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Rethinking the Space Race

The Russia File

Release Date: 04/23/2021

The Autocrats’ Playbook: Putin’s Russia and Erdogan’s Turkey show art The Autocrats’ Playbook: Putin’s Russia and Erdogan’s Turkey

The Russia File

Despite constant geopolitical infighting, Russia and Turkey display striking similarities in the stance they take toward the West. Moscow and Ankara's crackdown on media, political opponents, the non-governmental sector and even independent universities inevitably call for comparisons between the two. Maxim Trudolyubov discusses novel authoritarian trends with Ayşe Zarakol and Sergei Guriev.

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The Contemporary Relevance of Andrei Sakharov's Message show art The Contemporary Relevance of Andrei Sakharov's Message

The Russia File

A Soviet nuclear physicist and Nobel laureate, Andrei Sakharov fought for disarmament, world peace, and human rights. To what extent is his legacy relevant for today’s Russia and the world? Maxim Trudolyubov discusses Sakharov's legacy with Cecile Vaissie, a professor of Russian and Soviet studies at the University of Rennes 2, and Arkady Ostrovsky, Russia and Eastern Europe editor for The Economist.

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Rethinking the Space Race show art Rethinking the Space Race

The Russia File

The Soviet pilot Yuri Gagarin made his pioneering spaceflight 60 years ago. In the USSR, it marked a time of optimistic, forward-looking modernization, of which the Soviet space program was the hallmark.

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Weak Strongman: Discussing the Limits of Putin's Power with Timothy Frye show art Weak Strongman: Discussing the Limits of Putin's Power with Timothy Frye

The Russia File

Russia is often seen as a country that was led astray by a former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin. Informed by his training and character, it is often implied, he turned himself into an all-powerful ruler and turned Russia into the autocracy it is today. But what if he simply was helpless to do any better?

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Sputnik V: International Success, Domestic Problems show art Sputnik V: International Success, Domestic Problems

The Russia File

Sputnik V, Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, is not just a scientific achievement but a golden moment for vaccine diplomacy. Despite the initial distrust—some of which persists to this day—dozens of countries have granted Sputnik V emergency use authorization. Why is Russia falling behind in its domestic vaccination campaign, and will Russia be able to maintain its international vaccine leadership?

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Beyond Electoral Politics: Social Change, Not Political Awakening show art Beyond Electoral Politics: Social Change, Not Political Awakening

The Russia File

Most Russians have long stopped expecting that any real change may come from electoral politics. And yet, a slew of recent, successful popular movements from Moscow to Khabarovsk are proving that, even without real elections, Russians can stand up for their interests.

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A Poisonous History: The Kremlin's Fear of an Imported Revolution show art A Poisonous History: The Kremlin's Fear of an Imported Revolution

The Russia File

For years journalists Irina Borogan and Andrei Soldatov have reported on Russia’s security services. This time, they decided to look at the agencies’ history and wrote The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia's Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad. With the poisoning of the Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and its aftermath, the book is suddenly more topical than one is comfortable to admit. Borogan and Soldatov discuss the KGB of old and Russia’s existing security organizatio

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Russian-Speaking Israelis and How They Changed Israel show art Russian-Speaking Israelis and How They Changed Israel

The Russia File

Thirty years ago, a million Russian-speaking immigrants arrived in Israel. Overnight, they became one of the largest Russian-speaking communities in the world outside the former Soviet Union. Who are the Russian-speaking Israelis? What did their arrival signify for the country? We discuss these questions with Ksenia Svetlova, Matti Friedman, and Yossi Klein Halevi. Matti Friedman’s piece in Mosaic: https://bit.ly/3qBd40k Yossi Klein Halevi’s piece in Mosaic: https://bit.ly/3owVkkK

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Electoral Politics and the Role of the Media show art Electoral Politics and the Role of the Media

The Russia File

The media environments in Russia and the US are almost mirror opposites. In the US, mainstream media can cut away from the sitting president on live television or poke fun at him in their opinion pages. In Russia, independent media are happy just to stay alive. The internet and social media, often seen as sources of polarization in the US, are a lifeline for the embattled journalists in Russia as well as Belarus. Yet, we have a lot to learn from each other—and to disagree upon.

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Why Study Russia? show art Why Study Russia?

The Russia File

America’s universities and think tanks produce first-rate studies of Russia’s history, culture, and politics. And yet, the way Russia features on the U.S. political stage and in the American media is not particularly nuanced. Jill Dougherty, a long-time CNN journalist and an expert on Russia and Kevin Rothrock, Senior Editor at the English-language edition of Meduza, join Maxim Trudolyubov to discuss the state of Russia studies and Russia stereotypes in American political language.

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The Soviet pilot Yuri Gagarin made his pioneering spaceflight 60 years ago. In the USSR, it marked a time of optimistic, forward-looking modernization, of which the Soviet space program was the hallmark.

 

Maxim Trudolyubov discusses the Soviet-American space race and today’s newfound space enthusiasm with Victoria Smolkin, associate professor of history and Russian studies at Wesleyan University, and Asif Siddiqi, professor of history at Fordham University.