Skip to main content
Foreign Office with Michael Weiss

Foreign Office with Michael Weiss

By Free Russia Foundation and New Lines Magazine
Foreign Office is a weekly interview podcast hosted by Michael Weiss, from New Lines Magazine and Free Russia Foundation, dedicated to those ever-relevant subjects of Russian intelligence operations and active measures. Featured guests include prominent historians and scholars, journalists, diplomats, and ex-spies.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo

Overcast

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Currently playing episode

Foreign Office #8. Unfrozen Conflict

Foreign Office with Michael Weiss

1x
Foreign Office #65. On Ukraine's Military Adaptability
Gen. Mick Ryan explains how Ukraine has handled Western weapons platforms, and why it's wisely gone back to a war of "corrosion" against Russian forces.
40:44
August 08, 2022
Foreign Office #64. The Kyvian Reshuffle
What’s behind Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s sacking of his SBU chief and Prosecutor General? Ukrainian journalist Viktor Kovalenko explains.
31:46
August 01, 2022
Foreign Office #63. The Fellas of NAFO
 How a dog avatar became a meme that chased a Russian ambassador off Twitter (for a while).
34:39
July 26, 2022
Foreign Office #62. On Coups and Illegals
Former CIA officer Marc Polymeropolous discusses the capture of a GRU illegal trying to infiltrate the ICC -- and whether or not former National Security Adviser John Bolton could really plan a "coup."
58:46
July 21, 2022
Foreign Office #61. The Battle of Donbas
War reporter Danny Gold on his time at Ukraine’s eastern front
48:55
July 02, 2022
Foreign Office #60. What is Wrong With Germany?
Benjamin Tallis explains the Sholz government's wobbliness on Ukraine and why old habits die hard in Berlin.
57:30
May 26, 2022
Foreign Office #59. How Mapmaking Explains Conflicts
Nathan Ruser combined open source intelligence and cartography to offer a more precise and explanatory visual of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
54:05
May 16, 2022
Foreign Office #58. What Ukraine Has -- And What It Still Needs
James Rushton, an independent national security analyst, on the Western weapons systems sent to help Ukraine defend the Donbas.
37:49
May 10, 2022
Foreign Office #57. The Russian Dissident in Jail
Evgenia Kara-Murza talks about her husband Vladimir's latest arrest in Moscow.
25:25
April 13, 2022
Foreign Office #56. How Military Analysts Got Russia's War So Wrong
Phillips O'Brien, a professor a strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews, on why so many overestimated Russia's military capability.
48:19
April 04, 2022
Foreign Office #55. On Ukraine's Non-Neutrality
Olexander Scherba, Ukraine's former ambassador to Vienna, on why his country will never be like Austria.
32:10
March 16, 2022
Foreign Office #54. Putin’s Purge
Russian journalists Andrei Soldatov on how the FSB’s Fifth Service is taking the blame for failure in Ukraine.
32:22
March 13, 2022
Foreign Office #53. On Defending Kyiv
Pavlo Kalyuk, the community organizer for Podil, explains why he isn't leaving Ukraine's besieged capital.
27:34
March 07, 2022
Foreign Office #52. Our Man in Kyiv
British journalist John Sweeney reports from Ukraine's besieged capital.
25:20
March 02, 2022
Foreign Office #51. The view from Ukraine
Agnieszka Legucka recently returned from Eastern Ukraine, offers her perspective of what happens next.
37:25
February 23, 2022
Foreign Office #50. Information war as a prelude to real war
Peter Pomerantsev and Vladislav Davidson discuss the messaging about an intending Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
56:26
February 23, 2022
Foreign Office #49. Russia Prepares the Battlespace in Ukraine
Hybrid War Expert Liubov Tsybulska on how Russia’s “imminent” invasion is already underway.
45:24
February 07, 2022
Foreign Office #48. A Likely Attack
Robert Lee, a Russian military analyst, says Putin's buildup at Ukraine's borders means only one thing: an invasion is coming.
44:45
January 24, 2022
Foreign Office #47. The Crisis in Kazakhstan
Human rights lawyer Steve Swerdlow and scholar Diana Kudaibergenova on the recent turmoil in the Central Asian republic.
45:47
January 10, 2022
Foreign Office #46. Putin’s Expendables
Journalists Holger Roonemaa and Mattias Carlsson discuss their joint investigation with @foreignoffpod into the notorious Russian mercenary corps.
44:57
December 30, 2021
Foreign Office #45. The Case Against Assange
National security attorney Mark Zaid explains the US government’s indictments of the Wikileaks founder, history of the Espionage Act, and why this case is unique.
49:07
December 20, 2021
Foreign Office #44. The State of Iraq
Newlines Institute senior analyst Rasha Al Qeedi dissects the results of the last election and how the country has changed since America's invasion.
