The Slavic Connexion

A chat show on all things Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia

About the show

A fresh international chat show on all things Central/Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. "It's not typical Texas."

Texas Podcast Network is brought to you by The University of Texas at Austin. Podcasts are produced by faculty members and staffers at UT Austin who work with University Communications to craft content that adheres to journalistic best practices. The University of Texas at Austin offers these podcasts at no charge. Podcasts appearing on the network and this webpage represent the views of the hosts, not of The University of Texas at Austin.

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  • Post-Soviet Protests, Politics, and Premature Dismissals of Russia's Regional Governors

    August 18th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  33 mins 6 secs
    elections, politics, protest, russia, war

    On this episode, Lera and Cullan chat with Tatiana Tkacheva, a research fellow at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, about authoritarianism in Russia and the strategies of the autocrat in dealing with regional governors. In her paper, she and her co-authors attempt to answer this question by using the example of premature withdrawals and dismissals of Russia’s regional governors from office. Tatiana also talks about her previous publications about the United Russia (UR) party and their declining popularity in Russia. Thanks for listening!

  • The Case of DOXA: A New Chapter in Russian Youth Repression

    July 30th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  38 mins 6 secs
    journalism, politics, protest, russia, war

    On this episode, Lera sits down with Anastasiya Osipova, a scholar of Soviet and contemporary Russian and Ukrainian cultures, who shares about her research on DOXA, an anti-authoritarian student journal on harassment in academia that emerged from Higher School of Economics in Moscow in 2017. DOXA was stripped of its status as a university organization in 2019 and since then exists as an independent magazine. After February 2022, DOXA left Russia and continues to operate outside of the country. Thanks for listening!

  • Behind Black & White Frontlines: Literature Development in Wartime Ukraine, 2014-2022

    July 8th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  41 mins 45 secs
    culture, history, literature, teaching, ukraine war

    On this episode, Lera and Misha sit down with Dr. Alexander Chertenko, a professor of Ukrainian literature at the University of Giessen in Germany. Dr. Chertenko is uniquely positioned to trace the wartime development of Ukrainian literature in the country since 2014. He also illuminates the usually underdiscussed topic of literature in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts from 2014 until Russia's full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022. Thank you for listening!

  • The Art of Transition from Socialist to Post-Socialist Russia

    June 24th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  38 mins 59 secs
    cold war, culture, history, post-socialist russia

    On this episode, Elise Herrala takes us on a tour of the evolution of art and artists in Soviet Russia and post-Soviet Russia. Elise also gives us some insight into what is going on today in Putin's Russia in terms of state repression and renewed restriction on creative freedoms. Thanks for listening!

  • KAZKA: The Voice of Ukraine

    March 23rd, 2023  |  Season 5  |  51 mins 10 secs
    conflict, music, politics, ukraine russia war

    On this special episode, Sergio and Misha get the opportunity to speak with Sasha Zaritska, the lead singer of U-pop band KAZKA, and Andriy Urenov, producer and manager of the band. Their new single "Bez Kohannya" (Without Love) is out this Friday! Listen to the end of the episode for a sneak preview.

  • You Only Need to Die: The Secret Police of East Germany and Romania

    March 6th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  36 mins 59 secs
    cold war, history, intelligence

    On this episode, Valentina Glajar and Alison Lewis share their personal stories and research on the history of East Germany's STASI and Romania's Securitate and the dismantling of these secret police forces. Thank you for listening!

  • Milan Rastislav Štefánik: The Slovak National Hero and Co-Founder of Czechoslovakia

    January 20th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  32 mins 53 secs
    czechoslovakia, history, politics, ussr

    On this episode, Cullan talks with Professor Michal Kšiňan about his monograph on the Slovak national hero and co-founder of Czechoslovakia, Milan Rastislav Štefánik. Michal talks about Štefánik's military career and meteoric rise and the place he continues to hold in Czechoslovakia history and memory. Thanks for listening!

  • "In the Storms of Transformation": History of Balkan Migration and Globalization with Ulf Brunnbauer

    January 7th, 2023  |  Season 5  |  28 mins 32 secs
    anthropology, balkans, history, migration, society and culture

    On this episode, Cullan sits down with lauded historian Ulf Brunnbauer whose research on the social history and historical anthropology of Southeast Europe reveals that the Balkan region is in many ways more globalized than the rest of Europe.

