Hosted by Max Bergmann and Dr. Maria Snegovaya of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at CSIS, Russian Roulette explores the politics, history, and complex societies of Russia and Eurasia. Tune in for fascinating interviews and discussions on some of the biggest questions facing the broader post-Soviet space. Produced by Tina Dolbaia and Nick Fenton.
Maria Reports Back After a Trip to Ukraine
On this week's episode, Maria fills in Max and Michael Kimmage after her recent trip to Kyiv. The three of them then discuss the current state of the war with Russia, and examine some of the key questions facing Ukraine and its partners as we head into 2024.
The Ideology of Putinism with Sergei Guriev
On October 31st, Max moderated a conversation between Maria and Sergei Guriev on the ideology of Putinism. Does Vladimir Putin have an ideology? If so, will this ideology help him retain power in Russia? Maria recently co-authored a report on this same topic, and the paper's findings were the main topic of discussion. Dr. Sergei Guriev is the Provost at Sciences Po in Paris, and a renowned professor of economics. Previously, he led the New Economic School in Moscow from 2004-2013. Additionally, he served as the Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2016-2019.
"The Ideology of Putinism: Is It Sustainable?" by Maria Snegovaya, Michael Kimmage, and Jade McGlynn
"Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century" by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman
Russia and the Global South with Hanna Notte
On this week's episode, tune into a conversation Max had on October 24, 2023 with CSIS Senior Associate non-resident fellows, Michael Kimmage and Hanna Notte. Hanna, based in Berlin, is an expert on Russian foreign policy, the Middle East, and arms control and nonproliferation. While Hanna was in DC, she sat down with Max and Michael to discuss Russia's strategy towards the Global South in the wake of Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
"Putin is Getting What He Wants," by Hanna Notte (The New York Times)
"How Russia Globalized the War in Ukraine," by Michael Kimmage and Hanna Notte (Foreign Affairs)
"Russia's Axis of the Sanctioned," by Hanna Notte (Foreign Affairs)
"The Age of Great-Power Distraction" by Michael Kimmage and Hanna Notte (Foreign Affairs)
"Seller's Remorse: The Challenges Facing Russia's Arms Exports," by Max Bergmann, Maria Snegovaya, Tina Dolbaia, and Nick Fenton (CSIS)
Russia as a Strategic Threat: Ukraine, NATO, and Beyond Europe
This conversation was recorded as a CSIS event on September 18, 2023. Max sat down with Lisa Aronsson, John Deni, and Paul Schwartz, to examine how sanctions-induced limits on Russia's defense industrial capacity have been impacting, and will continue to impact, Russia's ability to wage war on Ukraine, counter NATO, and remain a major actor in global arms sales. The panelists discussed the findings of recent reports they authored for CSIS, which are included in the show notes below.
"A War of Attrition: Assessing the Impact of Equipment Shortages on Russian Military Operations in Ukraine," by Paul Schwartz | CSIS
"Agile and Adaptable: U.S. and NATO Approaches to Russia's Short-Term Military Potential," by Lisa Aronsson, John R. Deni, and Hanna Notte | CSIS
"Seller's Remorse: The Challenges Facing Russia's Arms Exports," by Max Bergmann, Maria Snegovaya, Tina Dolbaia, and Nick Fenton | CSIS
Please click here to read an analysis by the New York Times on the findings of "Seller's Remorse."
Security Assistance to Ukraine Under Threat
This week, Maria interviews Max about the emerging crisis around the future of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. Max deep dives into the mechanics of how U.S. funding for Ukraine's war effort actually works, the impact of the ouster of Kevin McCarthy from the House speakership on the funding debate, and the potential role of the EU in filling the gap if the Biden administration fails to gain additional congressional authorization to support Kyiv.
"U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine Is Going to Get Complicated," by Max Bergmann (War on the Rocks, 3/3/2023)
Eric Ciaramella and Ukrainian Security Outside of NATO
On this week's episode, Max is joined by Eric Ciaramella of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to discuss his recent writing on possible long-term security arrangements for Ukraine while the country remains outside of the NATO alliance.
"How the West Can Secure Ukraine's Future: Kyiv Needs a Binding Commitment Before NATO Membership" by Eric Ciaramella (Foreign Affairs)
"Envisioning a Long-Term Security Arrangement for Ukraine" by Eric Ciaramella (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
This show fills a Russia-sized hole in the CSIS lineup, and in the podcast space in general. There are not enough podcasts out there that regularly offer high quality analysis of Russia, which is a shame, but we finally have the return of Russian Roulette to the scene and I’m thankful for that. The hosts are excellent, as are the guests, and I appreciate that the show goes for about an hour (I’d gladly listen even longer). I would note that the audio can be flat at times and can make it hard on the listener. I don’t think that they’re doing this in studio. This seems to affect however it is that they’re recording Dr. Snegovaya more often. I’m interested in her research and perspective, so I truly hope that this can be fixed.
Great content but sometimes hard to follow because the audio is lacking.
To truly diversify the field ask public school systems to diversify their world language course offerings. A language like Russian needs to be offered in middle school so that high school students can achieve some intermediate level of skill before college. More traditionally taught languages have a monopoly on language instruction in schools. Until access expands beyond elite school systems, diversity will be difficult to achieve in area studies programs.