Skip to main content
Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies Podcast

Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies Podcast

By Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies

The Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute enables students with advanced Russian language skills to professionalize their interest in Russia and Eurasia. This podcast showcases the projects of the Monterey Initiative: Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia, Monterey Conversations, The Ambassadorial Series, and the Monterey Symposium | The World. Support for the Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies is provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York. © 2022 President & Fellows of Middlebury College
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Currently playing episode

Monterey Conversations – Gordin | Hecker | Notte "Science Diplomacy, Past and Present"

Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies Podcast

1x
 Monterey Conversations – Wyne | Schake | Kimmage “Great Power Connections”
Monterey Conversations – Wyne | Schake | Kimmage “Great Power Connections”
In this Monterey Conversation, Ali Wyne (Eurasia Group), who is the author of a recent book, America's Great-Power Opportunity, and Kori Schake (American Enterprise Institute) contrasted great-power opportunities to the prospect of great-power competition and related these theoretical debates to the triad of the United States, Russia and China. What is a great power? Where among the great powers do the opportunities lie? And where do the dangers lie? This Monterey Conversation is moderated by Michael Kimmage. 
01:12:49
December 02, 2022
 Monterey Conversations – Ward | Yaffa | Kimmage “Covering the War in Ukraine”
Monterey Conversations – Ward | Yaffa | Kimmage “Covering the War in Ukraine”
News coverage has been a crucial element of every modern war. In this Monterey Conversation, two distinguished journalists - CNN’s Clarissa Ward and the New Yorker’s Joshua Yaffa - discussed the complexities of gathering accurate information, the role of social media in the prosecution and coverage of the war, and the balance between the war’s many local realities on the one hand and its global impact on the other. They took up the achievements of journalists covering the war, while also reflecting on where journalists and journalism have fallen short. 
01:20:04
November 09, 2022
 Monterey Conversations – Gordin | Hecker | Notte "Science Diplomacy, Past and Present"
Monterey Conversations – Gordin | Hecker | Notte "Science Diplomacy, Past and Present"
In this conversation, moderated by Hanna Notte, Professor Michael Gordin and Professor Siegfried Hecker discussed the role of modern physical sciences in the U.S.-Soviet and U.S.-Russian relationship: What collaboration between scientists from both countries exist historically? Were there instances in which such collaboration had a positive impact on policy, and what can be learned from them for the future? And why and how does science diplomacy matter more generally?
01:00:28
November 02, 2022
 Monterey Conversations – Kotkin | Kimmage “Russian Foreign Policy: Past and Present”
Monterey Conversations – Kotkin | Kimmage “Russian Foreign Policy: Past and Present”
In the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs, the historian Stephen Kotkin published an essay titled “The Cold War Never Ended.” In this conversation, moderated by Michael Kimmage, Professor Kotkin discussed the history of the Cold War, the thirty-year period between the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the unfinished nature of the Cold War contest that began in the 1940s. Professor Kotkin brought historical examples and precedents to bear on causes of the current war. Kleinheinz Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Professor Kotkin is the author of many books on Soviet and post-Soviet history. He also writes frequently on international affairs in the present tense. Michael Kimmage is a professor of history at the Catholic University of America.
01:30:43
October 21, 2022
 Monterey Conversations – Kendall-Taylor | Kofman | Liik “The Biden Administration Policy on Ukraine”
Monterey Conversations – Kendall-Taylor | Kofman | Liik “The Biden Administration Policy on Ukraine”
The United States has been a key factor in the war launched by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. This panel on the Biden administration strategies and decision-making takes up three questions in turn. What was the Biden administration policy before the war? In what ways has the Biden administration policy shaped outcomes in the war? And what end state for the war is the Biden administration trying to achieve? This panel features three leading experts on Western policy toward Russia and Ukraine: Andrea Kendall-Taylor of the Center for a New American Century; Michael Kofman of the Center for Naval Analysis; and Kadri Liik of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
01:29:15
October 14, 2022
 Monterey Conversations – MacMillan | Cohrs | McGlynn “Europe in the Shadow of World War I”
Monterey Conversations – MacMillan | Cohrs | McGlynn “Europe in the Shadow of World War I”
Europe is facing unprecedented turbulence. This installment of the Monterey Conversations is not forcing any analogies between past and present. Instead, it takes up the subject of the First World War with an eye to its present-day salience. What might the origins of World War I tell us about the nature of conflict in Europe? How did the First World War become a world war in the first place? And how did World War I end - on the battlefield and at the diplomatic tables? What can we learn today from the elusiveness of order and the recurrence of disorder in Europe since 1914? To take up these questions we have two remarkable scholars, Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World and The War that Ended Peace; and Patrick Cohrs, author of The New Atlantic Order: The Transformation of International Politics, 1860-1933.
