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Wilson Center Kennan Institute
KennanX is a podcast about our never-ending effort to understand Russia and the region. Hosted by Jill Dougherty.
Mar 25, 2022
Special Announcement + Rebroadcast: Who is Vladimir Putin?
Host Jill Dougherty has a special announcement about the future of the KennanX podcast. Plus, we’re sharing a recent conversation between Wilson Center President Mark Green and Baroness Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, about the impact that Russia’s war in Ukraine is having on Europe and the role of Vladimir Putin. We’ll be back with new KennanX episodes in April 2022!
Dec 21, 2021
Putin’s Red Lines on Ukraine
The standoff at the Russia-Ukraine border has reached a boiling point following the Biden and Putin video conference. Moscow is demanding major revisions to European security. In this episode of KennanX, Ambassador John Tefft – former ambassador to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Lithuania – joins Jill to discuss Putin’s red lines and what they mean.
Nov 2, 2021
Dangerous Whispers: Politics and Conspiracies in the post-Soviet Space
Political discourse in Russia and the post-Soviet space is rife with conspiracy theories, as well as politicians who utilize them to gain an upper hand. On this episode of KennanX, Scott Radnitz, author of Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region, joins Jill to discuss the politics driving conspiracies in the region.
Sep 9, 2021
Complicated Legacies: The U.S. and Russia in Afghanistan
With echoes of the Soviet retreat, the last American plane left Afghanistan on August 31, 2021 following two decades of war. How do the legacies of the Soviet and American occupations compare, and what does the future hold for Russian-Afghan relations with the Taliban now in charge? Our host Jill Dougherty is joined by Michael Kugelman and others for a conversation on Afghanistan and the role Russia is poised to play.
Jul 27, 2021
A Demonstration for Dignity: A Conversation with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
It’s been nearly one year since Alexander Lukashenko declared victory over Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in an election rife with fraud. In this episode of KennanX, our host Jill Dougherty is joined by Ms. Tikhanovskaya for a conversation about her campaign for President of Belarus, the fallout from the election, what motivates her to stay in the fight, and the outcome of her recent trip to Washington, DC.
Jul 8, 2021
Do Russia and the United States speak the same language on Cyber?
In their June summit, Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin pledged to restart a strategic dialogue on cyber issues. In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty explores how the United States and Russia interact in the cyber realm, and how each country defines how it uses cyber for its national security. She speaks with Meg King of the Wilson Center, Pavel Sharikov of the Center for Applied Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Lauren Zabierek of the Cyber Project at the Belfer Center.
Apr 20, 2021
Triggered: The Cuban Missile Crisis
On October 22, 1962, American families gathered around their televisions for an address by President Kennedy. What they heard shocked them. In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty revisits the Cuban Missile Crisis, uncovering lessons learned - and forgotten - with Serhii Plokhy, Director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University and author of the new book, Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Dec 18, 2020
Protests on the Silk Road: Analyzing Central Asia with the Oxus Society
In October 2020, Kyrgyzstan’s capital was rocked by protests following an allegedly rigged parliamentary election, ultimately resulting in the resignation of Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov. In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty explores the political geography and changing societal dynamics in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia with Edward Lemon, President of the Oxus Society and Research Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University and Bradley Jardine, Schwarzman Scholar at the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute.
Dec 3, 2020
The Putin Generation
In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty explores the characteristics and dynamics associated with the generation of young Russians that have grown up with Vladimir Putin as their leader for two decades. She speaks with Denis Volkov, Deputy Director at the Levada Center in Moscow, and Maria Snegovaya, Non-resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council and Post-Doctoral Scholar at Virginia Tech, about the latest CEPA-Levada Center report on Russian youth and civic engagement.
Oct 30, 2020
The Ladies in White
Since Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory over Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in an election rife with fraud, Belarus has been rocked by protests. Empowered by Tikhanovskaya and other female leaders, women have taken to the streets, forming the backbone of these society-altering protests. In this episode, Jill speaks with Elena Gapova of Western Michigan University and Maksimas Milta of the European Humanities University about Belarusian women in the opposition, the protests, and the future of Belarusian society.
