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Departures Podcast featuring Ilya Ponomarev: Ukraine at a Critical Juncture

Regular listeners of the podcast need no introduction for Ilya Ponomarev, a former opposition member of the Russian Duma who was the only legislator to vote against the annexation of Crimea. Currently based in Kyiv, Ponomarev joins Amsterdam today to share his perspectives on the recent developments in the war, and why he believes that […]

Departures Podcast with Joseph Torigian, author of ‘Prestige, Manipulation, and Coercion’

To rise to power within the rigidly authoritarian party bureaucracies of the Soviet Union and China is a feat accomplished only with great strategic acumen, backhanded political maneuvering, and, sometimes, with a certain level of violence. On this week’s episode of Departures with Robert Amsterdam we are very pleased to feature Joseph Torigian, an assistant […]

Departures Podcast with Adeeb Khalid, author of ‘Central Asia: A New History From The Imperial Conquests To The Present’

Often dismissed as the edge of the Russian or Chinese empires, Central Asia hosts a complex history that informs on present day atrocities including the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and the Uyghur concentration camps in China. It is through these current events that Central Asia has become one of the most important geopolitical regions in […]

Departures Podcast with Joby Warrick, author of ‘Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America’s Race to Destroy the Most Dangerous Arsenal in the World’

Before Russia invaded Ukraine, it intervened in Syria in 2015 to shore up the beleaguered regime of their ally, Bashar al-Assad. How did this experience inform upon Vladimir Putin’s catastrophic decision to invade and attempt regime change of the democratically elected government in Kyiv? This week’s episode of Departures features Joby Warrick, a Pulitzer Prize-winning […]

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 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 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 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 […]