01:15:24
October 05, 2022
 Monterey Conversations – Kurtz-Phelan | Kimmage “Debating the War in Ukraine: A Conversation with Daniel Kurtz-Phelan”
Monterey Conversations – Kurtz-Phelan | Kimmage “Debating the War in Ukraine: A Conversation with Daniel Kurtz-Phelan”
Historically, Foreign Affairs magazine has published some of the most important writing on Russia, the Soviet Union and the post-Soviet space, going back to George Kennan’s legendary “X” article of 1947. In this conversation, Michael Kimmage and Daniel Kurtz-Phelan (Editor of Foreign Affairs) discussed the origins of the war in Ukraine, the global ramifications of this war and the choices faced by the Biden administration. It also took a close look at the policy debate over which Foreign Affairs has presided since February. What is the spectrum of opinion? And what is the relationship between policy prescription and the analysis of a rapidly unfolding situation on the ground?
01:14:21
September 23, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Yuzefovich | Baunov "Tragedy and War: Literature vs. Politics from Homer to "Lieutenants' Prose" and Further On"
Monterey Symposium – Yuzefovich | Baunov "Tragedy and War: Literature vs. Politics from Homer to "Lieutenants' Prose" and Further On"
Galina Yuzefovich and Alexander Baunov discuss the state of literature at a time of war, addressing such questions as whether the reading of literature will be overshadowed by the reading of news and whether new identities and literary trends will form. Informed by the speakers' knowledge of classical literature, the discussion offers a way of looking at the current war in Ukraine through a classical literary lens.
56:09
August 22, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Legvold | Oliker | Radchenko "A New Diplomacy or the End of Diplomacy?"
Monterey Symposium – Legvold | Oliker | Radchenko "A New Diplomacy or the End of Diplomacy?"
Robert Legvold, Olga Oliker, and Sergey Radchenko discuss the future of diplomacy between Russia and the United States, including the extent to which diplomacy is still possible and the priorities that must define it.
48:44
July 31, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Notte “Looking South: Russia’s Relations with the Middle East and North Africa”
Monterey Symposium – Notte “Looking South: Russia’s Relations with the Middle East and North Africa”
Hanna Notte analyzes the prisms through which Russia views the MENA region and provides a comprehensive overview of Russia’s regional foreign policy interests and strategies.
01:01:15
July 29, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Pifer “Origins and Course of the Russia-Ukraine War”
Monterey Symposium – Pifer “Origins and Course of the Russia-Ukraine War”
Ambassador Steven Pifer presents his insights on the historical origins of the Russia-Ukraine war, including the Kremlin’s motivations for invading, and predicts the conflict’s future trajectory.   Ambassador Steven Pifer is William J. Perry Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford and was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for 25 years, serving in many positions including U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.
40:42
July 29, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Legvold | Trenin "Russian Futures: A Panel Discussion"
Monterey Symposium – Legvold | Trenin "Russian Futures: A Panel Discussion"
Robert Legvold and Dmitri Trenin discuss the possible future scenarios faced by the Russian state, addressing the state leaders’ perception of the status quo, their goals, and the challenges they must confront in both domestic and foreign policy. The event is moderated by Michael Kimmage.
01:06:41
July 29, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Gutbrod “Reconciling Visions of the Past - In Theory and in Practice”
Monterey Symposium – Gutbrod “Reconciling Visions of the Past - In Theory and in Practice”
Hans Gutbrod, Associate Professor at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia, elaborates on the ethics of political commemoration, using just war theory to develop a framework for making memory politics more constructive and sustainable.
41:53
July 29, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Kurilla | McGlynn “The Politics of Memory in Contemporary Russia”
Monterey Symposium – Kurilla | McGlynn “The Politics of Memory in Contemporary Russia”
Ivan Kurilla and Jade McGlynn discuss the importance of history in politics and vice versa, analyzing the ways in which political actors are at once shaping, and shaped by, the past.
42:50
July 27, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Zorin “Russian Messianism and Cultural Identity II”
Monterey Symposium – Zorin “Russian Messianism and Cultural Identity II”
Andrei Zorin, Professor of Russian and Fellow of New College, Oxford University, discusses Russia’s mythology of supreme power in its traditional and modern iterations as well as the nuances of Russian national identity. 
47:57
July 26, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Zorin “Russian Messianism and Cultural Identity I”
Monterey Symposium – Zorin “Russian Messianism and Cultural Identity I”
Andrei Zorin, Professor of Russian and Fellow of New College, Oxford University, discusses Russia’s myth of national transformation, particularly the five transformations that have shaped the country’s historical course, from the adoption of Christianity to the 2022 war in Ukraine.
46:06
July 25, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Slezkine “Soviet Legacies”
Monterey Symposium – Slezkine “Soviet Legacies”
Yuri Slezkine and Jade McGlynn speak about the legacies, memories, and identities associated with the Soviet Union as they are experienced in Russia and its neighboring states.
