Recent Posts

Russian Socialists in the Struggle for Democracy

For the past few weeks, protests for fair elections in upcoming municipal polls have become weekly in Moscow and St. Petersburg as thousands have defied authorities to attend unsanctioned rallies. The police crackdown has been particularly harsh in Moscow. Protests on July 27 and August 3 resulted in over 2000 detentions. Images of police in riot gear wrestling citizens to the ground and beating peaceful protesters were reminiscent of the mass protests against election fraud in 2011-2012.

Members of the Russian Socialist Movement, a small Marxist, anti-Stalinist organization active in the Russian left, have been participants in local electoral campaigns and in the protests. Two RSM activists, Valeria Kovelishina and Ilya Budraitskis talk about the Russian Socialist Movement, their electoral work, the protests for democracy in Russia and what they might mean for the future.

Witnessing the Collapse of Communism


Roundtable discussion marking the 30th anniversary of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Participants include Timothy Garton Ash, Bridget Kendall, and Jens Reich.

The Evictors

Around Moscow, there’s a whole industry of so-called “black creditors” — microfinance institutions (or MFOs) that swindle and seize debtors’ homes. Ivan Golunov’s investigation for Meduza has discovered that almost 500 apartments have been seized from their owners over the past five years without so much as a court order. In fact, this scheme involves more than simply “squeezing” people from their homes. It is possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. Here’s Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov on the ins and outs of this industry.

Daughter of the Cold War

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Guest:

Grace Kennan Warnecke has had a lifelong personal and professional association with Russia. She’s served on the boards of the National Advisory Council, Harriman Institute, at Columbia University, as well as a member of the Advisory Council of the Kennan Institute. She served as country director for Winrock International in Kyiv, Ukraine, from 1999 to 2013. The former president of SOVUS Business Consultants, she was also the founder and project supervisor of the Volkhov International Small Business Incubator in Russia and executive vice president of the Alliance of American and Russian Women among many more initiatives and projects. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.

If that wasn’t enough Grace is also the daughter of George F. Kennan, perhaps the most influential American diplomat of the 20th century. Grace’s memoir, Daughter of the Cold War, will be published by Pittsburgh University Press in Spring 2018.

Music:

Tamar Miansarova, Chernyi kot (The Black Cat),” 1965.