Departures Podcast: From the frontlines of Kyiv with Ilya Ponomarev, Dispatch #2

We last checked in with former Russian lawmaker Ilya Ponomarev about a month ago, as the Russian military began its invasion of Ukraine. Now, with things looking much different and many things not going to plan, we check back in for Dispatch #2 from inside Ukraine. Ponomarev, who was forced into self-exile from Russia following […]

Departures Podcast with Jason Stearns, author of ‘The War That Doesn’t Say Its Name: The Unending Conflict in the Congo’

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most resource-rich nations in the world, holding the largest deposits of critical minerals which will be key to the coming industrial transformation. But it is also a nation that is well into its third decade of war – a war that in many ways is forgotten, […]

Departures Podcast with Ilya Ponomarev: From the Frontlines of Kyiv

Ilya Ponomarev is one man who knows the costs of crossing Vladimir Putin. In 2014, he was the only member of the Russian Duma who voted against the annexation of Crimea, and then was forced into political exile, eventually becoming an entrepreneur in Kyiv, Ukraine. Tonight, as Russian tanks began entering the outer neighborhoods of […]

Departures Podcast with Brendan Simms and Charlie Laderman, authors of ‘Hitler’s American Gamble’

During one specific week in December in 1941, a series of events and calculations led to Adolf Hitler’s disastrous decision to declare war on the United States, putting the conflict on the eventual path toward the outcome we now regard with familiarity. The sequence of events leading from the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan […]

Departures Podcast with Jon Grinspan, author of ‘The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915’

“100 billion people have lived on planet earth since our species evolved, and for all our archives, all our libraries, and all our museums, we have only the tiniest little sliver of any record of who these people were and what their lives were like,” says Jon Grinspan in his conversation with Robert Amsterdam. “So […]

Departures Podcast with Mark Galeotti, author of ‘The Weaponisation of Everything’

As tensions continue to rage between Russia and the West over its build-up on the Ukrainian border, Departures turns to expert Mark Galeotti for his analysis on the situation and a discussion of his brand new book, “The Weaponisation of Everything: A Field Guide to the New Way of War.” Galeotti, who has spent years […]

Departures Podcast with Margarita Balmaceda

Throughout the most recent intensifying conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine, there is a common assumption that the Russian leadership is wielding its “energy weapon” to break apart European unity and advance its interests. While that may be partly true, it would be a huge mistake to assume that such a vast industrial […]

Departures Podcast with Hakan Bulgurlu, author of ‘A Mountain to Climb’

Several years ago, Hakan Bulgurlu was at the top of his game. He was serving as CEO of Arçelik, a multi-billion dollar corporation. He and his family, including three young children, were enjoying a great life with frequent international travel. But he was also deeply troubled by the raw data he was seeing professionally documenting […]

Departures Podcast with Seth Jones, author of ‘Three Dangerous Men: Russia, China, Iran and the Rise of Irregular Warfare’

Forget tanks, missiles, and soldiers. The forms of warfare predominantly being used against the United States today are much more often unconventional and irregular, such as large-scale offensive cyber actions, disinformation campaigns, spying, economic subversion, and smaller armed conflicts via proxies.  This is a deeply worrying trend, argues Seth Jones, author of the terrific book […]

Departures Podcast with Ilya Ponomarev

The saber-rattling from Moscow over Ukraine has grown deafening in recent weeks. Hours before we recorded this episode, Vladimir Putin appeared on television threatening “retaliatory military-technical” measures while amassing some 175,000 troops on the border of Ukraine, asserting that Russia “has every right” to invade and start a war. Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama administration […]