43:30
July 25, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Plokhii | Radchenko | Zubok “Narratives on the Collapse of the USSR: A Roundtable Discussion”
Monterey Symposium – Plokhii | Radchenko | Zubok “Narratives on the Collapse of the USSR: A Roundtable Discussion”
Serhii Plokhii, Sergey Radchenko, and Vladislav Zubok offer unique insights on the how and why of the Soviet collapse in a roundtable that challenges popular historiographical myths about the world-shaking event.   Serhii Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. His book, The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union, was published in 2015.   Sergey Radchenko is the Wilson E. Schmidt Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has written extensively on the Cold War, nuclear history, and on Russian and Chinese foreign and security policies.   Vladislav Zubok is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His books include, among others, A Failed Empire: the Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (University of North Carolina Press, 2007), and Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union (Yale University Press, 2021).
01:02:02
July 23, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Elsner | Tsygankov | Wang “The Politics of Emotions and Values in International Relations”
Monterey Symposium – Elsner | Tsygankov | Wang “The Politics of Emotions and Values in International Relations”
Regina Elsner, Andrei Tsygankov, and Zheng Wang discuss the role of emotions, values, and historical memory in international relations and reveal the limitations of rationality-based explanations in particular instances.
48:60
July 23, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Galeotti | Kofman | Laruelle "Roundtable: What is Power?"
Monterey Symposium – Galeotti | Kofman | Laruelle "Roundtable: What is Power?"
Mark Galeotti, Michael Kofman, and Marlene Laruelle discuss Russian power at the intersection of military might, elite loyalty, and public support. The discussion is moderated by Michael Kimmage. 
33:41
July 21, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Galeotti “The Role of the Siloviki in Russian Society”
Monterey Symposium – Galeotti “The Role of the Siloviki in Russian Society”
Mark Galeotti demystifies the “siloviki” by unpacking their identity, diversity, and influence over Russian elite policymaking and society at large.
49:48
July 21, 2022
Monterey Symposium - Varma "An Indian Perspective on Russia"
Monterey Symposium - Varma "An Indian Perspective on Russia"
Amb. Venkatesh Varma analyzes the factors of stability in the India-Russia relationship and outlines how the conflict in Ukraine is seen from New Delhi.   Amb. Venkatesh Varma was a Member of the Indian Foreign Service from 1988 to 2021. During his diplomatic career, he has worked in the Ministry of External Affairs, in the Office of External Affairs Minister and in the Prime Minister’s Office. He served as India’s Ambassador to Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, to the Kingdom of Spain and to the Russian Federation, until October 2021.
42:15
July 20, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Laruelle | Vuksanovic “Russia’s Soft Power”
Monterey Symposium – Laruelle | Vuksanovic “Russia’s Soft Power”
Marlene Laruelle and Vuk Vuksanovic discuss the sources of Russian soft power and the Kremlin’s flexible tactics of projecting influence abroad. The discussion focuses in particular on the Balkans, where local actors play a significant role in amplifying Russian narratives.   Marlene Laruelle is Director and Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University.   Vuk Vuksanovic is a senior researcher at the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) and an associate at LSE IDEAS, a foreign policy think tank within the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
40:50
July 19, 2022
 Monterey Symposium – Fishman | Stulberg “Sanctions, Economic Power, and Economic Stability”
Monterey Symposium – Fishman | Stulberg “Sanctions, Economic Power, and Economic Stability”
Edward Fishman presents his insights on how sanctions became the preferred U.S. policy response to Russian aggression in 2014 and 2022, followed by Adam Stulberg’s discussion of the theoretical considerations that factor into the sanctions-related policy calculus.   Edward Fishman is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and an Adjunct Professor of International and Public of Affairs at Columbia University.   Adam Stulberg is a Professor and Co-Director of the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.
55:14
July 19, 2022
Monterey Symposium – Holloway | Gottemoeller | Hecker | Charap "How Will the War in Ukraine End? A Western Perspective"
Monterey Symposium – Holloway | Gottemoeller | Hecker | Charap "How Will the War in Ukraine End? A Western Perspective"
Panelists Rose Gottemoeller, Sam Charap, David Holloway, and Siegfried Hecker discuss the possible outcomes of the war in Ukraine as well as its grave implications for strategic stability and the global nuclear order.
01:05:37
July 19, 2022
Monterey Symposium - Liana Fix | "Russia’s Relations with the EU (Case Study: Germany) - Feb. 2022 as a Point of No Return?"
Monterey Symposium - Liana Fix | "Russia’s Relations with the EU (Case Study: Germany) - Feb. 2022 as a Point of No Return?"
Liana Fix explains the international and domestic factors that have shaped Germany’s policy approach toward Russia since the 1990s, particularly in the spheres of security, energy, and conflict resolution.   Dr. Liana Fix is a Program Director at the International Affairs department of Koerber Foundation in Berlin and a former resident fellow in GMF’s Washington office. She is a historian and political scientist, and her work focuses on Russia and Eastern Europe, European security, arms control, and German foreign policy.   The event is moderated by Michael Kimmage.
