Text resize: A A
Change contrast
new Eastern Europe Krakow new Eastern Europe

Category: Interviews

Yevhen Mahda: Martial Law is to remind the Ukrainian society Russian aggression and war is still ongoing

An interview with Yevhen Mahda, a Ukrainian political analyst and the Executive Director of the Institute of World Policy, a think-tank based in Kyiv. Interviewer: Tomasz Lachowski

December 13, 2018 - Tomasz Lachowski Yevhen Magda

How propaganda works, an interview with Tamara Eidelman

Interview by She’s In Russia, co-hosted by Olivia Capozzalo and Smith Freeman.

December 11, 2018 - Olivia Capozzalo Smith Freeman

At the forefront of the battle for a clean energy future

Interview with Adam Koniuszewski, co-founder of the Bridge Foundation. Interviewer: Adam Reichardt

December 3, 2018 - Adam Koniuszewski Adam Reichardt

There is clear progress in Ukraine

Interview with Paweł Kowal, a post-doctoral fellow at the College of Europe in Natolin and former Member of the European Parliament. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

November 26, 2018 - Iwona Reichardt Paweł Kowal

Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity. Five years later

Interview with Marci Shore, associate professor of history at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Interviewers: Kate Langdon and Jordan Luber

November 21, 2018 - Jordan Luber Kate Langdon Marci Shore

The decline of the West and the joy in the East

Interview with Andrzej Chwalba, Polish historian and professor of history at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. Interviewer: Andrzej Zaręba

ANDRZEJ ZARĘBA: The title of your book about the First World War is (Samobójstwo Europy) (The Suicide of Europe). Suicide suggests a certain will and a lack of determinism. Hence my first question: What would have happened on June 28th 1914 had Archduke Franz Ferdinand not been assassinated? Would war not have broken out?

ANDRZEJ CHWALBA: There were many assassination attempts on many important people at that time. There was no month without at least one assassination attempt. In the months before 1914 there were at least a dozen successful attempts, including the killing of the king of Serbia, the king of Italy, the Russian tsar, two US presidents as well as many prime ministers. Based on data from Austrian intelligence, there were eleven attempts to assassinate Franz Joseph – the goodhearted and beloved leader. There were attempts on Franz Ferdinand’s life as well – the June 1914 assassination, as we know, was the successful one.

November 5, 2018 - Andrzej Chwalba Andrzej Zaręba

Poetry, music, politics

A conversation with Tomasz Sikora, a Polish musician and member of Karbido. Interviewer: Zbigniew Rokita

ZBIGNIEW ROKITA: Your band Karbido has recorded several records with a symbol of Ukrainian literature – Yuri Andrukhovych. How did this co-operation between a band from Wrocław and a writer from Ivano Frankivsk begin?

TOMASZ SIKORA: It was actually by coincidence. Back in 2005 Serhiy Zhadan, Andriy Bondar and Yuri Andrukhovych were among some Ukrainian writers invited to a literature festival in Wrocław. The idea was that the poets would read their own poems on stage. However, the organisers were worried that the audience would fall asleep, so they suggested that our band create a musical background to keep people awake. Recitations of poetry do not stir much emotion in Poland – as I would later find out, public recitation or the singing of poetry is more engaging in Ukraine.

November 5, 2018 - Tomasz Sikora Zbigniew Rokita

The EU should take Belarus more seriously

An interview with Balázs Jarábik, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Interviewers: Iwona Reichardt and Daniel Gleichgewicht of New Eastern Europe

NEW EASTERN EUROPE: You recently attended the high-level Minsk Dialogue Forum. Among the speakers was Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. How do you interpret his participation in this event that gathers international experts and representatives of the third sector? What kind of message did he intend to send to the wider world?

BALÁZS JARÁBIK: The most important thing was the fact that he attended a civil society conference. As far as I am aware, this was his first such occurrence. It certainly illustrated how the attitude of the regime is slowly changing vis-à-vis civil society in Belarus. Currently there are several interesting areas internally where co-operation is moving and where the government is beginning to understand the value of civil society.

September 2, 2018 - Balazs Jarabik Daniel Gleichgewicht Iwona Reichardt

Oppositionists or dissidents?

An interview with Alyaksandr Klaskouski, a Belarusian journalist and political analyst. Interviewer: Zbigniew Rokita

ZBIGNIEW ROKITA: I have a feeling that the Belarusian opposition has never been as weak as it is right now…

ALYAKSANDR KLASKOUSKI: I agree. In the 1990s the opposition was capable of bringing 30,000-40,000 people to the streets. At that time they could also influence the masses and cause some fear among the authorities. Today things are different. There are maybe a few dozens of people that come to protests; this is thousands times less than two decades ago. The opposition has almost no influence on Belarusian politics, let alone economics.

September 1, 2018 - Alyaksandr Klaskouski Zbigniew Rokita

Corruption is Russia’s biggest export

An interview with Ilya Zaslavskiy, head of research at the Free Russia Foundation. Interviewer: Olena Babakova

OLENA BABAKOVA: After the United States introduced new sanctions against Russian oligarchs in April this year, the value of their companies collapsed and the exchange rates of the rouble sky rocketed. The West showed, once again, that it can still exert pressure on Russia. Is this a long-term problem for the Russian economy or has it already learnt how to adapt to such restrictions?

ILYA ZASLAVSKIY: I think we should examine whether the Kremlin and its business circles adapted to the western sanctions or whether the economy as a whole adapted. The regime found ways to continue with its current policies and its various confidants that have been targeted still have lots of money in offshore accounts, so they only feel threatened but not bitten. Even more importantly, they feel confident. However, if we talk about the quality of life and wealth of ordinary Russians, standards have obviously dropped. Some estimates say it has fallen by as much as a third. However this is still better than the situation in the 1990s.

September 1, 2018 - Ilya Zaslavskiy Olena Babakova

Like two gods. Herbert and Miłosz

An interview with Andrzej Franaszek, a biographer of both Zbigniew Herbert and Czesław Miłosz. Interviewer: Grzegorz Nurek

GRZEGORZ NUREK: You have written major biographies about two outstanding Polish poets: Czesław Miłosz and Zbigniew Herbert. Is there a chance that those biographies will be translated into other languages to reach a wider audience, outside of Poland?

ANDRZEJ FRANASZEK: The biography of Czesław Miłosz that I authored was translated into Lithuanian and Belarusian a few years ago. A shortened English version was also released by Harvard University Press and distributed in the United Kingdom and United States. It is difficult for me to say how well it is selling. It had a surprising amount of reviews in the media. When it comes to Zbigniew Herbert’s biography, it has only been recently released in Polish in two large volumes. But I am not sure if any foreign publishing houses would be interested in translating it. Time will tell…

September 1, 2018 - Andrzej Franaszek Grzegorz Nurek

Interview with Katerina Novikova, Head of Press at the Bolshoi Theatre

Interview conducted by Olivia Capozzalo and Smith Freeman of the She’s In Russia podcast.

July 4, 2018 - Olivia Capozzalo Smith Freeman

Partners