Born in the waning days of Cold War, Zack grew up in the waters of southern California. While not surfing, swimming, fishing, he enjoyed political history, geopolitical affairs and exploring the depths of US-Russia relationship. Obtaining a B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University, he examined the Soviet-Afghan war and the ‘Foreign Fighter Phenomenon’ seen during the conflict. To date, he is pursuing a M.A. with the University of Texas at Austin in Russian, Eastern European, Eurasian Studies, (CREEES) with a focus on rural political activism in Russia and Western Business investment in Russia. Zack has traveled in western Russia and looks forward future trips, including more pelmeni, banya visits and a continued dialogue with Russian people!
September 21st, 2022 | Season 5 | 56 mins 10 secs
armenia, azerbaijan, caucasus, conflict, geopolitics, history, russia, turkey, war
On this first episode of season 5, Lera and Zack talk with Dr. Artyom Tonoyan about the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, delving into the history of tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia's role and presence as mediator, and the various geopolitical vectors in the region. Thanks for listening!
March 9th, 2022 | Season 4 | 48 mins 12 secs
information, propaganda, putin, russia, ukraine, war
Returning guest, Alex Kokcharov, joins us from London to share his personal views and stories on the war in Ukraine. He talks of the stark informational divides that have arisen between Russia and Ukraine, wherein even family on both sides of the Ukraine-Russia border cannot agree on what is happening in this conflict or why.
February 14th, 2022 | Season 4 | 36 mins 23 secs
anti-corruption, foreign policy, international relations, navalny, nemtsov, russia, russian opposition
On this special episode, we had the opportunity to speak with Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza during his visit to The University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Kara-Murza provides insight into the Russian dissident movement today, perspective on Mr. Putin and US-Russian relations over the last two decades, and personal reflections on the life and legacy of Boris Nemtsov before and after his assassination on February 27, 2015. We hope you enjoy!
December 8th, 2021 | Season 4 | 39 mins 6 secs
america, belarus, china, current events, geopolitics, russia, ukraine
Lera and Zach talk with Atlantic Council fellow and prolific American journalist Vladislav Davidzon. Davidzon has extensively covered the Belarussian protests from within Minsk, Ukrainian political and cultural developments since 2014, and Russian elections and Navalny's impact on Moscow politics and policies. We hope you enjoy!
August 30th, 2021 | Season 4 | 36 mins 50 secs
afghanistan, georgia, security, us military operations, war
For the first episode of Season 4, we asked Dr. Robert Hamilton of the U.S. Army War College to return to the show and speak about the current situation in Afghanistan and the fate of the region's security architecture. Currently on leave to serve as advisor to the Georgian Ministry of Defense, Dr. Hamilton discusses the role of the Georgian military in the Afghanistan War and what the U.S. withdrawal (and Taliban rule) means for Georgia's future as well.
July 30th, 2021 | Season 3 | 41 mins 11 secs
central europe, geography, history, hungary
Zoltán Ginelli from Budapest joins Zach and Cullan to talk about his field of critical geography and the framing of colonial history of Central Europe following both World War II and the Cold War. We hope you enjoy this conversation!
June 29th, 2021 | Season 3 | 43 mins 30 secs
america, history, journalism, media, soviet union
On this episode, Professor Dina Fainberg joins Zach and Lera to talk about her latest book, the highly readable "Cold War Correspondents" in which she highlights stories of Soviet and American journalists and draws parallels to the US-Russia media landscape today. We hope you enjoy!
January 27th, 2021 | Season 3 | 50 mins 24 secs
environmental activism, environmental issues, journalism, russia, siberia
From St. Petersburg, Angelina Davydova, Environmental journalist and head of the German Russian Office of Environmental Information, graciously joins us to give us some surprising facts on the landscape of environmental activism and reform in Russia. This was an uplifting and eye-opening conversation and we hope you enjoy!
December 1st, 2020 | Season 3 | 33 mins 2 secs
american politics, belarus, elections, regional conflicts, russia, turkey
On this episode, Zack speaks with journalist Matthew Luxmoore. Matthew is the Moscow Correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Politico, and elsewhere. Zach and Matthew discuss a wide-range of issues, from the Russian Far East to the current state of the Russian opposition movement, to environmental concerns and other current affairs of the day. We hope you enjoy!