A Year Of Intensified Clampdowns In Russia And Belarus - August 09, 2021
One year ago, a deeply disputed election threw Belarus into turmoil as unprecedented crowds protested Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s victory claim and he cracked down hard. The Russian state has helped prop up Lukashenka while intensifying its own repressions at home. RFE/RL senior correspondent Tony Wesolowsky joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss.
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Virtual Talks, Real Tensions - December 06, 2021
14:25Amid concerns over a military buildup that has added to questions about Moscow's intentions toward Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are due to hold a video call on December 7. Dr. Olga Oliker, program director for Europe and Central Asia at the Crisis Group, joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss what to watch out for.
War Fears And The Putin Factor - November 29, 2021
21:26One of the main factors fueling concerns of a new Russian offensive targeting Ukraine is the evidence that President Vladimir Putin is determined to exercise control over the neighboring country. How dangerous is the situation and what can the West do about it? Kadri Liik, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss.
Memorial In The Crosshairs - November 22, 2021
21:50The fate of the prominent human rights group Memorial hangs in the balance -- though it may already have been decided -- as courts hold hearings on the government’s bid to order its closure. And the COVID crisis persists in Russia, with daily fatality tolls at record highs and lawmakers preparing to consider new restrictions that would be imposed next year. Irina Lagunina, director of special projects at RFE/RL’s Russian Service, joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss.
A Closure Bid And A Border Crisis - November 15, 2021
12:03The Russian government has launched a campaign to close the prominent human rights groups Memorial, a startling new step in the ongoing clampdown on civil society, independent media, and public dissent. Meanwhile, the migrant crisis on Poland’s border with Belarus persists as winter approaches. Moscow-based journalist Matthew Luxmoore joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss.
COVID, Climate, And Tension In The Donbas - November 01, 2021
29:53The coronavirus crisis rages on, Moscow is criticized over climate change despite a shift in tone, and tension builds in and around the Donbas amid new Russian military movements near the Ukrainian border. Russia expert, analyst, and author Mark Galeotti joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss.
The COVID Crisis And Navalny’s Prize - October 25, 2021
12:47Moscow is going into its most restrictive lockdown in over a year this week as coronavirus cases and deaths rise across Russia. And imprisoned Kremlin opponent Aleksei Navalny has won the Sakharov Prose for Freedom of Thought. Moscow-based journalist Matthew Luxmoore joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss.
Pandora, Peace Prize, And Parliament - October 11, 2021
13:08The State Duma convenes after elections that preserved the Kremlin-backed party’s dominance but were marred by a campaign of repression and claims of fraud. Meanwhile, the Nobel Peace Prize and the Pandora Papers shone an unflattering spotlight on President Vladimir Putin’s government. RFE/RL Enterprise Editor Carl Schreck joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss. (PLEASE NOTE: There will be no podcast next week. The Week Ahead In Russia will return on October 25.)
Pandora, Politkovskaya, And The Search For Justice - October 04, 2021
16:55A massive leak of financial documents exposes the hidden wealth and dealings of several people close to President Vladimir Putin. And it’s been 15 years since Anna Politkovskaya, the groundbreaking journalist who exposed abuses of power and human rights, was shot dead. Irina Lagunina, director of special projects at RFE/RL’s Russian Service, joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss.
The Elections And Beyond - September 27, 2021
14:52Two of the main results from the State Duma elections: The Kremlin-controlled United Russia party preserved its two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament, amid allegations and evidence of fraud, and the Communist Party made gains. RFE/RL senior correspondent Robert Coalson joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss the consequences.
What Price Victory? - September 20, 2021
15:24Despite its lack of popularity, the Kremlin-controlled United Russia party is on track to retain its constitutional majority in the State Duma after a three-day election marred by evidence of fraud. Is it really a win for President Vladimir Putin? Irina Lagunina, director of special projects at RFE/RL's Russian Service, joins host Steve Gutterman to discuss.