45:25
October 31, 2021
Foreign Office #43. Once Bitten, Twice Bold
Ambassador Daniels Fried on why the US keeps making the same mistakes with Russia.
58:58
October 28, 2021
Foreign Office #42. How the Kremlin Manipulates the Anti-Money Laundering System
Attorney Jonathan Reich explains how financial safeguards against criminality are being used to target Russian dissidents and exiles from Putin's regime.
01:00:07
October 18, 2021
Foreign Office #41. Why the American Right Loves Orban
Hungarian writer Peter Kreko explains how a Central European country of ten million became the lodestar for a new breed of North American conservative.
44:45
October 01, 2021
Foreign Office #40. Our Own Worst Enemy
Atlantic contributor and USA Today columnist Tom Nichols discusses America's political and cultural dysfunction, and why there may not be a cure.
50:31
August 31, 2021
Foreign Office #39. The Geopolitics of the New Afghanistan
A scholar and expert on Afghanistan Kamran Bokhari explains how various countries will respond to the Taliban takeover, and what to do about ISIS-K.
29:27
August 30, 2021
Foreign Office #38. ISIS-K and the Taliban: It's Complicated
Former US Army intelligence officer Michael Pregent on the terrorist threat from Afghanistan in the wake of two horrific suicide bombings.
40:54
August 28, 2021
Foreign Office #37. Crisis and Credibility
Mike Nelson, a U.S. war veteran and visiting fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University, discusses the pullout from Afghanistan. And America's place in the world.
31:26
August 20, 2021
Foreign Office #36. America's Abandoned Allies
Journalist and author Wesley Morgan explains how Afghans integral to the U.S. war effort have been left to a grim fate in a Taliban-run country.
35:20
August 18, 2021
Foreign Office #35. Afghanistan, Before and After the Americans
Afghanistan scholar and professor at the US Naval Postgraduate School Thomas Johnson explains how America bungled its longest war.
51:03
August 17, 2021
Foreign Office #34. Why Vladimir Milov Is Optimistic
Russia's former deputy energy minister discusses the political situation in Russia, and why Putin isn't as strong as he looks.
46:28
August 13, 2021
Foreign Office #33. Tales from Odessa
Author Vladislav Davidzon on a decade of writing about (and for) Ukraine.
31:14
August 11, 2021
Foreign Office #32. The Biden-Russia Conundrum
Veteran Russia expert James Sherr discusses the recent policy pivot on Nord Stream 2, and what the West doesn't understand when dealing with Moscow.
41:12
August 04, 2021
Foreign Office #31. Sorge's Way
Historian and biographer Owen Mathews on how Soviet master spy Richard Sorge infiltrated the Third Reich.
48:43
July 21, 2021
Foreign Office #30. The Silent Weapon
Former CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos on being a victim of directed energy attacks, U.S. Russian relations, and his new book.
36:53
June 21, 2021
Foreign Office #29. The View from Vilnius
Former Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicious discusses Belarus's hijacking of a commercial plane, and what the West needs to do about Minsk (and Moscow).
30:48
May 26, 2021
Foreign Office #28. A KGB Kidnapping
Andrei Sannikov, a former Belarusian presidential candidate, explains Alexander Lukashenko's crazy plot to arrest a journalist by hijacking a RyanAir plane.
27:43
May 24, 2021
Foreign Office #27. Microwaves and Bounties
National security reporter Tom Rogan on why the CIA isn't giving up on the GRU 'bounties' claim, and on alleged directed energy attacks against Americans.
39:16
May 19, 2021
Foreign Office #26. Explosions and Expulsions
Czech analyst Jakub Janda on how Russian state terrorism on NATO soil has upended Prague's relationship with Moscow.
35:04
May 05, 2021
Foreign Office #25. A 21st Century SMERSH
Bellingcat's Christo Grozev on what the latest disclosures out of Bulgaria and Czechia tell us about GRU Unit 29155.
25:47
May 04, 2021
Foreign Office #24. The Professor and “Ivan”
Nerma Jelacic, director of External Relations and Communications at Commission for International Justice and Accountability, explains how her NGO unmasked a Russian-back disinformation network on Syria — by pretending to be a Russian spy.
44:24
April 26, 2021
Foreign Office #23. Of “Kostya” and Collusion
RFE/RL’s Mike Eckel explains how the latest US sanctions on Russia advance what Mueller alleged about the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow.
38:45
April 19, 2021
Foreign Office #22. Will Russia Invade Ukraine (Again)?
USIP Russia Director Don Jensen weighs the possible reason for Russia’s military buildup.
40:15
April 12, 2021
Foreign Office #21. Strategic Miscommunication
Analyst Monika Richter explains how Chinese government threats got an EU report on COVID-19 disinformation censored.
40:27
