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These are casual conversations with world intellectuals about Ukraine and Ukrainians during the war. Every week, Ukrainian journalists Natalya Gumenyuk and Angelina Karyakina talk with their guests about how the country is opening up to the world and together they reflect on the tectonic shifts in the middle of Ukraine and how the war against Ukraine is changing the world.


Episode 28: How to Make Life Difficult for War Criminals

Ibrahim Olabi is a British lawyer of Syrian origin. He had always intended to pursue a career in commercial law. However, as Olabi says, fate had other plans. The war in Syria broke out in 2011. He immediately switched gears to studying criminal law and human rights advocacy in order to help Syrians. This particular conflict has become his life's work for the past decade. In his legal work, he has almost exclusively focused on this war. He has only made an exception for Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion. "What Russia is trying to do in Ukraine, it has already done in Syria," Olabi is convinced, seeing the same warfighting strategy on the part of the Kremlin. He heads the legal team of the war crimes documentation initiative The Reckoning Project. In April 2024, the project team and a witness from Ukraine filed a criminal complaint for torture by the Russians with the Federal Court of Argentina.


Journalist Nataliya Gumenyuk speaks with Ibrahim Olabi about the choice of Argentina as the venue for the lawsuit, about Russia's identical "playbook" for waging war, how Syrians are trying to achieve justice, and how to make life difficult for war criminals.

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Episode 27: Olga Onuсh on the Zelensky effect, its connection to Ukrainian identity, and what the full scale war has changed

Olga Onuch is a British scientist, researcher, and professor of comparative and Ukrainian political science at the University of Manchester. In mid-May 2024, her book "The Zelensky Effect," which she co-authored with American researcher Henry Hale, will be published in Ukrainian. In particular, the authors analyze the speeches of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the show "Kvartal 95", and even the series "Servant of the People." The book has a section dedicated to the current president of Ukraine, but this is not the key thing, says the author Olga Onuch. First and foremost, they investigated the modern civic Ukrainian identity of the so-called generation of independence. It was this that shaped not only Zelensky, but also other Ukrainians.

Journalist Angelina Kariakina talks to Olga Onuch about the Zelensky Effect, the most important identity of Ukrainians since the 1990s, and what Putin, some Galicians, and most of the world have failed to understand about Ukrainians.

Episode 26: Why Latin America's Support for Ukraine is Weak and What Does the US Have to Do with It? Denise Dresser explains

Denise Dresser is a renowned Mexican political analyst, columnist, and professor. She has been the target of over 100 attacks by Mexico's current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in his daily morning speeches for her criticism of the government's actions. He was also deeply disappointed by her visit to Ukraine in 2023.

Dresser observes that many Latin American presidents are playing geopolitical games or trying to figure out what they can gain from supporting Ukraine or maintaining a perceived neutrality. However, Latin American societies are not pro-Russian, despite Russian propaganda and the increasing number of Russian diplomats in these countries.

In her view, if Mexico, which is currently experiencing a democratic backsliding, were to return to authoritarianism, the biggest geopolitical beneficiary would be Russia. "It is in their interest to see a more authoritarian Mexico that embodies a narco-state with a large number of criminals. This would force the Americans to deal with another open front and another international conflict, and a conflict right on their borders," the professor says.


Journalist Natalia Gumenyuk speaks with Denise Dresser about the increase of Russian influence in Mexico, attitudes towards Ukraine, drug cartel violence, how Mexico has become a political piñata in American politics, and her personal "3 A's" strategy that guides her through life.

This podcast is supported by  American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Human Rights in Action Program implemented by Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

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Episode 25: I can't walk and shoot at Russian forces in Kharkiv or Luhansk region because of my age. But if I could, I would do it - Adam Michnik

Adam Michnik, a Polish journalist, dissident, and one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement, continues to serve as the editor-in-chief of the Polish newspaper "Gazeta Wyborcza" at the age of 77. For many years, he has called himself an anti-Soviet Russophile. After the start of Russia's war in Ukraine, Michnik declared that he had become an anti-Putin Russophile.


The dissident argues that not every Russian is Putin's soldier, but each of them will bear a certain moral responsibility for the war in Ukraine. In his opinion, the hatred of Russian emigrants towards Putin is a potential for a conversation about the future. "On the other hand, I understand those Ukrainians who say that 'a good Russian is a dead Russian.' I do not agree with them, but I understand them," says Adam Michnik.

