This episode was recorded as a live broadcast on 3 May 2022
President Putin’s decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has plunged Russia into international isolation. The Russian economy is being hammered by sanctions, increasing numbers of brands and business are halting their operations in the country, and the Russian government has cracked down on anti-war protests and independent media. Thousands of Russians have left the country to Georgia and Turkey, but exit routes are shrinking fast.
What does the future hold for the Russian people? Will their political, commercial, and digital insolation continue, or even deepen? In this period of uncertainty, we want to hear from the generation who will one day be Russia’s leading voices. We’re assembling a panel of young Russian leaders from the worlds of culture, activism, business, and society, for a discussion about their hopes, fears, and ambitions for the future of their country.
Giles Whittell – Giles is World Affairs Editor for Tortoise Media. He previously worked as Chief Leader-Writer for The Times and was previously the paper’s correspondent in Los Angeles, Moscow and Washington. His books include Bridge of Spies and Spitfire Women of World War II. Two earlier books, Lambada Country and Extreme Continental, describe his travels by bike and motorbike through Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the collapse of the Soviet Union. His most recent book, Snow: The Biography, is published by Short Books. After 25 years with The Times, joined Tortoise Media in November as World Affairs Editor.
On the panel:
Anton Barbashin – Anton is a co-founder and Editorial Director at Riddle Russia (www.ridl.io), where he focuses on issues related to Russian foreign policy narratives. Prior to his work on Riddle Russia, Anton was a co-founder and a managing editor of a Warsaw-based Russia focused analytical outlet Intersection Project and an analyst with the Center for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding (2014-2018). He is currently a PGR with the University of Glasgow. Anton is a graduate of a Novosibirsk State University of Economic and Management.
Ella Rossman – Ella is a doctoral student at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in University College London. She was previously a researcher and a lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities in the Higher School of Economics, Moscow. Ella participated in Russian independent education and feminist initiatives, and is one of the coordinators of the Feminist Anti-War Resistance group. Her research is now focused on late Soviet girlhood; she is also interested in the history of gender studies and feminism in Russia. Ella’s research articles have been published in History of Sciences and Humanities, New Perspectives, and Ab Imperio. She has written for Meduza, Navaya Gateza, and Riddle.
Tonia Samsonova – Tonia is the Former head of Yandex.Q. She resigned in protest from her senior position in Russia’s dominant, multibillion-dollar tech company in March 2022, accusing the company of censoring the Ukraine war from its search engine and news service, and now lives outside of Russia. Tonia also founded TheQuestion, the fastest-growing Q&A service in Eastern Europe. Prior to this, she worked as a journalist, presenter, and foreign correspondent, first at Dozhd, then at the Echo of Moscow.
Dr Denis Stolyarov – Denis is an art historian and curator, specialising in contemporary Russian art. After receiving his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where his research explored the Soviet culture of the 1980s as well as the first post-Soviet years, he is now working as an assistant curator at Pushkin House, an independent London-based cultural organisation. Before moving to London, he lived and worked in Moscow.