats designed to formulate a sustainable U.S. policy towards Russia. They discuss the structure and content of the meetings, how Russia factors in U.S. domestic politics, and Phil’s impressions from a recent trip to Moscow of how Russia’s domestic political landscape is evolving.   You can read some of Philip’s earlier publications, here, https://www.kettering.org/content/phil-stewart, or view his work history, here, https://www.linkedin.com/in/philip-stewart-a3009413/.   As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
11/20/201841 minutes, 44 seconds
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Of Sanctions – Russian Roulette Episode 69

On this election day 2018, Jeff sits down with Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for New American Security (CNAS) for a sanctions-themed episode of Russian Roulette. They discuss the strategy and evolution of the Russia sanctions program, what effects sanctions have had on the economy and politics of Russia, the risks to the United States of over-relying on sanctions, and how Russia sanctions factor into U.S. domestic politics in 2018 and beyond.   You can view Elizabeth’s bio and recent publications, here: https://www.cnas.org/people/elizabeth-rosenberg   Having trouble navigating the web of U.S. sanctions against Russia? We organized them for you. Check out the CSIS Russia Sanctions Tracker @ https://russiasanctionstracker.csis.org/   As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
11/6/201841 minutes, 19 seconds
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Of Russia and the European Far Right – Russian Roulette Episode 68

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Marlene Laruelle, a research professor at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, associate director of the Institute for Europe, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, and co-director of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia). Not least, Marlene is editor of the forthcoming collected volume Entangled Far Rights: A Russian-European Intellectual Romance in the Twentieth Century (November 6, 2018: University of Pittsburgh Press). They discuss the genesis and evolution of European-Russian far right connections, how Russia does and doesn’t influence the European far right today, and, shifting to a debate in the Eurasia academic community, the use of the term “fascist” to describe contemporary Russia. You can view Marlene’s bio and recent publications, here: https://elliott.gwu.edu/marlene-laruelle We encourage you to preorder her edited volume, here: https://www.amazon.com/Entangled-Far-Rights-Russian-European-Intellectual/dp/0822965658 As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
10/24/201833 minutes, 3 seconds
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Of Insecurity In Between – Russian Roulette Episode 67

In this episode, Olya and Jeff sit down with Sam Charap, a senior political scientist at RAND Corp and coauthor of the recent RAND report “Rethinking the Regional Order for Post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia,” which explores solutions to the dilemma of mutually exclusive Russian and Western integration paths for six “in between” countries: Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. We discuss the report’s findings and the viability of this third path to European security, as well as U.S.-Russia relations, Ukraine’s future, and European security writ large.   You can view Sam’s bio and recent publications, here: https://www.rand.org/about/people/c/charap_samuel.html#overview   And you can read the report, here: https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE297.html and Sam’s book on the Ukraine crisis, co-authored with Timothy Colton, here: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781138633087   As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
10/9/201842 minutes, 56 seconds
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Of Alexander Litvinenko (and mail) – Russian Roulette Episode 66

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Marina Litvinenko, an activist, campaigner, and the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident poisoned in London by agents of the Russian government in 2006. They discuss Marina’s campaign to raise awareness about the Russian government’s illicit activity abroad, continuities between her husband’s case and the recent Skripal poisonings in Salisbury, Russian state propaganda, and more. Then, Olya and Jeff answer some mailbag questions from our esteemed Russian Roulette listeners. For an account of Alexander Litvinenko’s activities as a whistleblower and his subsequent murder, we encourage you to read Death of a Dissident, coauthored by Marina Litvinenko and Alex Goldfarb. You can read more about Marina and Alex’s legal campaign against Russian state propaganda, here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/06/alexander-litvinenko-alex-goldfarb-sues-russian-tv-channels-for-libels As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.    
9/25/201836 minutes, 10 seconds
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Of Grassroots Activism in Russia – Russian Roulette Episode 65

In this episode, Olya and Jeff sit down with Evgeniya Chirikova, a Russian environmental activist who got her start organizing opposition to a planned highway project that would destroy swathes of the federally-protected Khimki forest near Moscow. Our discussion of her efforts to save Khimki forest spills into a broader one about grassroots activism in Russia, its lessons, and its prospects. You can read more about Evgeniya’s career, work and activism, here: https://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/evgenia-chirikova/ Check out Evgeniya’s website and project, Activatica, here: http://activatica.org/. Activatica is a digital communication platform that aims to build a network of activists in Russia around the word. As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
9/11/201847 minutes, 20 seconds
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Of Putinism and Codes – Russian Roulette Episode 64

