Russia

Marvin Kalb spent 30 years as an award-winning reporter for CBS News and NBC News. In 1956, Kalb was selected by the State Department to do translation work in Moscow.

He tells the story of that year in his new book: The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956 - Khrushchev, Stalin’s Ghost, and a Young American in Russia.

Herbert London: Putin’s Strategy And Our Response

Sep 13, 2017

At the end of the Cold War, Russia was a facsimile of itself. Shorn of empire, the Russians appeared to be a weak regional power, if that. Should one examine it through domestic considerations, its economy was weak relying entirely on extractive industries. A contagion of alcoholism raged through the society. HIV cases represented an epidemic. And life expectancy was declining. These conditions still prevail, but Putin has gone global in order to conceal the weakness and failure that exists at home.

The administration says investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election are fake news.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal, a Democrat from the first district, continues his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

Donald Trump Jr.’s inbox is the latest front in the Russia investigation.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Representative Peter Welch continues his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

U.S. Capitol
wikipedia.org

The Republican healthcare plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is on the ropes in Congress as more GOP senators say they will not vote for it. Aside from healthcare, the Trump administration continues to be dogged by connections to Russia. In New York, a recent Siena College poll finds Governor Andrew Cuomo’s favorability rating has dropped significantly. WAMC's Alan Chartock hosts.

The Trump campaign’s ties to Russia: a scandal that isn’t going away.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, a Democrat from the second district, speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

More is coming out about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia by the day.

In today’s Congressional Corner, WAMC’s Alan Chartock speaks with Connecticut Representative Joe Courtney, a Democrat from the 2nd district.

Fred R. Conrad

Paul Krugman is the Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. He was the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics.

This past Sunday, after a screening of the Academy Award winning 1976 film, All The President’s Men, Krugman joined Alan Chartock at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival for a conversation about current events and The Trump Administration. 

The investigation into the White House’s ties to Russia continues.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, a Democrat from the second district, speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Congressman Peter Welch
http://www.welch.house.gov/about-peter/

The investigation into the White House’s ties to Russia is only just beginning.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Representative Peter Welch continues his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Herbert London: Fraying Alliances In The Middle East

Apr 12, 2017

Alliances in the byzantine Middle East have a life span roughly equivalent to how long it takes for the ink to dry. In 2013, when the Obama administration invited the Russians into Syria to monitor and control Bassar Assad’s use of poison gas, Putin used this occasion to cement an alliance with Iran, the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah. From the standpoint of the parties involved, this alliance made eminent sense.

Herbert London: Revanchism And Crisis Management

Mar 1, 2017

Revanchism, from the French revanche or “revenge”, is the will to reverse territorial losses following war or social movement. The dismantling of the Soviet Union, to cite one example, has led to a Putinesque policy of irredentism, the reclamation of territory once within the Soviet orbit. In a strange way revanchism has become the twenty- first contrary foreign policy perspective.

Lisa Dickey traveled across the whole of Russia three times - in 1995, 2005 and 2015 - making friends in eleven different cities, then coming back again and again to see how their lives had changed. Like the acclaimed British documentary series Seven Up!, she traces the ups and downs of ordinary people’s lives, in the process painting a deeply nuanced portrait of modern Russia.

Her book is Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys across a Changing Russia.

Herbert London: Who Really Won The Cold War?

Jan 25, 2017

In 1989 the Berlin wall tumbled like Humpty Dumpty amid a joyous celebration in Germany and across the West. The symbol of the Russian Communist dictatorship was blasted into bits of concrete. In the subsequent couple of years those states caught in the grip of the Soviet orbit seceded reducing the Russian population by about 150 million people. NATO expanded to embrace many of these former states including the Baltic nations contiguous to Mother Russia. While the West viewed this new reality with promise liberal democracy would spread, former KGB officials regarded this defeat as humiliation, a humiliation that had to be redressed.

In the last debate of the 2012 presidential race Governor Romney discussed the potential threat of Russia. He was widely criticized by President Obama who maintained the Cold War ended in the 1980’s. Since then, of course, we have had a national “reset.” Vladimir Putin’s aggressive action in eastern Ukraine, Syria and his openly provocative statements about the Baltic states and the use of nuclear weapons offer revealing insights into Russian aims. Still there are those who believe Russia can be an ally, at least in areas where U.S.-Russian interests converge, e.g. battling militant Islam.

The Russian interference in November’s election has alarmed many onlookers.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays continues his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Malcolm Nance is a globally recognized counterterrorism expert and Intelligence Community member who has been deployed to intelligence operations in the Balkans, Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Defeating ISIS, and is a counterterrorism analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

His most recent book is The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election.