45:25
July 19, 2022
Monterey Symposium - Dalay | Notte "Russia and Turkey after the Invasion of Ukraine"
Monterey Symposium - Dalay | Notte "Russia and Turkey after the Invasion of Ukraine"
Galip Dalay and Hanna Notte discuss Turkey’s geopolitical balancing act between the West and Russia, focusing on the cooperation and competition between Moscow and Ankara in such aspects as defense, energy, and conflict resolution.
56:25
July 15, 2022
Monterey Symposium - Kozhanov "Looking from the South: A MENA Perspective on Russia"
Monterey Symposium - Kozhanov "Looking from the South: A MENA Perspective on Russia"
Nikolay Kozhanov, Research Associate Professor at Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center, presents his analysis of how MENA countries have perceived Russia’s role in the region since 1991.
49:42
July 15, 2022
Monterey Symposium - Graham "Looking West: U.S. – Russia Relations"
Monterey Symposium - Graham "Looking West: U.S. – Russia Relations"
Thomas Graham, distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, analyzes the two main pillars of U.S. policy toward Russia after 1991, explaining each administration’s rationale for following the grand strategy and how it led to crisis. This event was recorded via Zoom on July 8, 2022 as part of the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. 
48:04
July 12, 2022
Monterey Symposium - Gabuev "Looking East: Pax Sinica in the Making?"
Monterey Symposium - Gabuev "Looking East: Pax Sinica in the Making?"
Alexander Gabuev, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, discusses the foundations of the Russia-China relationship and its evolution against the background of the conflict in Ukraine. This event was recorded via Zoom on July 8, 2022 as part of the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. 
27:30
July 12, 2022
Monterey Symposium - Wang | Gabuev "Looking from the East: A Chinese Perspective on Russia"
Monterey Symposium - Wang | Gabuev "Looking from the East: A Chinese Perspective on Russia"
Henry Wang, Founder and President of Center for China and Globalization, speaks about the historical and current conditions that shaped the Russia-China partnership and proposes a multilateral path toward peace in Ukraine. The event is moderated by Alexander Gabuev. This event was recorded on July 8, 2022 as part of the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. 
36:02
July 12, 2022
Monterey Symposium - Graham "Keynote Address: Thinking about Russia Strategically"
Monterey Symposium - Graham "Keynote Address: Thinking about Russia Strategically"
Dr. Thomas Graham, distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, presents his insights on the situation in the world today, the objectives of Russia and the West, as well as the priorities of U.S. Russia policy going forward. This event was recorded via Zoom on July 6, 2022 as part of the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. 
45:08
July 11, 2022
Monterey Conversations - Slezkine | Gedmin | Lieven | Kimmage "The Trouble with the 'Free World'"
Monterey Conversations - Slezkine | Gedmin | Lieven | Kimmage "The Trouble with the 'Free World'"
This is a conversation about the notion of the free world, stemming from a May 6, 2022 Foreign Affairs article published by Peter Slezkine (East China Normal University). In this article, Slezkine argues that the Cold War idea of the free world maps only inaccurate onto the current war in Ukraine. Joining him to debate this idea are Anatol Lieven (Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft) and Jeffrey Gedmin (American Purpose), who offer their perspectives on the proper connections between the Cold War past and the 21st-century present, asking not just about the trouble with the "free world” but whether the free world is itself in trouble or whether the free world is once again salient and ascendant. 
01:30:20
July 03, 2022
Monterey Conversations - Troianovski | Yaffa | Kimmage "Reporting on the War in Ukraine"
Monterey Conversations - Troianovski | Yaffa | Kimmage "Reporting on the War in Ukraine"
This conversation takes up the work of two leading English-language journalists, Joshua Yaffa (The New Yorker) and Anton Troianovski (The New York Times), both of whom are covering the war in Ukraine. At issue is the challenges of covering this war, the difficulties of writing about Russia when so many non-Russian journalists have either left the country or been expelled, and the uses and abuses of information in this first major twenty-first century war.
01:12:38
June 28, 2022
Monterey Conversations - Malinova | Pyle | McGlynn | Kimmage "The Wild 1990s: (Mis)remembering the Yeltsin Era in Today’s Russia"
Monterey Conversations - Malinova | Pyle | McGlynn | Kimmage "The Wild 1990s: (Mis)remembering the Yeltsin Era in Today’s Russia"
In this Monterey Conversation, Michael Kimmage (The Catholic University of America), Olga Malinova (Higher School of Economics), Will Pyle (Middlebury College) and Jade McGlynn (Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies) examine the politicized memory of the 1990s and its role in shaping Russian society, attitudes towards the West, and sense of national humiliation. They contrast this with the economic reality of that era, outlining how the turbulence was used to fuel a sense of grievance and consider where memory and history diverge and how political uses of the 1990s are changing against the backdrop of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
01:00:27
June 28, 2022
Monterey Conversations - Bergmann | Kimmage | Kundnani | McGlynn | Rizzo "The War in Ukraine: What It Means for NATO and the EU"
Monterey Conversations - Bergmann | Kimmage | Kundnani | McGlynn | Rizzo "The War in Ukraine: What It Means for NATO and the EU"
For this Monterey Conversation, Michael Kimmage (The Catholic University of America), Max Bergmann (CSIS), Hans Kundnani (Chatham House), Jade McGlynn (Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies) and Rachel Rizzo (Atlantic Council) explore the many European reverberations of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This panel assesses the war itself as a threat to European security and the challenge the war presents to NATO and the EU as well as the long-term opportunities that may result from this terrible war. Recorded via Zoom on June 6, 2022.