  • The Other: Russian-American Relations Through the Centuries with Ivan Kurilla

    December 30th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  35 mins 57 secs
    higher education, history, international relations, politics, russia, united states

    On this episode, historian Dr. Ivan Kurilla from European University in St. Petersburg shares about his research on the rich and little-known history of US-Russia relations since the 18th century. Dr. Kurilla explains that the two countries are "constitutive others," using each other as both threats and positive models for achieving political and social goals. Thank you for listening!

  • Compounding Conflicts: Russia in Ukraine, the Middle East, and Africa with Robert Freedman

    December 23rd, 2022  |  Season 5  |  45 mins 2 secs
    africa, geopolitics, middle east, russia, security, ukraine, war

    On this episode, venerated political scientist Dr. Robert Freedman joins us to expound on the various wars and conflicts that Russia has gotten into, not only in Ukraine, but also in Syria, Libya, Mali, and more. Dr. Freedman articulates Putin's current goals as he sees them, touches on the liberal use of the Wagner Group by Russia, and prognosticates on the future of the war in Ukraine and Ukraine's prospects in joining Western security organizations. Thanks for listening (and happy holidays to all)!

  • The Reception Desk: Soviet Bureaucracy with a Human Face, 1979-1985

    December 13th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  32 mins 18 secs
    bureaucracy, history, migration, social history, soviet union

    On this episode, Lera speaks with Emily Joan Elliott, H-Net associate director for research and publications, about what got her interested in Soviet and post-Soviet history and her particular focus on migration to Moscow and the Priemnaia (reception desk) of the Supreme Soviet--a bureaucratic space available to all citizens for voicing concerns and petitions.

  • The Politics of Soviet Football in the 1950s and 60s

    November 28th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  24 mins 27 secs
    football, germany, history, olympics, politics, soviet union, sports

    On this episode, Sergio talks with Yacov Zohn, football historian and former semi-professional footballer in Russia, France, and the US. Yacov's research into the development of Soviet football sheds light on the immense political pressure placed on the primary USSR team, the Sbornaya, to win each and every game--but ultimately the unrealistic aim to earn gold at the Olympics in 1952 and 1956 is never realized, and football remains one of only two gold medal categories that eluded the USSR.

  • "Budapest's Children: Humanitarian Relief in the Aftermath of the Great War"

    November 23rd, 2022  |  Season 5  |  27 mins 54 secs
    humanitarian aid, hungary, united states, world war i

    On this episode, Friederike Kind-Kovács visits with us in Austin, Texas, to talk about her latest book which explores the ways in which migration, hunger, and destitution affected children's lives, casting light on their particular vulnerability in times of distress.

  • Russian Law: "Is There Any?" with Will Pomeranz

    November 16th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  36 mins 39 secs
    aseees, history, law, russia, ukraine, war

    On this episode, recorded in-person at the ASEEES 2022 Convention in Chicago, Lera and Taylor sit down with Will Pomeranz, the director of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, to talk about his experience practicing Russian law in Russia, the work of the Kennan Institute, the evolution (and devolution) of Russian law from the tsarist period through Putin today, and the legality of the referenda in Ukraine. We hope you enjoy!

  • "The Demise of the Multiethnic Soviet Union" with Brigid O'Keeffe

    November 8th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  46 mins 49 secs
    culture, history, language, race, soviet union

    On this episode, author and historian Brigid O'Keeffe joins Sergio and Misha to discuss her research and newly released work on the rise and fall of the multiethnic Soviet Union. Thanks for listening!

  • "Oil, the State, and War" with Emma Ashford

    October 31st, 2022  |  Season 5  |  39 mins 34 secs
    energy, foreign policy, history, middle east, oil, russia, war

    On this episode, continuing the discussion about the effects of the War in Ukraine on the energy sector, Taylor and Lera speak with Foreign Policy columnist and Stimson Center senior fellow Emma Ashford who shares about her book "Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policy of Petrostates." Thanks for listening!