Herbert London: Grand Strategy And Grand Illusion

Dec 7, 2016

Is it possible to detoxify the United States’ relations with Russia, China and the Muslim world? Is there a grand strategy that could maintain the honor of America and at the same time introduce stability in areas of the globe fraught with tension?

Herbert London: The New World Order

Oct 12, 2016

Recently the Russian military force deployed an advanced anti-missile system and sophisticated radars over Syria. In doing so, Russia and its allies in Iran and Hezbollah realize the ability of the U.S. to assist the rebel groups in Aleppo is severely limited. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, may not know what Aleppo is, but for anyone following current events this city of 250,000 is now a “killing field.”

With his break-out debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction.

His latest, A Gentleman in Moscow, tells the story of a Russian aristocrat who was sentenced by the Bolsheviks during the revolution to a lifetime of house arrest in Moscow's ​Metropol hotel. 

Herbert London: The Russians Are Going

Mar 23, 2016

There was a Hollywood film of yesteryear with the title “The Russians Are Coming.” If one were making that film today it might be called “The Russians Are Going.” In a move that has surprised many in our State Department, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of the “main part” of the Russian military contingent from Syria. He noted that the principal tasks “for the armed forces were accomplished,” i.e. stabilizing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Herbert London: Selling Out

Feb 17, 2016

In its emphasis on defeating ISIS, the U.S. delegation in Geneva has sold out the rebels fighting against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. A new chapter in the Middle East has unfolded as America’s perceived interests have tilted in the direction of Iran and Russia. Instead of a transitional government that would ease the Syrian dictator out of power, Secretary of State Kerry said there should be a national unity government for the foreseeable future – a euphemism for Assad stays. In fact, that is the essence of the recently signed cease-fire accord.

 Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick and author of The Triple Agent has a new book, Black Flags: The Rise of Isis. Which is a dramatic account explaining how the strain of militant Islam behind the Islamic State first arose in a remote a Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American Presidents. 

Serhii Plhoky is Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University, the director of Harvard's Ukrainian Research Institute, and one of the foremost experts on Ukrainian history. As he explains in his new book we must look back to Ukraine's past to understand its present and future. 

  Hudson Valley World Affairs Council will be hosting a lecture at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, September 9th featuring Tom Nichols - Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

He will speak on "The U.S. and Russia Today: New Cold War, Hot War, or Reconciliation?” The discussion will be about US-Russian relations, focusing on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the conflict in Syria, the Iran nuclear deal and the future of NATO.

He is also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion, and as one of the all-time top players of the game, he was invited back to play in the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions.

  Once Upon a Time in Russia by Ben Mezrich is the untold true story of the larger-than-life billionaire oligarchs who surfed the waves of privatization to reap riches after the fall of the Soviet regime: “Godfather of the Kremlin” Boris Berezovsky, a former mathematician whose first entrepreneurial venture was running an automobile reselling business, and Roman Abramovich, his dashing young protégé who built a multi-billion-dollar empire of oil and aluminum.

Locked in a complex, uniquely Russian partnership, Berezovsky and Abramovich battled their way through the “Wild East” of Russia with Berezovsky acting as the younger man’s krysha—literally, his roof, his protector. 

Herbert London: Appeasement Here And Abroad

Aug 19, 2015

After years of inaction, NATO is now attempting to develop a strategy to cope with Russian aggression. A State Department report indicates that Iran has not reduced its global terrorist activity despite the accommodative stances of the P5 + 1 on Iranian nuclear weapons acquisition. The elimination of “stop and frisk” preventive policing action, has resulted in an increase of gun violence in New York City and in other major cities where lapsed police measures have been imposed.

  Graphic novel author, Marika McCoola joins us this morning to tell us about her debut, Baba Yaga’s Assistant.

In the book - Russian folklore icon Baba Yaga mentors a lonely teen in a wry graphic novel that balances between the modern and the timeless. Emily Carroll is the graphic artist for the book.

Marika McCoola has an MFA in writing for children from Simmons College and is the former children’s department director at the Odyssey Bookshop, where there will be a book launch party tomorrow at 6PM.

5/13/15 Panel

May 13, 2015

 

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, SUNY Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao, and political consultant, Libby Post.

Schedule topics include the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade deal; Jeb Bush on Iraq War; Rolling Stone Sued; John Kerry meeting with Vladimir Putin; Verizon buys AOL.

  On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 264 others. In the ensuing manhunt, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured and ultimately charged on thirty federal counts.

Yet long after the bombings and the terror they sowed, after all the testimony and debate, what we still haven’t learned is why. Why did the American Dream go so wrong for two immigrants? How did such a nightmare come to pass?

Acclaimed Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen is uniquely endowed with the background, access, and talents to tell the full story.

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