Journalist Natalia Gumenyuk talks to him about Ukrainian-Polish relations and the Polish rise at the expense of the Ukrainians, the Russian opposition and the responsibility of nations for the war, about Putin as a curse and his father's testament to always protect Ukraine.

Episode 24: A drama of the missing people is that no one saw their death - Norma Morandini

"The drama of the missing people is that no one saw their death," says Norma Morandini, an Argentine writer, journalist, and politician. During the military dictatorship, her 20-year-old brother Nestor and sister Cristina were abducted in Buenos Aires in 1977. Norma immediately left Argentina. She returned to her homeland only in the mid-1980s. Already as a journalist, she wrote materials from the famous trial of the military junta. At the court hearings during her testimony about torture and murder, she never imagined her brother and sister in the place of the tortured. Such was the protective mechanism of her psyche. Much later, she learned that her relatives had ended up in ESMA - a secret torture prison in the building of the former school of mechanics of the Argentine Navy. Their tortured bodies were sent on so-called "death flights" - their bodies were thrown from the plane into the sea. Norma did not tell her mother about the fate of her kidnapped brother and sister. However, it turned out that her mother knew about it, but she also did not tell her relatives about it.

Journalist Nataliya Gumenyuk talks to Morandini about the silence of love, her own path to healing, about the politicization of the memory of the events during the rule of the military junta, the phenomenon of memory and what can become more important than a court verdict in cases of the missing.

The publication was made possible, in particular, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development USAID - US Agency for International Development within the framework of the "Human Rights in Action" project, which is implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Union on Human Rights.

Episode 23: Svitlana Osipchuk on the Museum of War Childhood and How War is Integrated into the Lives of Children in Ukraine

The Museum of War Childhood has collected over 400 testimonies about the lives of children during the war in Ukraine. The idea of opening such a museum belongs to a Sarajevo resident, Jasminko Halilović, who as a young child survived the siege of the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. Initially, he and his team focused on collecting stories and exhibits about the war childhood of their fellow citizens. Later, they expanded, and their archive now contains narratives and items from more than 20 wars from different countries around the world. The first testimonies of Ukrainian children were collected in 2018. Two years later, an office with a separate team of researchers was established in Kyiv. The museum does not yet have its own premises for a permanent exhibition. They arrange to exhibit their items with other institutions, explains Svitlana Osipchuk, the director of the Museum of War Childhood.

Journalist Angelina Karyakina speaks with Svitlana Osipchuk about the impact of war on Ukrainian children, its normalization in their lives, the Holocaust, films about Bucha, and what is happening with the historical memory of Ukrainians.

Episode 22: How to Jail a Military Junta? Insights from an Argentine Judge

After seizing power, the military ruled Argentina for seven years until 1983. They staged a reign of terror during which approximately 30,000 Argentinians were killed or disappeared. Many were tortured, and some were subjected to so-called "death flights" where they were dropped from planes into the Atlantic Ocean. Children of the victims were abducted and given to other families for upbringing. In 1984, a report titled "Nunca Más" (Never Again) was published, documenting the crimes of the military junta. By April 1985, Argentina began an unprecedented trial of the country's former military leaders. Over 800 witnesses testified in court. Among the judges was Ricardo Gil Lavedra.

Journalist Natalia Gumenyuk speaks with Gil Lavedra about the trial itself, what was needed for him to pass judgment on the military junta, whether the military officials admitted their guilt, and his nightmares following the testimonies of the victims.

This podcast is supported by  American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Human Rights in Action Program implemented by Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

Episode 21: I'm a Historian and Can't Cancel Anyone — Marci Shore

Marci Shore teaches intellectual history at Yale University. Alongside her husband, Timothy Snyder, Marci has long been persuading leaders in various countries to provide assistance to Ukraine during the war with Russia. She calls this turn in her life an irony of fate. Shore's ancestors were victims of Jewish pogroms in Ukraine after World War I. Growing up in the US, Marci was part of a community where anything German was anathema. She herself has been a pacifist since her teenage years and never understood weapons. "Now, as a middle-aged Jewish mother, when I come to the Germans and beg them to immediately send lethal weapons to the Ukrainians — it's not a role I could ever have imagined myself in," the historian jokes.

