The Slavic Connexion

The Slavic Connexion

A fresh international chat show from the University of Texas at Austin meant to share research, ideas, and culture from the Slavic world and beyond in digestible episodes. Each week we feature faculty, students (both undergraduate and graduate), and speakers of note from other institutions and countries. The Slavic Connexion is a graduate student production of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies within the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin... It's not typical Texas, y'all.... Show More

Episodes

October 25, 2020 51 min
Dr. Jasmin Mujanović, a political scientist focused on democratization and social movements in the Western Balkans and a host of the podcast "Sarajevo Calling", joins Samantha and Cullan for an in-depth discussion on the state of democracy in the region in 2020. This is a great walkthrough of the elite maneuvering and politics in the Western Balkans and which nuclear powers hold sway and influence in the region. We hope you...
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The New Yorker's Moscow correspondent, Joshua Yaffa, joins us from Moscow in fact to talk about the conditions in Russia during the pandemic, his latest book Between Two Fires, and the oft-debated Russian interference in US elections. Additionally, Yuri Levada's work and coining of the term "Wily Man" figures prominently into this discussion having played a role in Yaffa's attempt to understand the characters he...
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On this episode, we discuss the ongoing political crisis in Kyrgyzstan, resulting from the disputed October 4th elections, with Nazgul Kulova, a resident of Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan) and a policy analyst in the mining sector. As a former government official at the State Agency for Mineral Resources, she has worked with various international organizations and is thus a valuable inside resource. Nazgul talks with Matt about...
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We're back to Belarus with this episode, but this time we take an in-depth look at the still-thrumming situation from the dictator's perspective with one of the foremost experts on the region, Dr. David Marples. Dr. Marples talks about the potential end of the dictator while rounding out the context for the current revolution, allowing us to see just how and why Alexander Lukashenko came into power. Follow Dr. Marples on T...
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Dr. Susan Crate returns to the show to share her 1990 journey to Tuva, the geographic center of Asia. At this time, Tuva had only recently opened up to foreign travelers and the oblast (region) experienced heavy upheaval across the domains of the former Soviet Union. This moment also proved to be a turning point for the revitalization of lost or hidden cultural traditions, and many Tuvans openly displayed their heritage, wearing th...
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Admittedly, this is not a very Slavic episode, but we would like to balance the scales a little bit and discuss the existential crisis America is facing as well as we approach the 2020 presidential election. A New York Times article a few days ago said that though the United States makes up only 4% of the world's population, our Covid deaths account for 20% of the global totals. We're no math geniuses, but it looks like the...
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On this episode, former BBC journalist Leonid Ragozin joins Tom from Latvia to discuss the perception of Russia in the West, the origins of Western xenophobia towards Russia, his view of Vladimir Putin in 2000, and his experience working as an independent journalist on the investigations of high profile figures murdered in Ukraine. We hope you enjoy! ABOUT THE GUEST Leonid is a Russian journalist who worked for 12 years with the B...

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In this episode, Matt discussed with Dr. Maria Snegovaya the leading issues of the day in the Slavic region. Namely, the aftermath of Russia's recent regional elections, the Kremlin's response to Alexei Navalny's poisoning, and the ongoing spectre of Russian intervention in Belarus's post-election crisis. Connect with Dr. Snegovaya on Twitter: @MSnegovaya UPDATE (9-30-2020) View Dr. Snegovaya's research wi...
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September 19, 2020 53 min
Bulgaria, Belarus, books—oh my! In this exciting episode hosted by Matt and newbie host Katherine, Assistant Professor Kiril Avramov the University of Texas at Austin sits down to discuss his new book, “Russia’s Hidden Armies,” the recent detainment of Russian mercenaries in Belarus, and the anti-corruption protests currently raging within Bulgaria. Tune in for an episode filled to the brim with shocking details over Post-Communist...
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Tom and Matt have the great opportunity to speak with Libyan national Mohamed Abufalgha and expert on the conflict that has been going on for several years now in this oil-rich, war-torn country. Mohamed helps us unpack the Russian-Libyan connection and exactly how many countries have their fingers--and fighters--in Libya. We hope you enjoy! For some basic information about the conflict in Libya, here are some great resources incl...

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The Balkan Circle is a weekly seminar (during the academic year) which features lectures, presentations, exhibits, or open interactive dialogues that focus on any (and all) aspects of historical, political, economic, social and cultural phenomena in the (so-called) Balkans. The seminar is free and open to the public and will be held every Friday from 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm online. Visit https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/slavic/events/bal...
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Our guest today is Dr. Tomasz Samojlik, an environmental historian and researcher at the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Białowieża. His research focuses on Poland's Białowieża Primeval Forest, one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe. In addition to his research, Dr. Samojlik spoke with us about his work popularising science and scientific knowledge using books, comics and graphic no...
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On this episode, Tom speaks with UT's own Professor Sparrow about his 2015 book on legendary multi-administration US National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft who sadly passed away recently on August 6th, 2020. This is a great conversation, remembering the unassuming but brilliant strategist who was so integral during the late Cold War period. Hope you enjoy! ABOUT THE GUEST https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/540586625.webp?mw=90...
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In this episode, Matt spoke with Dr. Mark Galeotti about the pressing issues of the day in Eurasia: the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the ongoing protests in the far-eastern city of Khabarovsk, and the Kremlin's view on the post-election crisis in Belarus. Using his keen understanding of the Kremlin's decision-making process, Dr. Galeotti, creator of the blog and podcast "In Moscow'...

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On this episode recorded August 21, 2020, Matt and Lera speak with Alexei Navalny's close co-collaborator on anti-corruption in Russia, Maxim Mironov. They discuss the current situation with Alexei Navalny's alleged poisoning and also Russian state corruption in a broader, global context. NOTE: We apologize for audio difficulties with our guest due to bad internet connections in Buenos Aires. This episode was recorded via Z...
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Is this the end of Europe's Last Dictator? In this episode, Matt spoke with Aliaksandr aka Ales Herasimenka, a researcher at the University of Westminster and previous guest on the show about the ongoing presidential elections in Belarus, where embattled president Alexander Lukashenko faces the most organized opposition in the history of his 26 years as president. A new generation has rallied around the 37-year-old English teac...

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BBC's Seva Novgorodsev joins us once more just in time for his 80th birthday! This time, we gather around Zoom, but the conversation is, as always, entertaining and unexpected--one never knows where Seva will lead us and what he will teach us. We hope you enjoy! If you wish to check out any of Seva's books and his latest audiobook "Настоящий джентльмен" (A True Gentleman), visit his site https://seva.ru/store/?id&#...
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Former CIA officer Stephen Slick joins us to talk about his nearly three decades in intelligence, spent largely overseas in Ukraine, the Balkans, and East Germany. Professor Slick also discusses his return Stateside to a position in Langley just one week before 9-11 occurred and his present role as an educator at the University of Texas at Austin in building the Intelligence Studies Project--a first of its kind in the United States...
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Dr. Susie Crate returns to The Slavic Connexion! This time, Dr. Crate spoke with SlavX host Katya about her experiences collecting ethnomusicological material from 1989–1990 in the Kharkiv oblast in Eastern Ukraine, then still part of the Soviet Union. This work was part of a larger project to collect and preserve songs unique to particular villages in the Kharkiv oblast. The types of songs recorded include kozats’ki pisni (Cossack...
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Renowned geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan (www.zeihan.com) graciously joins us via Zoom for an intensive breakdown of the current world order and his predictions for the future concerning the economic and political directions of America, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and other nations. This is a true international whirlwind, and a must-listen for any student or aficionado of global policy and IR theory. We hope you enjoy...
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