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The Naked Pravda

Save Meduza!https://support.meduza.io/enMeduza’s first English-language podcast, The Naked Pravda highlights how our top reporting intersects with the wider research and expertise that exists about Russia. The broader context of Meduza’s in-depth, original journalism isn’t always clear, which is where this show comes in. Here you’ll hear from the world’s community of Russia experts, activists, and reporters about the issues at the heart of Meduza’s stories.

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Save Meduza!https://support.meduza.io/enMeduza’s first English-language podcast, The Naked Pravda highlights how our top reporting intersects with the wider research and expertise that exists about Russia. The broader context of Meduza’s in-depth, original journalism isn’t always clear, which is where this show comes in. Here you’ll hear from the world’s community of Russia experts, activists, and reporters about the issues at the heart of Meduza’s stories.

Russian gas in Europe

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Our main story this week is Russia’s place in Europe’s energy crisis. Political risk analyst Nick Trickett, the author of the OGs and OFZs newsletter, joins the podcast to explain what consumers want from Moscow, why being a “swing producer” is inherently political, and how inflation endangers ordinary Russians.

Timestamps for this week’s episode:

  • (3:28) Law enforcement news: Hooded thugs disrupt a film screening at Memorial, and police arrest a prominent university administrator
  • (9:46) Culture wars: Parents in St. Petersberg oust a biology teacher for using Instagram to share sex ed, and comedians in North Ossetia apologize in tears for a suggestive joke about “thigh pie”
  • (13:48) Nick Trickett breaks down Russia’s place in Europe’s energy crisis, focusing on gas deals and inflation

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Oct 16 2021

28mins

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The arrest of Russian cybersecurity titan Ilya Sachkov

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Our main story this week is the treason case against Ilya Sachkov, the 35-year-old CEO of the cybersecurity firm Group-IB. On Wednesday morning, September 29, hours after officials raided the company’s Moscow office, a local court jailed Sachkov for the next two months, pending trial. That will likely be extended several times, as the authorities collect more evidence. The Naked Pravda explores why Sachkov may have been arrested and asks what his case means for Russia’s cybersecurity industry and Moscow’s troubled cooperation with the United States against cybercrime.

Timestamps for this week’s episode:

  • (2:12) Developments in Russia’s expanding regulation of “foreign agents”
  • (7:57) A blogger’s scandalous offense, plus RT enlists the might of Russia’s federal censor in its battle with YouTube
  • (13:00) Dr. Josephine Wolff, an associate professor of cybersecurity policy at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • (16:58) Dr. Julien Nocetti, an associate fellow at the French Institute of International Relations
  • (19:45) RFE/RL journalist Mike Eckel

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Oct 02 2021

31mins

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The clash over Moscow’s electronic voting

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Earlier this month, Moscow was one of just a few regions in Russia to offer electronic voting in three-day parliamentary elections. In the capital, multiple opposition candidates led in-person voting but ultimately lost when electronic votes were added late to the final tallies. In the week since the voting ended, the campaign teams for several losing candidates have compiled and presented evidence that they say proves voter fraud in the online ballots. 

The Naked Pravda returns for its second season with interviews featuring economist Dr. Tatiana Mikhailova and BBC Russia reporter Liza Fokht in an episode devoted to assessing the opposition’s claims of electronic voter fraud.

The show begins with a roundup of news stories from the week (cases of censorship in Russia and commentary in the Russian media about life in the West). Dr. Mikhailova joins the podcast at 13:31 and Liza Fokht’s remarks begin at 22:32.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Sep 25 2021

38mins

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Returned to Chechnya and paraded on TV: Khalimat Taramova’s story

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Khalimat Taramova is only 22 years old, but she’s been through a lot, especially in the past two weeks. Kept under lock and key at home in Chechnya, her family beats her and even forced her to undergo so-called “conversion therapy.” Taramova identifies as bisexual. Last month, she reached out to a prominent LGBT rights group begging them to help her reach safety. On June 6, when she got to a women’s shelter in Dagestan, a couple of hours outside Chechnya, it seemed like she was finally safe. She wasn’t. 

