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Category: Interviews

Russia is preparing many scenarios for Ukraine

A conversation with Maria Avdeeva, research director at the European Expert Association in Ukraine. Interviewer: Adam Reichardt

January 19, 2022 - Adam Reichardt Maria Avdeeva

A free and democratic Belarus based on the principles of human rights

Interview with Darya Churko, a lawyer active in the protests in Belarus, whose research concerns the repressions of the Lukashenka regime. Interviewer: Arkadiusz Zając.

December 20, 2021 - Arkadiusz Zając Darya Churko

The new Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre is a Trojan horse for Putin’s hybrid war

An interview with Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, a historian, philologist and essayist. Interviewers: Aleksander Palikot and Jerzy Sobotta

ALEKSANDER PALIKOT AND JERZY SOBOTTA: You’ve been visiting Babyn Yar since you were very young. The 80th anniversary has just passed. Was it different this time?

YOHANAN PETROVSKY-SHTERN: Most importantly this time there were two different commemorations. Between September 29th and 30th, there was an unofficial or semi-official event. I would have been there too, if not for my Northwestern University teaching commitment. Many people came, including representatives of various public organisations and representatives of different Ukrainian Jewish communities. They paid tribute to the 33,771 Jews massacred at Babyn Yar over two days in September 1941 during the Nazi occupation of Kyiv.

December 2, 2021 - Aleksander Palikot Jerzy Sobotta Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern

The disintegration of the Soviet Union is still going on and it is not peaceful

A conversation with Serhii Plokhy, Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Interviewer: Adam Reichardt

ADAM REICHARDT: This year we commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union, an event that brought an end to the Cold War as well as what Francis Fukuyama called “the end of history”. Yet, this event also led to social, economic and political instability; nation and identity building; the creation of new states and divides; and conflicts and wars among neighbours, just to name a few of the key processes. But let’s start maybe with the positives. When you look back over the past 30 years, after the collapse of the USSR, what would you say were the most important achievements or milestones throughout these past decades for the post-Soviet space?

SERHII PLOKHY: I will start with something that on the surface sounds controversial but in reality is not. The collapse of the Soviet Union signalled the “end of history” – but the history that I am talking about is not associated with the victory of liberal democracy. It was the victory of private property and market economics. With democracy we have a mixed record at best, but certainly the late 1980s and early 1990s really signalled the end for economies that were not based to one degree or another on the private property and market. Even China, which survived as a party run state and preserved a form of communist ideology, did so by adopting the principles of the market economy. So that is certainly one very clear turning point of global significance, as throughout most of the 20th century that the economic model was often directly challenged.

December 1, 2021 - Adam Reichardt Serhii Plokhy

In favour of dialogue against the tide

An interview with Ernest Wyciszkiewicz, director of the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding. Interviewer: Grzegorz Szymborski.

November 18, 2021 - Ernest Wyciszkiewicz Grzegorz Szymborski

The biggest challenge in Georgia right now is the state of democracy

An interview with Khatia Dekanoidze, a leader of the main Georgian opposition party – United National Movement and candidate for mayor of Kutaisi, the second biggest city in Georgia. Interviewer: Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

October 14, 2021 - Khatia Dekanoidze Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

The Belarus book

An interview with Kasia Syramalot, author of The Belarus Book – a visual story of Belarus over the past decade. Interviewer: Anastasia Starchenko

September 12, 2021 - Anastasiia Starchenko Kasia Syramalot

Ukraine deserves better analysis than it has

An interview with Cédric Gras, French writer and former director of Alliance Française in Donetsk. Interviewer: Clémence Lavialle

CLÉMENCE LAVIALLE: Could you tell me how it happened that you started your career in Russia?

CÉDRIC GRAS: Well, I never had a clear career plan. Therefore, I started my professional life by doing what I had always wanted to do – travelling and climbing mountains. I was able to make a decent life out of it. But to make a living out of it, I knew that I had to tell a story through reports, writings, and photographs. In this way, I try to show the world in different forms: academic and more artistic. I try to tell the story of today's world.

September 12, 2021 - Cédric Gras Clémence Lavialle

Ukraine and Poland: strategic partners, neighbours and friends

Interview with Dmytro Solomchuk, a Ukrainian deputy with the ruling party Servant of the People. Interviewer: Oleksandr Gnydiuk.

August 20, 2021 - Dmytro Solomchuk Oleksandr Gnydiuk

From the unknown to the better known. Evolution of French thinking about Eastern Europe

Interview with Alexandra Goujon, a professor of political science at the University of Burgundy. Interviewer: Clémence Lavialle.

August 13, 2021 - Alexandra Goujon Clémence Lavialle

COVID-19 is changing our lives, but not the old masters

An interview with Prof. Dr. Klaus Albrecht Schröder, the long serving director of the Albertina Museum in Vienna. Interviewers: Bartosz Panek and Jarosław Kociszewski.

July 19, 2021 - Bartosz Panek Jarosław Kociszewski Klaus Albrecht Schröder

Turkey’s original sin

A conversation with Candan Badem, a Turkish historian and participant of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) programme. Interviewer: Krzysztof Popek

KRZYSZTOF POPEK: You are the first participant of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) programme in Poland and your host is the Villa Decius Institute for Culture and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. SAR protects scholars suffering from threats to their lives, liberty and well-being by arranging temporary research and teaching positions. Why were you forced to leave Turkey?

CANDAN BADEM: Since September 2016, I have not been allowed to teach or even participate in symposia at Turkish universities due to a state of emergency decree of the Recep Erdoğan regime. After the attempted coup d’état in July 2016, linked to Fethullah Gülen, an Islamist preacher who was Erdoğan’s former ally, Erdoğan announced a state of emergency and purged the opposition (along with Gülen’s supporters) from their jobs in state institutions, including universities. We still do not have key information on this attempted coup since the Erdoğan regime does not want to disclose the details and prevents a parliamentary investigation.

June 23, 2021 - Candan Badem Krzysztof Popek

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