In this episode, Olga and Jeff sit down with Brian Taylor to talk about his new book, The Code of Putinism. Brian is a professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and his book provides a framework for thinking about Russian domestic and foreign policy. This podcast is a companion to the book launch CSIS hosted for The Code of Putinism, so we strongly recommend you check out both. The book launch discussion, which also featured Stephen Hanson, Vice Provost for International Affairs at William and Marry College, is available here: https://www.csis.org/events/code-putinism-book-launch-event You can view Brian’s bio and other publications, here: https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/psc/Taylor,_Brian/ If you would like to purchase The Code of Putinism, it is available in many fine bookstores. If you prefer your books delivered to your door, Olya asks that you consider an independent seller: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780190867324 As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.  
8/28/201837 minutes, 43 seconds
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Of Eurasia, in 44 Minutes – Russian Roulette Episode 63

In this episode, Olya and Jeff sit down with Bill Courtney for a complete tour d’Eurasie. Bill is an adjunct senior fellow at the RAND Corporation and a former career foreign service officer. He served as ambassador to Georgia, Kazakhstan, and the U.S.-Soviet Bilateral Consultative Commission, and covered Russia and Eurasia on the NSC. We discuss the Russian economy, from taxi drivers and pension reform to sanctions and business conditions, and recent developments in Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Armenia. At 3:34, Olya erroneously states that the minimum retirement age for women in Russia is being raised to 60. It is being raised to 63. At 34:20 Jeff mentions the evolution of the term “Eastern Europe.” For context, we recommend you read Timothy Garten Ash’s article on the topic, here: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1986/10/09/does-central-europe-exist/. You can view Bill’s (illustrious) bio and read his recent publications, here: https://www.rand.org/about/people/c/courtney_william.html. As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
8/14/201844 minutes, 33 seconds
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Of Cold War Poland and Today’s Hot Topics - Russian Roulette Episode 62

In this episode, Jeff sits down with Seth G. Jones, director of the Transnational Threats Project and a senior adviser to the International Security Program at CSIS, to discuss Seth’s forthcoming book, A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland, and the legacy of Cold War political warfare. You can view Seth’s bio and recent publications, here: https://www.csis.org/people/seth-g-jones. We encourage you to pre-order his book, here: http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=4294995524. As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
7/31/201838 minutes, 39 seconds
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Of Summitry and Asummitry–Russian Roulette Episode 61

Jeff and Jeff take center stage in our sixty-first episode of Russian Roulette. Jeff Mankoff sits down with Jeff Rathke, senior fellow and deputy director of the Europe Program at CSIS to discuss major takeaways from the most recent NATO summit, as well as the upcoming (at the time of recording) Trump-Putin bilateral meeting. Then, Jeff Mankoff tackles new mailbag questions, with some help from Research Associate and Producer, Cyrus Newlin. You can view Jeff Rathke’s bio and publications, here: https://www.csis.org/people/jeffrey-rathke. For more summitry, be sure to catch his appearance on our sister podcast, The Readout, here: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/readout. As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
7/17/201847 minutes, 3 seconds
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Of Proliferants and Nonproliferants – Russian Roulette Episode 60

In this episode of Russian Roulette, we sit down with Andrey Baklitskiy. Andrey is a consultant with the PIR Center in Moscow who writes and speaks on arms control and nonproliferation issues. We discuss Russian approaches to nonproliferation, Iran and North Korea, the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and the future of arms control. You can read Andrey’s bio and some of his recent articles here: http://www.pircenter.org/en/experts/25-2147658. Olya and Andrey’s recently coauthored article, “The Nuclear Posture Review and Russian ‘De-Escalation:’ A Dangerous Solution to a Nonexistent Problem,” is available for you to read, here: https://warontherocks.com/2018/02/nuclear-posture-review-russian-de-escalation-dangerous-solution-nonexistent-problem/. We encourage you to read the final report and discussion papers from our U.S.-Russia Crisis Stability dialogue here: https://www.csis.org/programs/russia-and-eurasia-program/us-russia-crisis-stability-results-track-ii-dialogue. You can watch Olya, Andrey, and Sharon Squassoni of George Washington University discuss the results of that dialogue here: https://www.csis.org/events/us-russia-crisis-stability-results-strategic-dialogue. As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
6/19/201841 minutes, 53 seconds
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Of Russia’s Political Economy, and Grad Students in Basements – Russian Roulette Episode 59

