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Masha Gessen

42 Podcast Episodes

Latest 30 Sep 2022 | Updated Daily

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Masha Gessen: Putin’s endgame and the propaganda machine

Saturday Morning

Russian-American journalist and author Masha Gessen has an unparalleled understanding of the forces that have wracked Russia in recent years.


24 Jun 2022

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Masha Gessen on the Quiet in Kyiv

The New Yorker Radio Hour

Masha Gessen is reporting for The New Yorker on the war in Ukraine, which is now in its fourth month. They checked in with David Remnick from Kyiv, which seems almost normal, with “hipsters in cafés” and people riding electric scooters. But the scooters, Gessen noted, are popular because prices have skyrocketed and gasoline is unaffordable. All the talk, meanwhile, is of war crimes—of murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping. (The Russian government has denied involvement in any war crimes.) And outside the city, in the suburbs, Gessen finds “unimaginable destruction,” comparable to what they saw in Grozny, Chechnya, “after the second war—after they’d had nearly ten years of carpet bombing.” The scale of atrocities, Gessen says, makes any diplomatic compromise over territory impossible for Ukrainians to accept. Plus, the head of the largest flight attendants’ union talks with the staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman about leading her members through turbulent times, with organized labor making a comeback, while unruly passenger behavior is reaching new heights.


7 Jun 2022

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Masha Gessen & Tom Switzer (2014) | Putin

Festival of Dangerous Ideas

It’s been over 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and 22 years since Vladimir Putin came to power. Now in the throes of a Ukraine invasion, the Russian regime combats any conflict with an utter disregard for internal opposition and external western pressure.  From the inside, fighting Putin is the only option for Russian activists. From the outside, what are the strategic options for western countries against this authoritarian superpower? Do military action or economic sanctions work? Or do we need to consider less orthodox approaches?    In this talk from 2014, in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the shooting down of MH17, Russian journalist & activist Masha Gessen and foreign policy analyst Tom Switzer test different ideas on how to deal with Putin.

1hr 7mins

27 May 2022

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April 3 — Sec. Blinken, Hillary Clinton, Masha Gessen

NBC Meet the Press

Secretary of State Antony Blinken discusses Ukraine and the American response. In an exclusive interview, Hillary Clinton talks to Chuck Todd about the Russian war on Ukraine and NBC News Correspondent Richard Engel reports from Ukraine. Masha Gessen, staff writer for the New Yorker talks about Putin’s state of mind. Amy Walter, Leigh Ann Caldwell, Cornell Belcher and Brad Todd join the Meet the Press roundtable for insight and analysis.


3 Apr 2022

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Masha Gessen and David Remnick on Putin

The Vault

Institute fellow, and New Yorker staff writer, Masha Gessen is one of the foremost critics of Vladimir Putin. In 2014, Gessen spoke at the Institute with New Yorker editor David Remnick about Gessen's book, Words Will Break Cement, about Pussy Riot. Much of the conversation focused on Putin's ambitions for an imperial Russia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


24 Mar 2022

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Masha Gessen and Joshua Yaffa on the Escalation of Violence in Ukraine

The New Yorker Radio Hour

Joshua Yaffa is a Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker, but he has been travelling throughout the war zone in Ukraine for weeks, reporting on the Russian invasion. Masha Gessen, who has lived in and reported from Russia in the past, returned to Moscow to write about the Russian people’s response to the invasion. Yaffa and Gessen spoke with David Remnick on March 3rd about the week’s escalation of violence, and what Putin’s goal might be. Plus, David Remnick speaks with Igor Novikov, an Internet researcher and entrepreneur who served as an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Novikov explains how Zelensky’s background as an actor and a comedian has given him an advantage in the West’s “attention economy.” Ukraine “will only survive if people pay attention,” Novikov notes, and must “make sure people understand who the perpetrator and who the victim is in this situation.”


4 Mar 2022

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Masha Gessen, the Rise of Putin

Kremlin File

Olga and Mo journey back to the 90’s with Russian-born journalist Masha Gessen who describes their odd introduction to Vladimir Putin by way of Saint Petersburg and beyond.https://www.KremlinFile.comMasha's twitter: @mashagessenOlga's twitter: @OlgaNYC1211Mo's twitter: @MoniqueCamarraMeidas Media + bunker crew Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


5 Aug 2021

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Masha Gessen on the Moscow duel

Democracy Works

Three pillars hold up autocracy in Russia, author and New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen says: media control, sham elections and downright terror. But the opposition movement spearheaded by imprisoned activist Alexei Navalny has struck at the heart of all three. This time on the show, Gessen explains how — and measures the power of democratic aspirations in a country struggling against corruption with hope, against the past with visions of a happier future.Navalny, a lawyer who has become President Vladimir Putin’s chief political rival, leads the Russia of the Future party, whose motto is “Russia will be happy.” In prison, his health failing, and recently off a 24-day hunger strike, Navalny continues to command respect — and a vast YouTube following — in part because he is brave enough to fight the system, even if it costs him his life, Gessen says. It’s a powerful message for a generation from whom many of the tools of critical social analysis have been withheld. Against the odds, Navalny’s resistance is inspiring young people who have grown up with no ruler other than Putin, a former KGB officer who views the totalitarian past with nostalgia.This episode comes from our colleagues at Democracy in Danger, a production of the Deliberative Media Lab at the University of Virginia. Additional InformationDemocracy in Danger podcastSurviving Autocracy by Masha GessenRelated EpisodesWill Alexi Navalny make Russia more democratic?


26 Jul 2021

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Our Democracy (with Masha Gessen and Rashad Robinson)

You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton

How close did we come to losing our democracy during four years of Trump — and what will it take to strengthen our democratic institutions? In this episode, Hillary speaks with two people who have tackled these questions. First, we hear from writer and journalist Masha Gessen, who reflects on the perils of autocracy and shares a bold idea for how to move forward. Then, Hillary catches up with Rashad Robinson, who, as the head of Color of Change, has been on the frontlines of holding elected officials and corporations accountable to Americans. Masha Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of ten books, including Surviving Autocracy, the National Book Award-winning The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, and The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Rashad Robinson has been the president of Color of Change (COC), the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, since 2011. Under Rashad’s leadership, COC has expanded its reach from 1.7 to more than 7 million members.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


16 Mar 2021

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The Amor Mundi Podcast Episode 11: Masha Gessen

The Amor Mundi Podcast from The Hannah Arendt Center

In the latest Amor Mundi Podcast, Roger Berkowitz and Masha Gessen talk about how even amidst the rise of subjectivism and the internalization of the world—what Hannah Arendt calls world alienation—there has remained a commitment to a common or shared world. Yet, it is precisely that common world that today seems endangered, and Gessen asks how language is used in anti-political ways to undermine the world we share. If the common world is shattered, the question is whether a new story can be told and constituted to rebuild a common world. Berkowitz and Gessen ask: What would it mean in the wake of both the Trump Presidency and the Black Lives Matter Movement to retell the American story? But is the story of America the unfulfilled story of the Langston Hughes, that America has not yet lived up to its promise? Is it the story of competent management and technocracy? Or is it the story of decentralized and local government, a humbler and more anarchic amalgamation of plural and different people who come together around an embrace of freedom? Touching on the importance of hypocrisy, the rise of the masses, and the perils of bi-partisanship, Gessen and Berkowitz embrace politics as a conversation, the attempt to figure out how we live together.


8 Mar 2021