Journalist Angelina Karyakina speaks with Marci Shore about intellectual bravery in a post-truth world, about forgiveness and her fascination with philosopher Hannah Arendt, why a historian cannot cancel the Nazis, about the crisis of subjectivity in Russia, and why the fate of the world now depends on the Ukrainians.

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Episode 20: Empire Above All. How Russia Re-Educates Ukrainians in Occupied Territories

Yaroslava Barbieri, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Birmingham, studies the mechanisms of undermining Ukrainian sovereignty by Russia. Since 2014, the aggressor state has primarily focused its efforts on the militarization and indoctrination of children in the occupied parts of Donbas and Crimea. Through patriotic education programs, the "Yunarmiya" (Youth Army), meetings with Russian soldiers, veterans, and members of the Wagner Group PMC, they attempt to impose Russian values on them. Specifically, the idea that the highest form of existence for an individual is to sacrifice oneself for the state's interests. In doing so, Russia openly steals Ukrainian children for the needs of its empire.

Journalist Angelina Karyakina speaks with Yaroslava Barbieri about the difference in values between Ukrainians and Russians, the paradox of the Kremlin's reintegration of occupied territories, the increase in violence from the invaders due to resistance in the South, and what she learned from her grandmother, the poet Lina Kostenko.

Episode 19: Timothy Garton Ash on the Myth of Russian Invincibility, War as the Norm, and Ukraine as Europe's Mirror

Timothy Garton Ash is a British historian, journalist, and author, regarded as one of the foremost researchers on the history of contemporary Europe and its transformation over the last forty years. His latest book, "Homelands: A Personal History of Europe," is set to be released in Ukrainian in May. He notes that after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Europeans gained their freedom relatively peacefully and easily over the following years. "People began to deceive themselves into thinking that freedom is a process that happens automatically. But freedom is not a process; it is always a struggle," Garton Ash insists.

Journalist Natalia Gumenyuk speaks with the historian about the will to freedom, why a peaceful Europe is not the norm from a historical perspective, the myth of Russian invincibility, various views on ending the war in Ukraine, and why Garton Ash installed an air raid alert app for Ukraine on his phone.

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Episode 18: The Transfer of Crimea to Ukraine Was Its Salvation, Not a Mistake or Khrushchev's Gift — Rory Finnin

Professor Rory Finnin initiated the Ukrainian Studies program at Cambridge University in 2008. Finnin himself, a scholar of literature, explores the interaction of culture and national identity in Ukraine. He pays special attention to Crimea and Crimean Tatar literature. Rory Finnin says that by viewing the peninsula's history through a Russian lens, Western scholars previously did not want to hear about it as the history of Crimea itself, of the Crimean Tatars, and Ukrainians. "Now they have changed and would like to hear such a story, but it is already too late," says the professor. Crimea is an extension of mainland Ukraine, the researcher is convinced. The scholar warned analysts and foreign politicians that Russia cannot take the peninsula without the south of Ukraine and will not stop there.


Journalist Natalia Humenyuk talks with Finnin about Shevchenko as a modern writer, how Western scholars remain in the realm of swan lakes, about settler colonialism, and why Crimea was never Khrushchev's gift to Ukraine.

Episode 17: We must forget about Germany's sentiment towards Russia, their friendship has come to an end — Kateryna Mishchenko

Essayist, publisher, translator, and art researcher Kateryna Mishchenko has been living in Germany since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. She says that the history of Ukraine and Germany is shared. Germans are well aware of various geographical locations in Ukraine. For example, Bakhmut, which they know from the history of World War II and the diaries of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers who occupied what was then the Soviet Artemivsk in the early '40s. "The German 'Never again' and the German anti-fascist agenda today must work in Ukraine in the sense that Germany should help Ukraine in its fight against Russia, which has become a fascist state," Mishchenko believes.

Journalist Angelina Karyakina talks with Kateryna Mishchenko about Germany's sentiment towards Russia, what Germans ask about Ukraine, why "resistance" is a better word than "war," about pragmatic unity, and how modern Europe is rethinking itself.

