Matthew is a native Texan from the Houston area. He's attended George Washington University, majoring in Russian Language and Literature and has spent time in Russia on a Fulbright scholarship. He is currently at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a dual master’s degree in Global Policy Studies and Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. His research interests include civic education, democratization in the Post-Soviet space, contemporary Russian literature and US-Russian relations. He can be seen riding his bike all over UT's 40 acres.
March 24th, 2021 | Season 3 | 1 hr 1 min
literature, social media, texas professors, ukraine
In this episode, Dr. Oksana Lutsyshyna, beloved UT professor and recent winner of Ukraine's highest state prize for literature, joins Matt to talk about her most recent book Ivan and Feba (Іван і Феба), as well as her earlier works including Love Life (Любовне життя) and much more. We hope you enjoy!
February 18th, 2021 | Season 3 | 35 mins 59 secs
global order, politics, russia
In this episode, Matt is joined by Dr. Kathryn Stoner of Stanford University to talk about her new book, Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order. The book pushes back at some misconceptions about Russia’s place in the international system while offering a new perspective on how the West should approach Russia. We hope you enjoy!
February 3rd, 2021 | Season 3 | 47 mins 59 secs
anti-corruption, belarus, navalny, russia, russian protests
Once again, Dr. Mark Galeotti joins Matt to discuss yesterday's sentencing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and what it means for Russia's short and long term future. Is this the end of the first installment of Navalny’s battle with the Kremlin, which peaked with his poisoning at the hands of the FSB in August 2020? What will be the West's response?
December 9th, 2020 | Season 3 | 39 mins 33 secs
information wars, misinformation, propaganda, russia, us elections
In this episode, Matt and Tom talked to Nina Jankowicz of the Wilson Center about her new book, How to Lose the Information War, and how it serves as a useful primer for understanding the disinformation challenges facing the US today, particularly in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
November 24th, 2020 | Season 3 | 32 mins 53 secs
In this episode, Matt talks with Dr. Sarah Young of University College London about her upcoming book "Writing Resistance: Revolutionary Memoirs of Shlissel’burg Prison, 1884-1906" as well as the genre known as carceral literature -- where do Russian literary titans like Dostoevsky and Shalamov fit in? Dr. Young presents some fascinating research from the many memoirs she has read and translated, and we are happy that she was able to share these important cultural insights with us. Thanks for listening!
October 19th, 2020 | Season 3 | 35 mins 9 secs
disinformation, journalism, pandemic, russia, us elections
The New Yorker's Moscow correspondent, Joshua Yaffa, joins us from Moscow in fact to talk about the conditions in Russia during the pandemic, his latest book "Between Two Fires", and the oft-debated Russian interference in US elections. This is a fascinating conversation, and we hope you enjoy!
October 16th, 2020 | Season 3 | 41 mins 27 secs
democracy, elections, kyrgyzstan, organized crime, protests
On this episode, we discuss the ongoing political crisis in Kyrgyzstan that resulted from the disputed October 4th elections with Nazgul Kulova, a resident of Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan) and a policy analyst in the mining sector. As a former government official at the State Agency for Mineral Resources, she has worked with various international organizations and is thus a valuable inside resource. We hope you enjoy!
Matt and Nazgul discussed Kyrgyzstan's tumultuous political history, the motivations for constant upheaval, and the consequences of the latest political crisis gripping the country.
October 11th, 2020 | Season 3 | 47 mins 37 secs
belarus, dictators, history, protests, revolution, russia
We're back to Belarus with this episode, but this time we take an in-depth look at the still-thrumming situation from the dictator's perspective with one of the foremost experts on the region, Dr. David Marples. Dr. Marples talks about the potential end of the dictator while rounding out the context for the current revolution, allowing us to see just how and why Alexander Lukashenko came into power. We hope you enjoy!
October 3rd, 2020 | Season 3 | 38 mins 6 secs
climate change, covid-19, disinformation, education, media literacy, philosophy, politics, science denial
Philosopher, professor, and writer Dr. Lee McIntyre joins us virtually from Boston to discuss his highly relevant book Post-Truth (MIT Press), the purpose of propaganda, science denial in English-speaking nations, and the ubiquitous problem of disinformation in today's world. We ask Dr. McIntyre how did we get here and what (if anything) can we do about it?
September 24th, 2020 | Season 3 | 47 mins 49 secs
belarus, civic engagement, educational exchange, elections, navalny, russia, venezuela, youth
In this episode, Matt discussed with Dr. Maria Snegovaya the leading issues of the day in the Slavic region. Namely, the aftermath of Russia's recent regional elections, the Kremlin's response to Alexei Navalny's poisoning, and the ongoing spectre of Russian intervention in Belarus's post-election crisis. We hope you enjoy!
September 19th, 2020 | Season 3 | 53 mins 2 secs
belarus, bulgaria, corruption, mass protest, mercenaries, russia
In this insider's episode hosted by Matt and newbie host Katherine, Intelligence Studies Project fellow Dr. Kiril Avramov discusses his new book, “Russia’s Hidden Armies,” Belarusian turmoil, and the anti-corruption protests continuing within Bulgaria. This was a packed session, so we hope you're ready for this. Enjoy!
September 11th, 2020 | Season 3 | 37 mins 23 secs
civil war, libya, mercenaries, russia
Tom and Matt have the great opportunity to speak with Libyan national Mohamed Abufalgha and expert on the conflict that has been going on for several years now in this oil-rich, war-torn country. Mohamed helps us unpack the Russian-Libyan connection and exactly how many countries have their fingers--and fighters--in Libya. We hope you enjoy!
August 24th, 2020 | Season 3 | 42 mins 21 secs
anti-corruption, belarus, navalny, russia, russian protests
In this episode, Matt spoke with Dr. Mark Galeotti about the pressing issues of the day in Eurasia: the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the ongoing protests in the far-eastern city of Khabarovsk, and the Kremlin's view on the post-election crisis in Belarus. We hope you enjoy! Using his keen understanding of the Kremlin's decision-making process, Dr. Galeotti provides a number of timely insights for our listeners. We eagerly await your feedback!
August 21st, 2020 | Season 3 | 30 mins 38 secs
anti-corruption, dissidents, elections, navalny, politics, russia
On this episode recorded August 21, 2020, Matt and Lera speak with Alexei Navalny's close co-collaborator on anti-corruption in Russia, Maxim Mironov. They discuss the current situation with Alexei Navalny's alleged poisoning and also Russian state corruption in a broader, global context. Thank you for listening.
August 6th, 2020 | Season 3 | 43 mins 1 sec
alexander lukashenko, belarus, democracy, elections, former soviet states, svetlana tikhanovskaya
Is this the end of Europe's Last Dictator? Find out in this special current events episode featuring Belarusian political scientist Aliaksandr Herasimenka about the exciting presidential elections in Belarus, where embattled Alexander Lukashenko faces the most organized opposition in the history of his 26 years as president.
July 10th, 2020 | Season 2 | 49 mins 35 secs
biopics, culture, language, music, seva novgorodsev
BBC's Seva Novgorodsev joins us once more just in time for his 80th birthday! This time, we gather around Zoom, but the conversation is, as always, entertaining and unexpected--one never knows where Seva will lead us and what he will teach us. We hope you enjoy!