NYU Abu Dhabi Institute hosts lively debate on Russia-Ukraine relations



On February 25, 2015, a large crowd convened at NYU’s Abu Dhabi Institute for a panel on the current relations between Ukraine, Russia and the West. The panel, titled “Russia-Ukraine Relations: A Neighborly Spat or Back to the Cold War?,” was held in collaboration with the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia and was convened by Leonid Peisakhin, Assistant Professor of Politics at NYU Abu Dhabi. Peisakhin was joined in discussion by Yanni Kotsonis (Director of Jordan Center and Professor of History at NYU), Joshua Tucker (Professor of Politics at NYU) and Arturas Rozenas (Assistant Professor of Politics at NYU).


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Anna Arutunyan explains the Putin mystique



On Nov. 5 journalist and author Anna Arutunyan joined Russia expert and Clinical Professor of Global Affairs at the NYU’s Center for Global Affairs Mark Galeotti in conversation for an event at the School of Professional Studies. The event, hosted in collaboration with the Jordan Center, focused on the figure of president Vladimir Putin and was the second installment of Revisiting Russia, a three-part series of talks aimed at discussing Russia’s future and its place in the world.


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Mark Galeotti discusses trajectories in Putin’s Russia


Professor Mark Galeotti (left) and Jordan Center Director Yanni Kotsonis (right) discuss Russia under Putin. Source: Ilaria Parogni

On Sept. 29 the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs and the Jordan Center teamed up to present the first installment of Revisiting Russia, a special series of three conversations on contemporary Russia co-sponsored by the two institutions. The first event, titled “Where Is Putin Leading Russia?,” saw leading Russian affairs expert Mark Galeotti take center stage for a discussion of the factors shaping the politics of Vladimir Putin and the future of the country. Professor Yanni Kotsonis, Director of the Jordan Center, moderated the talk, which is part of the program of celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the Center for Global Affairs.


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2014 Sochi Olympics: A chance for more Democracy or Repression?



Roughly 30 years ago, the Soviet Union staged the Moscow Olympics. This winter, Russia’s resort town of Sochi will play the host. One commonality is clear; the Kremlin is using the games as an opportunity to rid Russia of a gray and repressive image and showcase a great and powerful country.


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No Victory in Sight in Russia’s Great Memetic War



As I write this, Moscow is clearing up after the latest Great Patriotic War nostalgia-fest. The Victory Day parade is a chance to remember past glories, drink, wear a pilotka and, for those of us disposed to that kind of thing, ooh and aah at the squat-turreted tanks and phallic missiles clanking and clattering their way through the city.


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Strongmen, Regular Guys, and Killer Bunnies



If you can remember picking up a copy of the Washington Post on the morning of August 30th, 1979 you may recall the shock of reading a front-page headline announcing something quite unimaginable– “Rabbit Attacks President.” Reading on, you would come to find out President Jimmy Carter had been involved in an “incident” in which he fearfully fought off the reportedly not so cuddly advances of what most people find to be a tiny, fuzzy creature.


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It’s a Bird, It’s a Crane…


Some mornings I get the distinct feeling that my customized Google page has mixed up “news from Russia” with “news of the weird.” And I know that, as someone working on contemporary media and popular culture, I’m vulnerable to the accusation of paying attention to the bizarre rather than the typical. So as I drink my coffee and scroll through the morning’s headlines, I make a special effort to read articles about oil and economics to the bitter end. Really, I’m trying. But then the universe sends me this:


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Reintroducing Russia


Show of hands by all the Russia watchers out there: in any of the scenarios in which Russia not only returned to the news, but became a cultural flashpoint, did anyone imagine that the key words would be “pussy riot?” “Riot,” perhaps, but… Here I’ll leave it to my readers to complete the thought.


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