Episode 16: If You Get Tired of the Russian War in Ukraine, You'll Be Killed — Oleksandra Matviichuk

Receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022 has led to additional work, says the head of the Center for Civil Liberties, Oleksandra Matviichuk. Missions, meetings, conferences, during which she tried to convince, among others, businesses that remained in Russia, that supporting a misanthropic regime cannot save anyone. Matviichuk also says that the modern political class, including democrats, is afflicted with cynicism. "This cynicism and what they call realpolitik didn't work in the last century, it didn't prevent World War II and it won't work now," she is convinced. "You might be able to get tired of the Russian war in Ukraine in Berlin or Washington, but in Ukraine, if you get tired, you'll be killed."

Natalia Humenyuk and Angelina Kariakina talk with Oleksandra Matviichuk about the internal divisions within Ukrainian society, what the victory in the war depends on, and why focusing on one's own pain is selfish.

Episode 15: Germans bear responsibility for Russian successes in this war — Rebecca Harms

Rebecca Harms went from being a documentary filmmaker and an anti-nuclear and anti-war activist to becoming a Member of the European Parliament for the German party "Alliance 90/The Greens". As a politician, Harms realized that exclusively peaceful resolutions to military conflicts sometimes do not work. Her position changed due to the war in former Yugoslavia. The Russian aggression in Georgia and Ukraine, where negotiations only gave the Kremlin more time to capture new territories, ultimately convinced her of this. During her time as an MEP in Brussels, she supported Ukraine during both Maidans in 2004 and 2014. For her pro-Ukrainian stance, Russia declared Harms persona non grata in the fall of 2014. Currently, Rebecca is not in power, but she continues to support Ukraine. At the same time, she criticizes German policy towards Russia. Rebecca Harms is convinced that the Germans, through their diplomacy, gave Russia time to prepare for a major war in Ukraine.

Natalia Gumenyuk talks to her about Germany's share in the Russian successes in the war, Merkel's mistake, changes in her views and beliefs after starting her political career, and Ukraine's path to the EU.

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Episode 14: Far Less Justice from International Tribunals Than They Promise — Wayne Jordash

Royal Barrister Wayne Jordash came to Ukraine in 2015 and has been helping to investigate Russia's crimes against Ukraine. An international lawyer with many years of experience, he has participated in several international tribunals — in Rwanda and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. There, he did not side with the prosecution. Jordash's defendants were accused of committing war crimes. Some of his clients were acquitted, like one of the mayors in Rwanda. Others, for example, Issa Sesay, an officer of the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone, were found guilty after a six-year trial. He was sentenced to 52 years in prison. After several decades of working in the field of international humanitarian law, Wayne Jordash has become skeptical of international tribunals. He says they deliver far less justice than they promise.

Natalia Gumenyuk speaks with Jordash about the genocide of the nation in Ukraine, disillusionment with the International Criminal Court, the main defense line for war criminals, and the idea of justice as a process.

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Episode 13: Russia Conducts a Major Cultural Crusade in the Occupied Territories of
Ukraine — Kostiantyn Akinsha

Kostiantyn Akinsha is an art historian, exhibition curator, and researcher of the history of forgeries. In particular, he has dealt with issues of restitution, returning art treasures to Holocaust victims, and lost cultural heritage. A few weeks before the start of the full-scale invasion, he wrote about the danger to architectural monuments and Ukrainian museums. Akinsha called for the immediate evacuation of art treasures. He became a co-organizer of an exhibition on Ukrainian modernism of the 1900s-1930s. In the fall of 2022, about 70 works by Ukrainian avant-garde artists were transported under missile attacks to exhibit them in Europe and preserve them. The exhibition "In the Epicenter of the Storm: Ukrainian Modernism, 1900–1930" received over a million mentions in global media.

Natalia Gumenyuk talks with Kostiantyn Akinsha about Europe discovering Ukrainian modernism, Russia's cultural expansion in the occupied territories, Pushkin monuments as markers of Russian presence, and the fight against Russian instrumentalization of culture.

Episode 12: Peter Pomerantsev on the lessons of a propagandist who outsmarted Hitler and the competition to understand the audience

British writer and journalist Peter Pomerantsev has been exploring propaganda and disinformation for several decades. He argues that authoritarian propaganda gives people a sense of being part of something big and strong, allowing them to demean others. In this case, it's not about truth or falsehood at all. Propaganda starts with a deep understanding of the audience and their emotional needs and how they can be manipulated.