01:23:52
June 28, 2022
Monterey Conversations - Fix | Kimmage | Vogt "The Ukraine Scenarios"
Monterey Conversations - Fix | Kimmage | Vogt "The Ukraine Scenarios"
The Ukraine Scenarios Since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, many predictions about the course of the war have been put into question. In this conversation, Michael Kimmage (The Catholic University of America), Justin Vogt (Foreign Affairs) and Liana Fix (Koerber Foundation) will discuss the multiple pathways of this war - and the consequences for US and European security if the war doesn’t end.
01:19:49
June 28, 2022
Monterey Conversations - Krastev | Kimmage | McGlynn "Prisoners of History?: Memory, Myth-Making, and Russia’s War on Ukraine"
Monterey Conversations - Krastev | Kimmage | McGlynn "Prisoners of History?: Memory, Myth-Making, and Russia’s War on Ukraine"
Prisoners of History?: Memory, Myth-Making, and Russia’s War on Ukraine In this Monterey Conversation, Ivan Krastev (Centre for Liberal Studies), Jade McGlynn (Middlebury Institute), and Michael Kimmage (Catholic U.) discussed the role of historical myths in justifying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as how the systemic flaws of the authoritarian power vertical in Russia contributed to masking reality and the extent to which analysts overlooked the role of emotion and messianism in Russian decision-making. Recorded via Zoom on April 15, 2022.
01:25:52
June 28, 2022
Prof. Serhii Plokhii - Understanding Ukrainian History | Lecture 3: The Fall of the USSR
Prof. Serhii Plokhii - Understanding Ukrainian History | Lecture 3: The Fall of the USSR
Professor Serhii Plokhii, Director of Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute, discusses the competing narratives surrounding Ukraine’s national identity – both their historical origins and their modern implications. This is Part 3 of a three-part lecture series, "Understanding Ukrainian History" which serves as an introductory module to the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. Recorded via Zoom on June 27, 2022.
01:24:02
June 28, 2022
Prof. Serhii Plokhii - Understanding Ukrainian History | Lecture 2: The Making of Soviet Ukraine
Prof. Serhii Plokhii - Understanding Ukrainian History | Lecture 2: The Making of Soviet Ukraine
Professor Serhii Plokhii, Director of Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute, discusses the competing narratives surrounding Ukraine’s national identity – both their historical origins and their modern implications. This is Part 2 of a three-part lecture series, "Understanding Ukrainian History" which serves as an introductory module to the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. Recorded via Zoom on June 24, 2022.
01:22:43
June 28, 2022
 Prof. Serhii Plokhii - Understanding Ukrainian History | Lecture 1: The Rise of Modern Ukraine
Prof. Serhii Plokhii - Understanding Ukrainian History | Lecture 1: The Rise of Modern Ukraine
Professor Serhii Plokhii, Director of Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute, discusses the competing narratives surrounding Ukraine’s national identity – both their historical origins and their modern implications. This is Part 1 of a three-part lecture series, "Understanding Ukrainian History" which serves as an introductory module to the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. Recorded via Zoom on June 22, 2022.
01:30:14
June 24, 2022
Ambassador James F. Collins - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 2)
Ambassador James F. Collins - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 2)
"But I think what I learned, perhaps it's most significant, I took away lessons that I think are valid all the way through all of my experience, were two or three important things. One, that Russia has its own culture, history, interests, values, and so forth. And they are not Americans. They are different from America. Their experience is different. Their geography is different. They face different issues. They have different aspirations in many ways. And that one has to start with the premise that you respect that." - Ambassador James F. Collins The Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute introduces The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Diplomacy, Part Two of The Ambassadorial Series. Part Two consists of six plus hours of conversations with Ambassadors Jack F. Matlock, Thomas R. Pickering, and James F. Collins about crucial events and developments in U.S.-Russia relations. Focusing on the 1990s – from the disintegration of the USSR to President Putin's ascent to Russia’s highest office a decade later, Part Two, hosted by Dr. Hanna Notte, continues to offer firsthand accounts and analyses of the cataclysmic changes that transformed Russian politics and society. 