For a better understanding of Taramova’s case and its broader context in Chechnya, The Naked Pravda spoke to human rights professionals Veronika Lapina, executive advocacy and international litigation advisor to the Russian LGBT Network, and Vanessa Kogan, the director of the Russian Justice Initiative.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Jun 18 2021

22mins

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A Russian ad agency’s war on the Pfizer vaccine

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Last week, investigative journalists at Meduza and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty revealed that a Russian marketing firm recently tried to recruit European bloggers in a secret media campaign to smear Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. To find out more about these solicitations and to learn how this fits into Russian politics, The Naked Pravda spoke to Meduza investigations head Alexey Kovalev and RFE/RL journalists Mark Krutov and Carl Schreck.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Jun 04 2021

23mins

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What’s treason in Ukraine today? The case against Viktor Medvedchuk

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On May 13, a Ukrainian court placed pro-Kremlin oligarch and lawmaker Viktor Medvedchuk under round-the-clock house arrest pending trial for high treason. The country’s Prosecutor General had signed off on the charges two days earlier, indicting not only Medvedchuk, but also his closest ally and fellow lawmaker, Taras Kozak, in connection with three episodes of illegal activity. 

Both politicians belong to Opposition Platform — For Life, a pro-Russian opposition party that holds 44 seats in the Ukrainian parliament. But Medvedchuk is perhaps best known for his murky business dealings and personal ties to Vladimir Putin (the Russian president is said to be the godfather of Medvedchuk’s youngest daughter). 

The treason charges came a few months after the Ukrainian authorities imposed sanctions on Kozak and Medvedchuk for allegedly financing terrorism. As part of these sanctions, Kozak’s three pro-Russian television channels were taken off the air. The Ukrainian authorities also sanctioned Medvedchuk’s wife and froze the couples’ assets for three years.

Medvedchuk has denied all of the allegations, claiming that the charges are politically motivated. That said, prosecuting Medvedchuk coincides with other steps the Ukrainian government is taking to combat corruption and oligarchic influence. Moreover, this is happening at a time when President Volodymyr Zelensky appears to be changing his stance on Russia and his approach to resolving the conflict with Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s east. 

To discuss Viktor Medvedchuk’s Kremlin ties and his place in the Ukrainian political landscape, as well as what the Zelensky government is doing to combat oligarchic influence in Ukraine, “The Naked Pravda” turned to independent journalist and disinformation researcher Olga Tokariuk, a freelance correspondent in Kyiv for the Spanish EFE news agency.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

May 15 2021

26mins

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‘Foreign agents’ in Russia and the United States

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As you may have learned from the crowdfunding banners now adorning this website, the Russian authorities designated Meduza as a “foreign agent” on April 23. Our new status in Russia has chased away advertisers and deprived us of revenue, endangering Meduza’s continued existence.

That’s the sad truth of our situation right now, but what does it mean to be a “foreign agent” in Russia? How does it change life and daily business for individuals, NGOs, and media outlets? Russian lawmakers argue that these regulations are Moscow’s response to similar rules and restrictions in the United States, but does that comparison stand up to scrutiny?

To answer these questions and more, “The Naked Pravda” turned to Middlesex University London Associate Lecturer in Journalism Dr. Sasha Raspopina, Higher School of Economics Associate Professor Dr. Dmitry Dubrovsky, “Memorial” Human Rights Center lawyer Marina Agaltsova, and journalist Casey Michel, whose forthcoming book, “American Kleptocracy,” is due out this November.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

May 08 2021

35mins

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Spies, student journalists, and life behind bars: A blowup in Moscow’s relations with Prague, the felony case against ‘Doxa,’ and conditions in Russian prisons

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A lot has happened this month. On the world stage, Russia’s relations with the Czech Republic started unraveling on April 17, when officials in Prague accused Russian military intelligence agents of destroying ammunition depots seven years ago in explosions that killed two people. Three days before that bombshell dropped, police officers in Moscow raided the newsroom of the student journal Doxa, as well as the homes of four editors, who are now under house arrest, pending felony charges that could land them in prison for three years. Meanwhile, one of the biggest domestic news stories of the last week was Alexey Navalny’s hunger strike and his health status in prison.