In March 2024, Pomerantsev's new book about the British journalist and propagandist Sefton Delmer is released. Delmer worked with German propaganda during World War II by launching dozens of radio stations with huge coverage and popularity in Germany.

Angelina Kariakina speaks with Peter Pomerantsev about how those radio stations worked, what lessons Ukraine can learn from Sefton Delmer in the war against Russia, and the competition to better understand the audience.

Episode 11: What people don't understand about mongols, forgetting Chinggis Khan, and soviet past in modern Mongolia

In the quest for an answer to the question "who are we," Ukraine is significantly ahead of Mongolia. This is stated by Mongolian media personality and public opinion leader Tsogtbilguundari Khishigbat. For instance, in a country that was a satellite of the USSR, many cities, villages, and provinces still bear the names of Mongolian Soviet leaders. In the capital, Ulan Bator, one of the districts is still named "Zhukov" in honor of the Soviet general. During the influence of the USSR, Mongolia lost its history and self-identity. Even mentioning the name of the Khan of the Mongol Empire, Chinggis Khan, aloud was forbidden. Now the country is trying to reclaim its past and dispel.

Journalist Natalia Gumenyuk discusses with Tsogtbilguundari the contemporary influence of Russia and China on Mongolia, the local perception of Russian aggression, as mentioned by President Zelensky recalling his childhood in Mongolia, and the global myths regarding nomadic civilization.

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Episode 10: Galin Stoev on the Tribunal against Putin on Stage and Why Bulgarian Actors Feared "Novichok"

In September 2023, the premiere of the play "The Hague" took place in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. The play, written by Ukrainian playwright and documentarian Sasha Denisova, revolves around an orphan girl from Mariupol who imagines a tribunal against Putin. Galin Stoev, a director who has worked abroad for many years and is currently the artistic director of the National Theater in Toulouse, France, staged the play at the National Theater of Bulgaria. When he saw the production in Poland, he immediately decided that he must stage it in his native Bulgaria. Part of the country's population is still influenced by Russian propaganda and supports Putin.

The Bulgarian government attended the play's premiere, the 850-seat hall was packed, and organizers feared provocations from pro-Russian parties. The actor playing the role of Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev refused to participate before the premiere. He believed he was being watched and feared being poisoned with "Novichok." Despite concerns, the play in Sofia continues with full houses.

Journalist Natalia Gumenyuk talks with director Galin Stoev about the impact of the conflict with his parents on the production regarding the war in Ukraine, how "The Hague" changed the actors of the National Theater of Bulgaria, the responsibility of the "collective Putin," combining the comedic and tragic elements in the play, and why Stoyev currently avoids reading Russian literature.

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Episode 9: Putin's Playbook: How the Russian Dictator Conducts Wars? Parallels with Chechnya, Syria, and Ukraine

This is a conversation in English with American journalist and writer Janine di Giovanni, who has worked in conflict zones for 30 years. She reported from Sarajevo and Grozny during the sieges, Rwanda, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan. With the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, di Giovanni, along with researcher Peter Pomerantsev and journalist Natalia Humeniuk, founded The Reckoning Project. It is a project documenting war crimes committed by the Russian regular army.

Di Giovanni has witnessed several of Putin's wars, notably in Chechnya, Syria, and Ukraine. She asserts that the Russian dictator always wages war exclusively against civilians, making it impossible to engage with him on moral grounds. Journalist Angelina Karyakina talks to di Giovanni about Putin's "playbook" for conducting war, how to prevent armed conflicts, justice as a means to heal the wounds of war crime witnesses, and Ukraine as a barrier to protecting democracy worldwide.

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Episode 8: How to Win Indonesia to Ukraine's Side, a Country with the Policy of "Zero Enemies, Thousand Friends"

TV host  and writer from Indonesia, Desi Anwar, perceived Russia's war against Ukraine as Russia's struggle against the West before arriving in Kyiv. However, after a week in Ukraine, she changed her perspective and identified the Ukrainian fight with the slogan "Freedom or Death." This phrase is well-known among adults and children in her country. Indonesia gained independence only in 1945, having been a colony of the Netherlands for over 300 years and occupied by Japan during World War II. Anwar advises consistently emphasizing on all platforms that Ukraine is fighting against Russia for its independence and the protection of national identity. Such a message will be clearly understood in one of the largest countries in Asia, Indonesia.