01:31:53
January 24, 2022
Ambassador James F. Collins - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 1)
Ambassador James F. Collins - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 1)
"Yeltsin was in a bit of a corner in all of this. I think he himself felt it was an absolute disaster to use a military option against Serbia. Now, were we prepared for this. Were the Americans, I think, sensitive enough to what this was going to mean? No, they weren't. I'm not sure we at the embassy even understood how deeply the reaction was going to go or how effective the people who were Yeltsin's critics were going to be in using what we did in Serbia against him and against the, if you will, the Westerners, but they were and it put them on the defensive and it made it very difficult for the Yeltsin team for quite some time." - Ambassador James F. Collins The Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute introduces The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Diplomacy, Part Two of The Ambassadorial Series. Part Two consists of six plus hours of conversations with Ambassadors Jack F. Matlock, Thomas R. Pickering, and James F. Collins about crucial events and developments in U.S.-Russia relations. Focusing on the 1990s – from the disintegration of the USSR to President Putin's ascent to Russia’s highest office a decade later, Part Two, hosted by Dr. Hanna Notte, continues to offer firsthand accounts and analyses of the cataclysmic changes that transformed Russian politics and society. 
01:23:00
January 24, 2022
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 2)
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 2)
"No Assistant Secretary ever suggested that to me before. I don't think I'd ever approached the question of writing the president United States a personal message from overseas. But Strobe believed that my judgment would be useful to the President, and that was, in itself, an honor." - Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering The Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute introduces The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Diplomacy, Part Two of The Ambassadorial Series. Part Two consists of six plus hours of conversations with Ambassadors Jack F. Matlock, Thomas R. Pickering, and James F. Collins about crucial events and developments in U.S.-Russia relations. Focusing on the 1990s – from the disintegration of the USSR to President Putin's ascent to Russia’s highest office a decade later, Part Two, hosted by Dr. Hanna Notte, continues to offer firsthand accounts and analyses of the cataclysmic changes that transformed Russian politics and society. 
59:07
January 24, 2022
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 1)
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 1)
"When Russian tanks went on the bridge over the Moscow River and fired at the Russian White House on October 3rd of 1993, the first thing that popped into my mind was, 'Are we going to have a civil war in Russia? And is it going to be as disastrous for the country as the civil war between the Reds and the Whites was after the end of the First World War and the beginning of the communist state?' I had a worry about that, that I don't think was misplaced. It was something that we all thought of as being a very damaging situation." - Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering The Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute introduces The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Diplomacy, Part Two of The Ambassadorial Series. Part Two consists of six plus hours of conversations with Ambassadors Jack F. Matlock, Thomas R. Pickering, and James F. Collins about crucial events and developments in U.S.-Russia relations. Focusing on the 1990s – from the disintegration of the USSR to President Putin's ascent to Russia’s highest office a decade later, Part Two, hosted by Dr. Hanna Notte, continues to offer firsthand accounts and analyses of the cataclysmic changes that transformed Russian politics and society. 
01:19:25
January 24, 2022
Ambassador Jack F. Matlock - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 2)
Ambassador Jack F. Matlock - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 2)
"Shultz stood up other side of the table, put out his hands. And as they shook hands, Shultz said, 'Eduard let me assure you. I will never ask you to do something that I do not think is in your country's interest.' I had trouble keeping the tears back. I was at the table watching. The Cold War was over for those two." - Ambassador Jack F. Matlock The Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute introduces The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Diplomacy, Part Two of The Ambassadorial Series. Part Two consists of six plus hours of conversations with Ambassadors Jack F. Matlock, Thomas R. Pickering, and James F. Collins about crucial events and developments in U.S.-Russia relations. Focusing on the 1990s – from the disintegration of the USSR to President Putin's ascent to Russia’s highest office a decade later, Part Two, hosted by Dr. Hanna Notte, continues to offer firsthand accounts and analyses of the cataclysmic changes that transformed Russian politics and society. 
01:17:32
January 24, 2022
Ambassador Jack F. Matlock - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 1)
Ambassador Jack F. Matlock - The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Relations Interview (Part 1)
"Just after Christmas I called on Ambassador Falin who then was head of the Central Committee, that he was known as Mr. Germany as far as their foreign policy is concerned, and I asked him, I said, 'I understand that you think this is a question for the future?' His answer was, 'We thought it was a question for the future, but it's clear now, it's one that's going to be resolved now.'" - Ambassador Jack F. Matlock The Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute introduces The Ambassadorial Series: Deans of U.S. - Russia Diplomacy, Part Two of The Ambassadorial Series. Part Two consists of six plus hours of conversations with Ambassadors Jack F. Matlock, Thomas R. Pickering, and James F. Collins about crucial events and developments in U.S.-Russia relations. Focusing on the 1990s – from the disintegration of the USSR to President Putin's ascent to Russia’s highest office a decade later, Part Two, hosted by Dr. Hanna Notte, continues to offer firsthand accounts and analyses of the cataclysmic changes that transformed Russian politics and society. 