This week’s episode of “The Naked Pravda” takes on all three of these stories, turning to a different guest for each subject. Bellingcat Research and Training Director Aric Toler explains what we know, so far, about the Russian spies’ activities in the Czech Republic; Doxa editor Mstislav Grivachov describes what his student journal does and why the Moscow police have come for its staff; and Ksenia Runova, a junior researcher at the Institute for the Rule of Law at the European University at St. Petersburg, illustrates what it’s like to end up incarcerated in Russia.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Apr 24 2021

36mins

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‘Sweeping new authority’: What it means to sanction Russia’s sovereign debt

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This week, the Biden administration rolled out the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, slapping Moscow (yet again) with a series of targeted measures to punish the Kremlin for alleged election meddling, hacking, and military aggression. The U.S. Treasury Department identified a few dozen persons and entities, freezing any of their assets in the United States and banning Americans from doing business with them. Russia soon followed suit with its own set of countersanctions, while simultaneously launching an effort to liquidate Alexey Navalny’s nationwide anti-corruption apparatus.

Acknowledging the diplomatic significance of these decisions, arguably the most important aspect of these new measures is the expansion of U.S. restrictions on the market for Russian sovereign debt. To find out exactly how American sanctions can affect Russia’s macroeconomic financial flows, “The Naked Pravda” turned to Maximilian Hess, a political risk expert and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and Dr. Maria Shagina, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Eastern European Studies at the University of Zurich and a member of the Geneva International Sanctions Network at the Graduate Institute.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Apr 17 2021

24mins

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The quiet game: How scientists in Siberia tried to conceal pollution research

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Last month, the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences decided to withhold public access to new research on atmospheric and soil pollution in cities throughout the region. The discussion about burying the “alarmist” report was streamed on YouTube, however, and the academy’s effort to purge the footage from the Internet only drew the public’s attention.

To try to understand why a group of prestigious scientists would question open-source data about pollution levels in Siberia, Meduza turned to science writer Elia Kabanov and physicist and environmentalist Yaroslav Nikitenko. (Please note that Nikitenko refers to the Russian Academy of Sciences at one point in the show as a federal agency. In fact, the academy is now a federal budget organization. Meduza apologizes for the confusion.)

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Apr 10 2021

21mins

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Transnational Repression 101: How Russia goes after its citizens abroad

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When it comes to carrying out repressions, the Russian government’s reach isn’t limited by its own borders. The Kremlin is known for going after perceived enemies abroad — especially former “insiders” and members of the political opposition. In recent years, high-profile assassinations linked to Russian agents have made headlines around the world, and Moscow has developed a reputation for abusing the Interpol notice system.

At the same time, those who flee Russia’s Chechen Republic are particularly at risk. Under regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov, this sub-national regime has carried out a unique and concerted campaign to control the Chechen diaspora. Moreover, asylum seekers from the Russian North Caucasus who seek refuge in European countries are now faced with rising xenophobia, as well as tightening migration policies that threaten to send them back to Russia.

To find out more about how the Russian — and Chechen — authorities carry out repressive activities beyond Russia’s borders, “The Naked Pravda” spoke to Nate Schenkkan, director for research strategy at Freedom House, and Kateryna Sergatskova, the editor-in-chief of Zaborona Media.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Mar 27 2021

34mins

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Putin the Killer: What Joe Biden’s pronouncement means in U.S.-Russian diplomatic history

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In an interview published on March 17, U.S. President Joe Biden said he considers Vladimir Putin to be a “killer,” prompting the Russian president to respond a day later with a schoolyard retort that translates loosely to the phrase: “Look who’s talking!” In what sounded more like a threat than a salutation, Putin also wished his American counterpart good health.

Pretty strong language for the leaders of the two greatest nuclear powers on Earth! But how does this rhetoric compare to recent and Cold War history? Is this the worst thing an American president has ever said publicly about a Russian leader? If so, does that mean the relationship between Moscow and Washington has never been worse? How does it compare to the days when the United States and the Soviet Union used to point thousands of nukes at each other? 

For answers, Meduza turned to Sergey Radchenko, a professor of international relations at Cardiff University and an expert in Soviet and Chinese foreign policies, atomic diplomacy, and the history of Cold War crises. Dr. Radchenko argues that things have certainly been worse between Russians and Americans, but politicians on both sides seem to have lost something that sustained smoother relations in those more troubled times.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Mar 20 2021

22mins

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Russia’s failed Twitter throttle

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Russia and Twitter haven’t really gotten along for years now. In fact, since 2017, federal censors at Roskomnadzor (RKN) have filed more than 28,000 takedown requests with the social network, and the agency complains that Twitter still grants Russian users access to 3,168 of these materials containing supposedly illegal information. In retaliation against this insubordination, RKN started throttling local Twitter traffic on March 10, 2021, leveraging the country’s growing arsenal of deep-packet-inspection systems to reduce the bandwidth available to Twitter in Russia. The policy has failed to disrupt the service for many Russian users, however, adding to RKN’s list of unsuccessful censorship efforts against major foreign companies.