Journalist Natalia Gumenyuk discusses with Desi Anwar the perception of Russia's war against Ukraine in Global South countries, the Jakarta principle of "zero enemies, thousand friends" in international politics, Indonesia's colonial past, Asian pragmatism, and why democracy is not the answer to all questions.

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Episode 7: Jonathan Littell on Russian Violence, Putin's Conquest of Chechnya, and Ukraine's Chances for Victory

Jonathan Littell well known in Ukraine as the author of the historical novel "Les Bienveillantes" ("The Kindly Ones"). It is written from the perspective of a fictional SS officer recounting events on the Eastern Front during World War II and his involvement in the Holocaust, including the massacres of Jews at Babyn Yar. The novel sparked intense discussions, and it was translated into Ukrainian only 15 years after its release. Littell himself has worked in humanitarian missions during armed conflicts in Chechnya, Syria, and has witnessed numerous war crimes. Currently, he is preparing to publish his new book, including a section on war crimes in Bucha.

Journalist Angelina Kariakina spoke with the writer about what contributed to Putin's success in the 90s in Chechnya, the apathy of the Russian intellectuals and its responsibility, effective Western pressure methods on Russia, whether the place of Russian culture in the global context needs to be reconsidered, and whether Russians understand the Ukrainians' struggle against Russia as an empire, not just against Putin's regime.

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Episode 6: The Management of Death. Digital democracies researcher Svitlana Matviyenko explains how Russia implements its necropolitics through fear, terror, and propaganda

Svitlana Matviyenko is a researcher and lecturer at the School of Communications at the Institute of Digital Democracies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. In addition to studying media and cyber warfare, she is interested in the phenomenon of war pollution. She investigates how wars impact people and the environment and how territories and societies recover from it in the long run. Matviyenko is cautious about the concept of the "end of war." It is created in horizontal thinking, especially regarding territories and de-occupation. However, war, through trauma, reparations, and pollution, will persist for a long time in landscapes, society, and individuals. Therefore, she suggests thinking about the end of war vertically, even though it is a more painful and pessimistic concept, where its conclusion is altogether questionable.

Journalist Angelina Karyakina discusses with Svitlana Matviyenko the slow violence of war, Russia's nuclear colonialism, the Kremlin's management of death, and propaganda as part of the environment of terror.

Episode 5: Patriarch Kirill and Putin's Union - Marriage of Convenience - Kyrylo Hovorun

Archimandrite, philosopher, and Ukrainian theologian Kyrylo Hovorun is a person of encyclopedic knowledge. He worked for ten years in the Moscow Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church and was closely acquainted with Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev). He warned Patriarch Kirill about the danger of the "Russian world" ideology, which he equated with Nazism, fascism, and communism. In 2012, Hovorun resigned, while Patriarch Kirill became one of the main inspirers of the war in Ukraine.

Journalist Natalia Humeniuk speaks with Archimandrite about how Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church became the leader of the "Russian world," why Hovorun calls this ideology "fascism 3.0," how to understand the statements of Pope Francis, and the pontiff's mistakes in communicating about Ukraine. They also discuss how to view the processes in the religious life of Ukraine after the state received the Tomos in 2019.

Episode 4: "We should think not just about helping Ukraine, but about how to defeat Russia – Anne Applebaum

The independent Ukraine poses an existential threat to Vladimir Putin. Joseph Stalin perceived it in the same way, made the Holodomor in the 1930s as a means to subdue and Sovietize Ukraine. This fear unites two dictators, asserts journalist, historian, and Pulitzer Prize laureate Anne Applebaum. In the 21st century, Putin also employs food and hunger as weapons of war. Therefore, it is time for allies to focus not only on providing assistance to Ukraine but also on how to defeat Russia, according to the researcher. Journalist Angelina Karyakina speaks with Anne Applebaum about what is needed to end the war, a new approach to violence during armed conflicts, why Volodymyr Zelensky should not publicly criticize allies, and how the war in Ukraine has become a pawn in American political struggles."