01:16:01
January 24, 2022
Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
"We missed the one element of diplomacy that is absolutely critical in balancing some of these very sensitive relationships, and that's a level of connectivity and dialogue that allows both sides to frame the priorities and to get working toward some shared outcomes and solutions. So, in that empty environment, Russia and China came together, each having different interests in coming together." - Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. The Ambassadorial Series is a one-of-a-kind docuseries featuring in-depth interviews with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and the Soviet Union. In eight, hour-long podcast episodes, the ambassadors recall their experiences in strikingly personal terms. They share insights from high-stakes negotiations and reflections on the challenges and dangers they sometimes faced. The ambassadors discuss a range of geopolitical issues from their decades of experience, including the Soviet Union’s breakup and the tense months that preceded it, the 1991 attempted coup, President Yeltsin’s 1993 standoff, the early years of President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The ambassadors also discuss nuclear, cyber, and economic cooperation, the impact of sanctions, and how social media and other technology changed their ability to communicate with the Russian people, among much else.
48:33
May 11, 2021
Ambassador John F. Tefft - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
Ambassador John F. Tefft - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
"Russia had also, in the third term of President Putin, really started to turn inward. There was almost a feeling of withdrawal from the world. There were sanctions put on, of course, that blocked visas and tended to isolate Russia. Russia was not accepted into the G7. But there was the Foreign Agents law, there was an aggressive FSB effort to intimidate scientists and people who had foreign contacts. And it became very clear and accelerated during my time there." - Ambassador John F. Tefft The Ambassadorial Series is a one-of-a-kind docuseries featuring in-depth interviews with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and the Soviet Union. In eight, hour-long podcast episodes, the ambassadors recall their experiences in strikingly personal terms. They share insights from high-stakes negotiations and reflections on the challenges and dangers they sometimes faced. The ambassadors discuss a range of geopolitical issues from their decades of experience, including the Soviet Union’s breakup and the tense months that preceded it, the 1991 attempted coup, President Yeltsin’s 1993 standoff, the early years of President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The ambassadors also discuss nuclear, cyber, and economic cooperation, the impact of sanctions, and how social media and other technology changed their ability to communicate with the Russian people, among much else.
49:55
May 11, 2021
Ambassador Michael McFaul - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
Ambassador Michael McFaul - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
"We said we're not going to check our values at the door in order to negotiate with the Russian autocratic regime. We were pretty blunt. If anybody knows me, they know that I speak pretty bluntly about these things, and it's not my first rodeo dealing with Russian officials, 2009, I've been at this for a long time. We didn't call Medvedev a democratic leader of the free world; we didn't praise him. We said, 'We're going to do this deal here, and then we're going to talk about these other things where we have disagreements.'" - Ambassador Michael McFaul The Ambassadorial Series is a one-of-a-kind docuseries featuring in-depth interviews with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and the Soviet Union. In eight, hour-long podcast episodes, the ambassadors recall their experiences in strikingly personal terms. They share insights from high-stakes negotiations and reflections on the challenges and dangers they sometimes faced. The ambassadors discuss a range of geopolitical issues from their decades of experience, including the Soviet Union’s breakup and the tense months that preceded it, the 1991 attempted coup, President Yeltsin’s 1993 standoff, the early years of President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The ambassadors also discuss nuclear, cyber, and economic cooperation, the impact of sanctions, and how social media and other technology changed their ability to communicate with the Russian people, among much else.
56:18
May 11, 2021
Ambassador John Beyrle - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
Ambassador John Beyrle - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
"My dad is considered to be one of the few, maybe the only American G.I. who in World War II fought against the Germans in both the American and the Soviet armies …. He hid out for a couple of days until a Russian Tank Unit rolled into the small village, and then very carefully – my dad was a very shrewd guy – he found the right time to present himself to the Russian soldiers. He had a pack of Lucky Strikes cigarettes, and he knew a few words of Russian, two of which were amerikanskii tovarish, American comrade. Well, the Russian Soviet soldiers looked at him like he just dropped off of a Martian spaceship: 'Who is this guy? Where did he come from?'" - Ambassador John Beyrle The Ambassadorial Series is a one-of-a-kind docuseries featuring in-depth interviews with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and the Soviet Union. In eight, hour-long podcast episodes, the ambassadors recall their experiences in strikingly personal terms. They share insights from high-stakes negotiations and reflections on the challenges and dangers they sometimes faced. The ambassadors discuss a range of geopolitical issues from their decades of experience, including the Soviet Union’s breakup and the tense months that preceded it, the 1991 attempted coup, President Yeltsin’s 1993 standoff, the early years of President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The ambassadors also discuss nuclear, cyber, and economic cooperation, the impact of sanctions, and how social media and other technology changed their ability to communicate with the Russian people, among much else.