For a better grasp of what happened and what went wrong, Meduza turned to Tanya Lokot, an associate professor in digital media and society at Dublin City University’s School of Communications, and Mariëlle Wijermars, an assistant professor in cyber-security and politics at Maastricht University and a visiting researcher at the University of Helsinki’s Aleksanteri Institute.

Mar 13 2021

25mins

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Xenophobes and xenomorphs: A look back at Cold War science fiction

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In a time when intergalactic superheroes dominate global box offices and capture the imaginations of millions of people around the world, what do we see when we look back at the science fiction of the Cold War? What is gained and what is obscured by comparing the films and literature created by the two superpowers of the early Space Age? And what did it feel like to watch those movies and read those books back then? What’s the legacy of these remarkable creations?

To explore this subject and attempt some answers, “The Naked Pravda” turned to Anindita Banerjee, an associate professor of comparative literature at Cornell University, where she chairs the humanities concentration in the Environment and Sustainability Program and wears several other academic and administrative hats. Dr. Banerjee explained the pitfalls of Americans’ Hollywood obsession and described her own introduction to Alexander Belayev’s 1928 science fiction adventure novel, “Amphibian Man,” which Soviet filmmaker Vladimir Chebotaryov later adapted into the 1962 Soviet blockbuster motion picture. Journalist Slava Malamud, who’s entertained and educated mass audiences on Twitter with long threads about Soviet themes in cinema, also returns to the podcast to recall his experiences as a viewer of domestic and Hollywood sci-fi movies in the USSR in the 1980s.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Mar 05 2021

34mins

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Under pressure: The evolving Belarusian opposition movement versus Lukashenko’s embattled regime

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Belarus has seen ongoing protests since August 2020, when election officials declared that Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) had won his sixth consecutive presidential term. The mass demonstrations were met with a violent police crackdown, and several members of the opposition were thrown in prison.

Pressure and threats from the authorities drove other opposition figures to flee the country, including Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svyatlana Tsikhanousakaya), who emerged as Lukashenko’s main political rival during the 2020 campaign season. Tikhanovskaya is now living in exile and leading the unified opposition from Lithuania, and her role both Belarusian and international politics has changed significantly in the last six months. 

Back in Belarus, the authorities have been carrying out widespread repressions, targeting independent media and civil society organizations. At the same time, police brutality and the onset of winter has led opposition protesters to adopt new tactics for expressing their discontent. And although some analysts maintain that the opposition movement has stalled, others are predicting the return of large-scale demonstrations in the spring.

To find out more about how the opposition movement in Belarus has evolved and how Lukashenko’s regime has managed to withstand six months of protests, “The Naked Pravda” talked to Belarusian journalist Hanna Liubakova, a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, and Maryia Rohava, a doctoral researcher at the University of Oslo, whose research focuses on symbolic politics and identity in post-Soviet autocracies.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Feb 26 2021

42mins

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Arms control treaties aren’t for friends: The difficult diplomacy of today’s U.S.-Russian negotiations

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Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden recently had their first presidential phone call — a conversation that paved the way for a renewal of the New START Treaty (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty reached in April 2010 between presidents Obama and Medvedev). But most other arms control agreements between Moscow and Washington have expired or collapsed in years past, so what’s the future of these diplomatic efforts going forward?

For answers, “The Naked Pravda” turns to two experts in this field: Olga Oliker, the Director of the International Crisis Group’s Europe and Central Asia Program, and Pavel Podvig, an independent analyst based in Geneva, where he runs his research project, “Russian Nuclear Forces,” and works as a senior research fellow at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research and as a researcher with the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Feb 13 2021

27mins

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Fighting the ‘crooks and thieves’: Alexey Navalny’s anti-corruption politics

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For the last six months, Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been making headlines both in Russia and abroad. His near-fatal poisoning in August 2020 provoked international outcry and his immediate arrest upon returning to Russia after spending months recovering in Germany sparked a wave of protests that brought people to the streets countrywide. 