March 29, 2021
Foreign Office #20. Disinformation and Its Discontents
Johns Hopkins scholar and “Active Measures” author Thomas Rid on the DNI report on Russian meddling and how 2020 is different from 2016.
49:23
March 22, 2021
Foreign Office #19. When a Hack is not an Attack
Wired journalist Andy Greenberg on the SolarWinds hack and why cyberespionage is not cyber warfare.
46:54
March 15, 2021
Foreign Office #18. The Pipeline from Hell
Benjamin Schmitt, an energy security expert, argues Nord Stream 2 can and should be cancelled.
44:28
March 08, 2021
Foreign Office #17. Canceling Navalny
Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats — on Amnesty International’s decision to revoke Navalny’s prisoner of conscious status.
32:17
February 25, 2021
Foreign Office #16. Mr. Jones and Me
Andrea Chalupa, screenwriter of "Mr. Jones," on what inspired her to memorialize the journalist who uncovered Ukraine's terror-famine.
40:36
February 23, 2021
Foreign Office #15. What the Borrell Was He Thinking?
Senior Fellow at the European Values Center for Security Policy Nathalie Vogel on why the EU let the Kremlin humiliate it — again.
34:14
February 15, 2021
Foreign Office #14. Beirut Blues
The deputy editor of Newlines magazine Faysal Itani on the murder of Lebanese activist Lokman Slim and what America can and cannot do in the Middle East.
36:19
February 08, 2021
Foreign Office #13. The KGB's "Confidential Contacts"
Former CIA Officer John Sipher discusses the grey area between Russian informant and Russian agent.
40:11
February 04, 2021
Foreign Office #12. The People v. Julian Assange
Journalist Marcy Wheeler explains the U.S. government's charges against the Wikileaks founder, and why Britain refused to extradite him to America to face them.
37:28
January 14, 2021
Foreign Office #11. How to Catch a Russian Assassin
Christo Grozev, the Bellingcat journalist who unmasked Alexey Navalny’s hit squad, explains how he did it, and what it says about Putin’s security state.
51:24
December 19, 2020
Foreign Office #10. America in a Post-Trump World
Foreign policy analyst Damir Marusic on why a Biden presidency won't necessarily change much.
47:18
December 17, 2020
Foreign Office #9. Resets, Be Gone!
Former Biden adviser and Russia expert Michael Carpenter discusses his coauthored articles with President-Elect Joe Biden and what to expect from the new administration.
27:13
December 08, 2020
Foreign Office #8. Unfrozen Conflict
Award-winning journalist Simon Ostrovsky reports from Nagorno-Karabakh
27:14
December 01, 2020
Foreign Office #7. The View from Europe
As Joe Biden crept to victory, Estonia's former President Toomas Henrik Ilves explained how much of Europe saw this election -- and what it expects and (doesn't expect) from America going forward
44:53
November 11, 2020
Foreign Office #6. Thumping Out Sandworm
FireEye's John Hultquist explains the U.S. government's newly unsealed indictment about the GRU's devastating hacking operations.
31:37
October 26, 2020
Foreign Office #5. CIA v KGB: How American and Russian political warfare differs -- and how it doesn't
Tim Weiner, the acclaimed historian of the CIA, discusses his new book on American-Russian political warfare, from the Cold War till now.
21:27
October 19, 2020
Foreign Office #4. Second Time As Farce: How a Russian-Backed Operation in Ukraine to Sway the 2020 U.S. Election Came Undone
Time magazine's Simon Shuster discusses the ongoing Kremlin disinformation campaign involving individuals sanctioned by the U.S. Government
27:11
October 12, 2020
Foreign Office #3. Double Trouble: Who and What Poisoned Vladimir Kara-Murza?
In this episode, Vladimir Kara-Murza, vice president of Free Russia Foundation, recounts his own poisoning (twice) while traveling in Russia and what the FBI will has and hasn't told him about what it knows.
26:16
October 01, 2020
Foreign Office #2. Russia's history of poisonings
Russian journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan discuss Russia's history of poisonings in light of the Navalny case and why the use of a signature toxin such as Novichok implicates Vladimir Putin.
29:25
September 28, 2020
Foreign Office #1. How Austria became Europe’s spy capital
In our pilot episode, Michael interviews Anton Shekhovtsov, an expert on the European far-right and the Russian government's ties to it. They discuss their  jointly written essay for The Daily Beast, drawn from a still-classified KGB training manual, about the false-flag recruitment of an adviser to the Austrian chancellery in the late 1950s and early 1960s by a particularly resourceful Soviet double agent "Safo." Also, the stunning revelations about a Wirecard executive, Austria's first expulsion of a Russian intelligence officer, and why Vienna has the well-earned reputation of being the spy capital of Europe.
22:25
September 21, 2020