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Episode 3: Leopoldo Lopez on the Ukrainian Maidan - the most successful revolution of the 21st century. Why didn't it succeed in others?

The Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine is the only successful example in the world of a transition to stable democracy in the 21st century. This is what one of the opposition leaders of Venezuela, Leopoldo Lopez, says. After suppressing protests against the regime of Nicolas Maduro, years of imprisonment in a military prison, house arrest, hiding in the territory of the Spanish embassy, and then escaping from Venezuela, the politician does not give up. He unites with activists from different countries to resist global autocracies. Lopez is confident that Ukraine's victory over Russia is also the key to bringing democracy back to their countries. Journalist Natalia Gumenyuk talks to Leopoldo Lopez about why other revolutions in the world were unsuccessful, why autocrats will never switch to the side of democracy, and what he learned in Kyiv.

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Episode 2: Serhiy Plokhii on the Era of China, Ukrainian History, and the Inevitability of Nuclear Surrender

Historian Serhiy Plokhii began working on his new book, "Russian-Ukrainian War: The Return of History," just a few weeks after the start of the full-scale invasion. In May 2023, it was published in the United States, and a few months later in Ukraine. Plokhy confesses that working on the book not only allowed him to understand the war but also emotionally experience it. For the first time since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the historian visited Ukraine at the end of August to see the changes in the country with his own eyes. Journalist Natalia Humeniuk speaks with Serhiy Plokhii about empires, the era of China, the history of the Ukrainian state, a new type of nuclear terrorism from Russia, and why it is difficult for modern Ukrainians to comprehend the inevitability of surrendering nuclear weapons.

Episode 1: Snyder on Fascist Russia, Genocide, Kremlin's Nuclear Bluff, and Ukrainian Understanding of Freedom

This is a conversation with American historian Timothy Snyder, whose books and lectures are well-known worldwide. He asserts that Russia is currently committing genocide against Ukrainians. Host Natalia Humeniuk talks to Snyder about how Russia's goals are evolving during the current war, why the contemporary Putin regime is fascist, and why the Kremlin's threats of nuclear weapons are a bluff. In this episode, the intellectual explains his interest in the history and modern culture of Ukraine, what he has learned about freedom from Ukrainians, and what can be considered Ukraine's ultimate victory over Russia.

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Episode 0: Natalya and Angelina talk about what and who the podcast will be about

World thinkers and intellectuals are now looking in Ukraine for physical confirmation that democracy and freedom matter. Hosts Natalya Gumenyuk and Angelina Karyakina talk about why they start this podcast, about the world's attempts to understand why Ukrainians defend their country, their motivation in the war and their choice between good and evil. What can be interesting conversations for Ukrainians themselves, what is it like to live in a great war, what is it like to fight against the empire and how can Ukraine build its identity not only around the war

Natalia Gumenyuk is a journalist and correspondent specializing in international events and conflict coverage. She is a co-founder and executive director of the Public Interest Journalism Lab. Natalia is also a co-founder, editor, and lead journalist at The Reckoning Project. She is the author of several documentary films and books, including "Lost Island: Stories from Occupied Crimea" and "Maidan Tahrir: In Search of the Lost Revolution." Natalia curated focal theme of the 2023 Book Arsenal, "When Everything Matters." She regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Rolling Stone, Die Zeit, and The Atlantic. She was a co-founder and led Hromadske TV and Hromadske International for 5 years and is currently a member of the Board. In 2022, she received the international Free Media Awards for her coverage of the war in Russia against Ukraine.


Angelina Karyakina is a journalist and media manager. She is a co-founder of Public Interest Journalism Laboratory. Angelina also is an editor and author for The Reckoning Project's films. She covered the Revolution of Dignity and the Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine for Euronews. She graduated from the directorial workshop of Serhiy Bukovsky. In 2015, she joined Hromadske as a journalist and host. Angelina is the author of a series of documentary films titled "In the Footsteps of the Revolution," which explores events on Maidan and the case of Sentsov-Kolchenko, titled "A Journey Halfway Across the Earth." She worked as the chief editor of Hromadske for three years. From 2020 to 2022, she was involved in creating the multimedia news service of Suspilne as the chief editor and later as the chief producer of news programming.

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