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The Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University seeks to foster comprehensive understanding and multidisciplinary study of Russia and the countries of Eurasia. Founded in 1948 as the Russian Research Center, the Davis Center sponsors a master's program, seminars and conferences, targeted research, fellowships, undergraduate and graduate student support, and an outreach program. The center's more than 300 affiliates come from Harvard Univer ...
 
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The signatories of the Belavezha agreement believe it should serve as a consensus model for the world—an example of diplomacy, civil discourse, and nonviolent means of conflict resolution. The events at Belavezha are among the most momentous in modern history. But, unlike the fall of the Berlin Wall, most people have never heard of them. In the con…
 
Boris Yeltsin’s trip to a supermarket in Clear Lake, Texas, planted a seed of the USSR’s destruction. The United States won the Cold War with free-market capitalism—and Jell-O pudding pops. Still, astoundingly, the collapse of the USSR was not what the U.S. government wanted. In this episode, Dr. Yelena Biberman and Zachary Troyanovsky evaluate the…
 
Dr. Yelena Biberman and Zachary Troyanovsky explore the role of spontaneity at Belavezha, narrowing in on the exact moment of dissolution: a dinner party. The seating arrangement, a late arrival, and the sequence of phone calls all influenced the outcome. Did vodka? For a transcript of this episode and more, visit https://daviscenter.fas.harvard.ed…
 
How much agency did the signatories of the Belavezha Accords have? Factors outside of their control shaped their behavior in ways that even they could not have predicted. In this episode, Dr. Yelena Biberman and Zachary Troyanovsky seek wisdom from Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy to understand the dissolution of the USSR, as well as their own unu…
 
The Soviet Union drew its last breath on Sunday, December 8, 1991, in a hunting lodge inside the primeval Belavezha forest. The life of a global superpower—offering the last ideological alternative to liberalism—ended over a boisterous weekend. Many believe that it was doomed because of flawed ideals, but few know the story of the Belavezha Accords…
 
In this episode, we talk with Anne Applebaum about her new book, Red Famine. Applebaum argues that the 1932–1933 famine in the Soviet Union was part of a deliberate operation by Stalin to rid the USSR of Ukrainians who resisted the Bolsheviks and their policy of agricultural collectivization.由The Davis Center
 
Mikhail Gorbachev, revered by many in the West for his commitment to “openness” and democratizing reforms, has a more mixed reputation in Russia, where he is associated with the fall of an empire. In this episode, Bill Taubman discusses his new biography of Gorbachev, emphasizing how the leader's personal history and character were reflected in his…
 
Politics increasingly pervades our everyday lives, including our entertainment and pop culture. The Eurovision Song Contest was created in 1956 as an opportunity to bring nations and people together in an expressly non-political fashion—through song. Now, 60 years later, Eurovision is often used as a specific political tool. James Evans and Yuval W…
 
Two decades after immigrating from Kiev to Chicago, Julia Alekseyeva found her great-grandmother’s hidden memoirs of a life spanning the Soviet 20th century. With input from comics scholar Hillary Chute, she turned a lifetime of secrets into a work of art.由The Davis Center
 
The vast majority of Russian-speaking Jews today live outside the former Soviet Union. We spoke with Zvi Gitelman about this population, their remarkable impact on the societies that send and receive them, and how traditional notions of "diaspora" and "homeland" have blurred in our globalized world.由The Davis Center
 
In 1959, the KGB, determined to squash the movement for independence in Ukraine, sent Bogdan Stashinsky to assassinate Stepan Bandera using the most unusual of methods. Stashinsky was put on trial in what would become the most publicized assassination case of the Cold War. His story is rousingly depicted in Serhii Plokhii’s Man with the Poison Gun.…
 
At this moment of great geopolitical change, Davis Center Director Rawi Abdelal looks at the fate of globalization through the lenses of great power transitions, national borders, and economic inequality. Rawi Abdelal is the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management at Harvard Business School and the Director of Harvard's Davis Cente…
 
In 2014, British photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind and Ukrainian journalist Alisa Sopova were both in Ukraine, questioning how to represent the ongoing conflict. When they met, they developed a creative collaboration that allowed them to do just that.由The Davis Center
 
Decades after the theories of Soviet agronomist Trofim Lysenko were discredited, his name is back on the tongues of some Russian scientists. Historian of science Loren Graham explores Lysenko’s political legacy and the extent to which new developments in microbiology validate his controversial claims.…
 
Stalin’s death in March 1953 took the world by surprise. In the United States, the Eisenhower administration was on edge at the prospect of an armed confrontation with the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, a campaign against Soviet Jewry prompted speculation and bewilderment from observers around the world. Stalin’s passing marked a major turning point, but…
 
Lives as well as words can be lost in translation. Three years after the Boston Marathon bombings, Masha Gessen, author of The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy, discusses identity, immigration, and her own experience navigating translation and censorship in Russia and America.由The Davis Center
 
What happens to the oil flowing across international borders as political relationships get chilly? What does the future hold for Russia and Turkey? Davis Center Director Rawi Abdelal, the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, discusses how state and commercial interests shape Russia’s current place on th…
 
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