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Jeff sits down with Aaron Schwartzbaum, the founder and former editor-in-chief of BMB Russia (formerly the Bear Market Brief), a daily news brief and blog covering Russia’s economy, politics, business climate, and political risk environment. They discuss the Russian economy (myths, facts, and mysteries, as well as Russia’s economic outlook), Aaron’s experience starting and running BMB Russia, and how generational differences shape U.S. policy towards Russia. We encourage you to read and sign up for BMB Russia, here: https://bearmarketbrief.com/ You can view Aaron’s bio, here: https://www.fpri.org/contributor/aaron-schwartzbaum/. As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
6/5/201843 minutes, 6 seconds
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Of Russian Military Reforms from Georgia to Syria – Russian Roulette Episode 58

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Olya sits down with Anton Lavrov, a visiting fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS and an independent defense analyst affiliated with the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST). Anton is a leading specialist on Russia’s 2008 war in Georgia, and a widely-cited expert on Russian military capabilities and Russian operations abroad. Olya and Anton discuss Russian military reforms, what new capabilities Russia demonstrated in Syria, and where the Russian military may (or may not) be heading. You can view Anton’s bio, here, https://www.csis.org/programs/russia-and-eurasia-program/fellows, and watch his recent presentation at CSIS, here: https://www.csis.org/events/russian-armed-forces-syria-assessing-russian-reforms We’ll link to Anton’s forthcoming report for the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program as soon as it is published. As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
5/22/201828 minutes, 23 seconds
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Of Armaments and Armenia: Russian Roulette Episode 57

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Olya sits down with Leonid Nersisyan, Military Analyst at the REGNUM Information Agency and Editor in Chief of the Moscow-based New Defense Order Strategy magazine. They discuss the state of military analysis in Russia, including Leonid’s experience running a military affairs magazine; the Russian military-industrial complex and how defense contracts work in Russia; some of Russia’s new strategic systems; and the INF treaty and the future of U.S.-Russia arms control. Then, Olya and Jeff sit down for an overdue current affairs segment, where they tackle the latest political developments in Armenia, which has had a very exciting few weeks of protests, culminating in a new Prime Minister. To read some of Leonid’s English-language analysis, check out his National Interest pieces, here: http://nationalinterest.org/profile/leonid-nersisyan. Watch Leonid’s public presentation at CSIS, here: https://www.csis.org/events/putins-new-strategic-systems-plans-realities-and-prospects You can read New Defense Order Strategy, here: http://en.dfnc.ru/ And check out our recent CSIS event on Armenia, here: https://www.csis.org/events/armenias-new-challenges-how-should-west-respond As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
5/8/201839 minutes, 38 seconds
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Of Reading Russia—And Our Mail - Russian Roulette Episode 56

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Olya and Jeff answer the mail! (yes, it has been too long without a mailbag). Then, Olya sits down with Michael Kimmage, a professor of history at Catholic University who from 2014-2016 held the Russia/Ukraine portfolio on the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State. They discuss Russian literature: the essential works (including those less known in the West); how literature expands and complicates America’s understanding of Russia (and vice versa); film, animation, and Russian normalcy; the role of books and prose in Russian politics and society; and why policymakers in Washington should read Russian literature now more than ever. For more information on Michael and for a list of his publications, click here: https://history.catholic.edu/faculty-and-research/faculty-profiles/kimmage-michael/index.html For your reference and reading enjoyment, here are some of the books, poets, films, and animations discussed in the episode: Books and Poets One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn: https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/title/one-day-in-the-life-of-ivan-denisovich/pics/ The “Silver Age” of Russian poetry, including early works by Anna Akhmatova, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/anna-akhmatova, and Boris Pasternak, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/boris-pasternak The Brothers Karamazov, https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Karamazov-Fyodor-Dostoevsky/dp/0374528373 , and Crime and Punishment, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2554/2554-h/2554-h.htm, by Fyodor Dostoevsky Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Fate-Review-Books-Classics/dp/1590172019 The early works of Lyudmila Petrushevskaya: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/310394/there-once-lived-a-girl-who-seduced-her-sisters-husband-and-he-hanged-himself-by-ludmilla-petrushevskaya/9780143121527/ ; https://granta.com/our-circle/ A Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow, by Aleksander Radishchev: https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Saint-Petersburg-Moscow/dp/0674485505 War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy: https://www.amazon.com/War-Peace-Translated-Volokhonsky-Classics-ebook/dp/B005JSZJVS Film The Irony of Fate: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073179/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl Animation Nu, Pogodi! (Just You Wait!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K1j8CoOoks As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that...
4/24/201848 minutes, 12 seconds
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Of U.S.-Russia Relations and What is to be Done – Russian Roulette Episode 55

