This episode presents a description of the current situation in Putin’s totalitarian Russia and analyzes whether there is hope for change coming from within the country itself. It is a vivid picture of how authoritarian regimes shape what citizens see, believe, and think and how this leads to a profound sense of hopelessness, isolation, a state of general anxiety and despair. Is the resurgence of Putin’s new imperial ambitions likely to bolster his power nationally and internationally? Can sanctions or economic sanctions in general give a hope in resolving the conflict?
Guests featured in this episode:
Masha Gessen, a distinguished journalist & staff writer for the New Yorker. Born in Moscow in the Soviet Union, Masha moved to the United States in 1981, only to return to Russia as a journalist a decade later. A strong critic of Putin’s regime from the very outset, Masha decided to leave Russia and return to the US due to the politically motivated crackdown on gay parents by Russian authorities.
They have authored 11 books, most recently, Surviving Autocracy (2020), an insightful account of the Trump Presidency that also draws on their experience of living in Russia. Two of their other books discussed within the podcast are; The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, and The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (2012).