Russian Roulette takes a look at the politics, economics, and culture of Russia and Eurasia through both interviews and lively discussion with experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and around the world. Hosted by CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program experts Olga Oliker and Jeffrey Mankoff.
Of Sino-Russian Military Cooperation: Alliance or Alignment? - Russian Roulette Episode 114
In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Paul Schwartz, research scientist in the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses, and Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute. Paul and Richard are authors of the latest reports focusing on Sino-Russian cooperation, including Russia’s arms transfers to China and Sino-Russian military exercises.
They discuss the strategic conundrum presented by the Sino-Russian military cooperation to the United States. They also examine the costs to Russia of this partnership, the purpose of such cooperation, and whether their relationship is based on alignment or has turned into an alliance.
Paul’s report on Russian military transfers to China can be found here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/changing-nature-and-implications-russian-military-transfers-china
Richard’s report on Chinese-Russian military exercises: https://www.csis.org/analysis/assessing-chinese-russian-military-exercises-past-progress-and-future-trends
You can find Paul’s bio here: https://www.cna.org/experts/Schwartz_P and Richard’s bio here: https://www.hudson.org/experts/433-richard-weitz
Thanks for listening!
Of Russia’s Arctic Council Chairmanship and Sino-Russian Collaboration in the Arctic - Russian Roulette Episode 113
In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Andrei Zagorski, Head of Department for Disarmament and Conflict Resolution Studies at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), and Elizabeth Buchanan, Lecturer of Strategic Studies with Deakin University for the Defense and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian War College.
They discuss Russia’s plans for its Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and its broader economic and security policy in the Arctic. They also explore China’s Arctic strategy since the unveiling of its Arctic white paper and shifts in its approach since becoming a permanent observer to the Council in 2013. Lastly, they do some myth-busting regarding the strategic conundrum presented by Sino-Russian cooperation in the Arctic.
If you are interested in learning more about Russia and NATO’s military activities in the region, check out our Arctic Military Activity tracker and read our primers on this important topic: The Ice Curtain: Russia’s Arctic Military Presence and America's Arctic Moment: Great Power Competition in the Arctic to 2050. But importantly, the Arctic region may be one of the few areas where the U.S and Russia can achieve some modest bilateral success.
You can find Dr. Zagorski’s bio here and Dr. Buchanan’s bio here. You can also follow her on Twitter: @BuchananLiz
Stay safe and healthy.
Of Politics in Moldova and Diversity in Russia and Eurasia Studies Field - Russian Roulette Episode 112
In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Ambassador Dereck J. Hogan, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, who previously served as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the U.S. Department of State, and Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires in U.S. Embassy Baku, Azerbaijan, and Nicole B. Aandahl, the director of CSIS’s Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Program, which is dedicated to elevating diverse voices and perspectives to lead to more ideas, more innovation, and more robust policy solutions.
In this two-part episode, we begin the discussion with a focus on Moldova, including the impact of Covid-19, the reform agenda of and political challenges faced by President Maia Sandu’s administration, and the status of the “frozen” conflict in Transnistria. We then turn to a conversation about careers and diversity in the Russia and Eurasia studies field. In this second part of the conversation, Nicole Aandahl and Ambassador Hogan share their experiences in how they became interested in Russian studies, the importance of intentionality and inclusivity in the workplace, and the ways in which allies and mentors can help foster greater diversity among professionals in the field and the policymaking community.
You can find Ambassador Hogan’s bio here: https://md.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/our-ambassador/ and follow the U.S. Embassy in Moldova on Twitter: https://twitter.com/USembMoldova
You can find Nicole’s bio here: www.csis.org/people/nicole-breland-aandahl If you’re interested in learning more about CSIS’s Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Program, check out the page here: www.csis.org/programs/diversity-and-leadership-international-affairs-project.
Stay safe and healthy.
Of the Quad and Russia’s Role in the Indo-Pacific - Russian Roulette Episode 111
In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Michael J. Green, senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of Asian Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
They discuss the key takeaways from a U.S.-Japan-Russia Track 2 conference in which CSIS participated late last year, the strategic implications of a robust Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), and the challenges presented by closer Sino-Russian coordination to the U.S. and other Quad members, such as Japan and India. They also explore Russia’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific and opportunities for the U.S. to maintain a regional dialogue with Moscow.
The co-written piece on the Quad mentioned by Heather Conley has been published. You can read it here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/return-quad-will-russia-and-china-form-their-own-bloc
If you’re interested in hearing more from Michael Green, check out his expert page at CSIS.org here: www.csis.org/people/michael-j-green and listen to the podcast he hosts, the Asia Chessboard: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/asia-chessboard
Lastly, you can follow the Japan Chair on Twitter @JapanChair to receive updates on their latest events and analysis.
Stay safe and healthy.
Of Russia’s Energy Markets, Transitions, and Future - Russian Roulette Episode 110
In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down Georgy Safonov, visiting fellow with our program and director at the Center for Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow; and Nikos Tsafos, deputy director and senior fellow at the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program.
They discuss what global carbon-neutrality pledges and policies mean for Russia’s energy transition, how the Russian energy industry may adapt to the changing European and Asian markets, and what energy alternatives Russia might focus on in the future.
The CSIS Europe, Russia and Eurasia Program is engaged in a new line of research dedicated to understanding the impact of climate change on Russia. Georgy – along with visiting fellows Andrei Semenov and Angelina Davydova – are leading Russian voices on climate change, civil society, and center-region dynamics. You can find the fellows’ commentaries here: https://www.csis.org/programs/europe-russia-and-eurasia-program/russia-and-eurasia/russia-time-climate-change and watch their remarks on Russian climate policy and the effects of climate change on Russia’s strategic future here: https://www.csis.org/events/russia-time-climate-change
You can find Georgy’s bio here: https://www.hse.ru/en/org/persons/512771. Nikos’s bio: https://www.csis.org/people/nikos-tsafos and Twitter handle: @ntsafos
We thank Carnegie Corporation of New York for sponsoring this initiative.
Stay safe and healthy.
Of The Dawn of a New Era in Arms Control?: Extending the New Start Treaty - Russian Roulette Episode 109
In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down Rebecca Hersman, Director of the Project on Nuclear Issues (or PONI), and Senior Adviser, International Security Program at CSIS, and Dmitry Stefanovich, Research Fellow at the Center for International Security, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS) in Moscow.
They discuss the reasons why the Biden and Putin administrations are extending the last remaining U.S.-Russian arms control agreement, the New START treaty; the treaty’s importance; and the prospects for addressing new weapon systems and capabilities in a future agreement. The New START Treaty is also discussed as a pillar of a future, global and multilateral arms control and nuclear nonproliferation negotiating framework.
You can find Rebecca’s bio here: https://www.csis.org/people/rebecca-hersman and follow her on Twitter: @rebeccahersman
Dmitry’s bio: https://www.imemo.ru/en/about/persons/department/full?id=2228 and Twitter handle: @KomissarWhipla
Stay safe and healthy.
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.
Poignant and topical
I have an international security background and this podcast is essential for maintaining my academic curiosity and topical sharpness. I don’t miss an episode.
The Podcast is great resource for Russia watchers like me, hosts are extremely knowledgeable,