57:60
May 11, 2021
Ambassador Alexander Vershbow - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
Ambassador Alexander Vershbow - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
"We really saw opportunities, in the horrible tragedy, we saw opportunities to cement the kind of strategic partnership with Russia that we had been trying to build during the 1990s with Yeltsin. And of course we had, I think, tremendous public support for doing just that. I remember, I'll never forget, the outpouring of sympathy and solidarity by the people of Moscow. The whole country came converging on the old embassy building on Ulitsa Chaikovskovo with flowers, with candles, children leaving their precious teddy bears, all out of sympathy for our loss of so many Americans and other nationalities in the 9/11 attacks." - Ambassador Alexander Vershbow The Ambassadorial Series is a one-of-a-kind docuseries featuring in-depth interviews with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and the Soviet Union. In eight, hour-long podcast episodes, the ambassadors recall their experiences in strikingly personal terms. They share insights from high-stakes negotiations and reflections on the challenges and dangers they sometimes faced. The ambassadors discuss a range of geopolitical issues from their decades of experience, including the Soviet Union’s breakup and the tense months that preceded it, the 1991 attempted coup, President Yeltsin’s 1993 standoff, the early years of President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The ambassadors also discuss nuclear, cyber, and economic cooperation, the impact of sanctions, and how social media and other technology changed their ability to communicate with the Russian people, among much else.
52:02
May 11, 2021
Ambassador James F. Collins - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
Ambassador James F. Collins - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
"I think it was around two o'clock in the afternoon. I was asked to come over and receive a message from President Yeltsin at that time. That was also a fairly exciting time because we were inside the barricades. There were crowds of people, and when I went in the car to the White House with the flag, I didn't know whether they were going to throw rocks or cheer. Well, they cheered. In essence, the message was asking Washington not to recognize these self-proclaimed authorities, and to stay with the constitutional order and support the rule of law and President Gorbachev." - Ambassador James F. Collins The Ambassadorial Series is a one-of-a-kind docuseries featuring in-depth interviews with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and the Soviet Union. In eight, hour-long podcast episodes, the ambassadors recall their experiences in strikingly personal terms. They share insights from high-stakes negotiations and reflections on the challenges and dangers they sometimes faced. The ambassadors discuss a range of geopolitical issues from their decades of experience, including the Soviet Union’s breakup and the tense months that preceded it, the 1991 attempted coup, President Yeltsin’s 1993 standoff, the early years of President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The ambassadors also discuss nuclear, cyber, and economic cooperation, the impact of sanctions, and how social media and other technology changed their ability to communicate with the Russian people, among much else.
01:23:04
May 11, 2021
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
"What I saw on that afternoon, perhaps mid-afternoon, was first a sea of aluminum shields moving towards the American Embassy and toward the Russian White House, which are opposite each other on the street, followed by the crowd from the front of the Foreign Ministry. So, I called the Embassy Marines and told them to get to the security officer and have the people who were residing in the embassy perimeter in the townhouses to go to our underground safe haven underneath the center of the embassy residence area because I was not sure in fact that we would not have firing and indeed other difficulties in that kind of confrontation as this crowd, which was headed in that direction, met the NKVD or the then KGB paramilitary force surrounding the White House." - Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering The Ambassadorial Series is a one-of-a-kind docuseries featuring in-depth interviews with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and the Soviet Union. In eight, hour-long podcast episodes, the ambassadors recall their experiences in strikingly personal terms. They share insights from high-stakes negotiations and reflections on the challenges and dangers they sometimes faced. The ambassadors discuss a range of geopolitical issues from their decades of experience, including the Soviet Union’s breakup and the tense months that preceded it, the 1991 attempted coup, President Yeltsin’s 1993 standoff, the early years of President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The ambassadors also discuss nuclear, cyber, and economic cooperation, the impact of sanctions, and how social media and other technology changed their ability to communicate with the Russian people, among much else.
59:55
May 11, 2021
Ambassador Jack F. Matlock - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
Ambassador Jack F. Matlock - The Ambassadorial Series Interview
"I sent my first message that the Soviet Union might break up in July 1990, 18 months before it happened. I didn't predict it then precisely. But I said it was possible, which I think came as a very great surprise to Washington." - Ambassador Jack F. Matlock The Ambassadorial Series is a one-of-a-kind docuseries featuring in-depth interviews with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and the Soviet Union. In eight, hour-long podcast episodes, the ambassadors recall their experiences in strikingly personal terms. They share insights from high-stakes negotiations and reflections on the challenges and dangers they sometimes faced. The ambassadors discuss a range of geopolitical issues from their decades of experience, including the Soviet Union’s breakup and the tense months that preceded it, the 1991 attempted coup, President Yeltsin’s 1993 standoff, the early years of President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. The ambassadors also discuss nuclear, cyber, and economic cooperation, the impact of sanctions, and how social media and other technology changed their ability to communicate with the Russian people, among much else.
40:52
May 11, 2021