With Navalny in jail, his supporters and associates sprang into action. The day after his arrest, his Anti-Corruption Foundation published an investigation about a billion-ruble palace allegedly built for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, his “Team Navalny” offices in cities across Russia worked to organize the demonstrations calling for his release.

Nevertheless, on February 2, a Russian court sentenced Navalny to nearly three years in prison — as Meduza recorded this show, law enforcement in Moscow and St. Petersburg were detaining protesters opposing his sentence en masse.

To assess the broader impact of Navalny’s anti-corruption work and his influence on politics in Russia, “The Naked Pravda” spoke to Ilya Lozovsky, a senior editor at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and Yana Gorokhovskaia, an independent researcher focusing on politics and civil society in Russia.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Feb 06 2021

40mins

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Putin’s people: Money in the bank and a palace by the sea

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In December 2010, a St. Petersburg businessman named Sergey Kolesnikov penned a nifty four-page open letter to then-President Dmitry Medvedev, outlining how a glorious palace built for Vladimir Putin came to be. The details of this seemingly ancient document are now familiar again thanks to a massive investigative report released this week by the opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who survived an attempted assassination last year only to be jailed last weekend after returning home to Moscow.

As Meduza recorded this show, cities across Russia were hours away from planned protests in support of Navalny, who timed his investigation into Putin’s palace to land exactly as the world watches to see how his movement mobilizes against his incarceration.

To learn more about how the Kremlin’s slush funds operate in Russia and abroad, how Vladimir Putin allegedly amassed a fortune in secret, and how the president’s early days in KGB still influence Russian politics, “The Naked Pravda” turned to Catherine Belton, a special correspondent at Reuters and the author of the 2020 book “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West.”

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Jan 23 2021

38mins

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How Russia is ruled: Debt and vertical control across towns and industries

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Thanks to Russia’s recent constitutional amendments, local self-government has effectively lost its independence. State officials at all levels are now accountable, one way or another, to the president. Dramatic as these changes seem on paper, the reforms, in fact, formally recognize what has long been true in reality: appointed “city managers” have largely replaced the country’s elected mayors. But Russia’s “power vertical” relies on more than just political appointments.

To learn about the other levers at the Kremlin’s disposal, Meduza turned to Yuval Weber, the Bren Chair of Russian Military and Political Strategy at Marine Corps University’s Krulak Center and a Research Assistant Professor at Texas A&M’s Bush School in Washington, DC. Dr. Weber is the author of a forthcoming book, titled “The Russian Economy,” about how economic reform efforts in Russia follow similar trajectories even among different types of government.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Jan 01 2021

27mins

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Revisiting the poisoning of Vladimir Kara-Murza

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There have been major breakthroughs in the investigative reporting surrounding the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, whom the Federal Security Service allegedly tried to assassinate in August 2020. As Meduza has reported previously, Navalny’s case is part of a long, grim trend in Russia. In recent weeks, thanks to investigative work by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalists Mike Eckel and Carl Schreck, there is also new information available involving another apparent poisoning victim in Russia, the oppositionist Vladimir Kara-Murza.

In December 2015, six months after Kara-Murza’s first hospitalization, he filed a police report claiming that someone had tried to kill him using poison. Two years later, after he was hospitalized a second time with another sudden and mysterious illness, the FBI in the United States, where Kara-Murza lives, got involved, but the bloodwork results based on samples provided by Kara-Murza’s family were classified. Kara-Murza is still trying to obtain these records through litigation in America.

To learn more about the case, “The Naked Pravda” asked RFE/RL journalists Mike Eckel and Carl Schreck some burning questions about their investigation.

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at kevin@meduza.io with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Dec 25 2020

24mins

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iTunes Ratings

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Refreshing take on Russian political commentary

By JKohlbrand - Apr 13 2020
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Podcast has a great approach to discussing the latest events in Russia — goes beyond the Western think tank speculation on Kremlinology to dissect these events against a more academic and nuanced background. Easy listen that packs in a ton of information and insight.

Good podcast for Russian news and events

By Houses2 - Feb 06 2020
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A great podcast for in depth Russian reporting.