In the spirit of history, Russian literature, and other things the CSIS Russia team holds dear, we bring you a Russian Roulette episode that is both deeply gloomy and highly entertaining. Olya and Jeff sit down with Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, to discuss the state of U.S.-Russia relations, historical cycles in the relationship, signaling, and ways out of the current downward spiral.   Note: this episode was recorded on April 2, before the Trump administration’s April 6 announcement of new sanctions targeting Russian oligarchs, and before reports emerged of a new chemical weapons attack in Syria. (It’s 2018. We can’t keep up. Can anyone?)   To hear more from Matt, check out his bio and recent publications, here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/matthew-rojansky   As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
4/10/201837 minutes, 41 seconds
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Of Gorbachev, and of Writing About Gorbachev – Russian Roulette Episode 54

In a historically-minded episode of Russian Roulette, Olya and Jeff sit with William Taubman. Dr. Taubman is the Bertrand Snell Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Amherst College and the author of several books, including a biography of Nikita Khrushchev that won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2004, and, most recently, a biography of Mikhail Gorbachev.   Of course, the three discuss Gorbachev: who and what inspired him, his political trajectory through the Communist Party, and how his personal traits both enabled and undermined his success and his historical role—as well as the importance of individuals to history. They also delve into Bill’s research and writing, including how he came to write this biography, some of the challenges he faced in writing it, and the evolution of his own relationship with Gorbachev over the course of many interviews.   You can pick up a copy of Bill’s book at fine bookstores everywhere. If you’d like to buy the book through an independent bookstore, click here: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780393647013   For more information on Bill and his books, check out his website: https://williamtaubmanbooks.com/   As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
3/28/201851 minutes, 50 seconds
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Of Campaigns, Democracy, and Campaigns for Democracy in Russia – Russian Roulette Episode 53

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Olya and Jeff sit down with Vitali Shkliarov. Vitali is a Senior Adviser for Ksenia Sobchak’s presidential campaign. Previously, he worked for the Bernie Sanders campaign and for Obama for America. In 2016, alongside Dmitry Gudkov and Max Katz, he helped organize a campaign to field over 1,000 independent candidates in Moscow municipal elections. Olya, Jeff, and Vitali discuss Russian and American political culture; the merits of “practicing democracy” in undemocratic settings; strategies and tactics for campaigning in Russia; and the political movement that Vitali is trying to build. To read more about Vitali and the work he’s doing, check out some of these profiles of him: “Can Russia have a ‘Bernie’ revolution?” The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-bernie-sanders-campaign-veteran-advises-a-surging-opposition-movement-in-russia/2017/10/10/6f9479f4-a2c5-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html?utm_term=.b757442a8b20 “The man bringing Sanders-style politics to Moscow,” CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/09/europe/vitali-shkliarov-russian-politics/index.html As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
3/14/201855 minutes, 34 seconds
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Of Religion and the State, and Writing About It – Russian Roulette Episode #52

In a wide-ranging episode of Russian Roulette, Olya and Jeff sit down with Max Trudolyubov, a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and writer for The Russia File blog, as well as an editor at Vedomosti, the independent Russian daily. They discuss Max’s efforts to make Russian commentators accessible to an English-language audience; Stalinism and the official view of Stalin today; religion and the state in Russia, and how this relationship has evolved; as well as Russia’s changing journalism and media landscape. You can check out The Russia File here: http://www.kennan-russiafile.org/ You can view Max’s bio here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/maxim-trudolyubov Be sure to keep an eye out for his forthcoming book! As always, keep sending us mailbag questions! If you would like to have your question answered on the podcast, send it to us! Email [email protected] and put “Russian Roulette” in the subject line. And, if you have one, include your Twitter handle, so we can notify you publicly when we answer your question (or, if you don’t want us to, tell us that). We look forward to hearing from you.
2/27/201851 minutes, 58 seconds