Sep 16, 2020
"You Can't Say That!" - Political Correctness, Russian-style
In Russia, one of the hottest subjects for debate right now, on TV and in print, is political correctness. What do Russians mean by "political correctness?" In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty speaks with Russian journalist, TV personality, socialite, and former presidential candidate, Ksenia Sobchak, about political correctness, Russian-style.
Aug 13, 2020
Disinformation’s Threat to Democracy
America is losing the information war. But why? On this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty speaks with Nina Jankowicz about the scourge of foreign and domestic disinformation in America and how we can build a more disinformation-resilient society. Nina Jankowicz is the Disinformation Fellow at the Wilson Center and the author of How Not to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict.
Jul 10, 2020
George Soros: The Anatomy of a Global Conspiracy Theory
How did George Soros become an international bogeyman? In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty speaks with Emily Tamkin about the proliferation of conspiracy theories surrounding the Hungarian-American philanthropist and investor, from Eastern Europe and Russia to the United States. Emily Tamkin is author of The Influence of Soros: Politics Power and the Struggle for an Open Society.
Jun 24, 2020
Yelena Khanga: On family, growing up in the USSR, and Black Lives Matter
In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty speaks with Yelena Khanga about the story of her family, what it was like growing up Black in the Soviet Union, and the Black Lives Matter movement here in America. Yelena Khanga is a Russian journalist, talk show host, and author of “Soul to Soul: A Black Russian Jewish Woman’s Search for Her Roots.”
May 29, 2020
Mixed Signals in the Cyber Realm
In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty examines the uncertainties - and risks - associated with interpreting signals from adversaries in the cyber domain. Three experts explain the danger: George Beebe of the Center for the National Interest; Chris Painter, President, Global Forum on Cyber Expertise; and JD Work, the Bren Chair for Cyber Conflict and Security at the Marine Corps University.
May 15, 2020
Russia’s COVID Crisis
COVID-19 is spreading in Russia. In this episode, Jill Dougherty is joined by Judy Twigg, Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Oksana Antonenko, Director at Control Risks, for a discussion on how the Russian health system is handling the pandemic, how the average Russian is dealing with the crisis, and how the crisis will affect Putin’s presidency and the Russian economy.
Apr 10, 2020
Russkiy Stol: Russian Cuisine with Darra Goldstein
n this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty has a delicious conversation with Darra Goldstein, author of a new cookbook on Russian cuisine entitled “Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore.” What can you expect? Recipes from the northern corner of Russia and the processes at the heart of Russian cooking: fermentation and preservation. The conversation focuses on the traditional and the modern. On Russians rediscovering traditional flavors and ingredients as part of their culture, today.
Mar 10, 2020
Talented individuals are fleeing Russia for greener pastures. In this episode of KennanX, Jill Dougherty discusses the causes of Russian talent flight and the pain of leaving one’s country with Sergei Guriev, Professor and Scientific Director of the Master and PhD programmes in Economics at SciencesPo in Paris; Galina Timchenko, Russian journalist and Executive Editor of Meduza, a Latvia-based online news site; and Denis Volkov, Sociologist at the Levada Center and Columnist at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
Jan 21, 2020
Nuclear Insecurity: Should New START Die?
There are approximately 1,500 Russian nuclear warheads aimed at the U.S. The U.S. has about the same number aimed at Russia. In February, 2021, the last remaining arms control agreement between Russia and the U.S., New START, is set to expire. In this episode, Jill Dougherty sits down with John Beyrle, former Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2008-2012) and Rose Gottemoeller, former NATO Deputy Secretary General (2016-2019) to talk New START, should it be extended, and what its expiration would mean.
Dec 11, 2019
“On April 26, 1986, a power surge destroyed Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant causing the largest nuclear disaster in history. On this episode of KennanX our host, Jill Dougherty, explores the lasting legacy and impact of Chernobyl. We are joined by Craig Mazin, Creator and Producer of HBO’s Chernobyl; Serhii Plokhii, Director, Ukraine Research Institute, Harvard University; Masha Gessen, Staff Writer at The New Yorker; and Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Advisor at the Kennan Institute and Editor-In-Chief of The Russia File.”