Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia Event Will Center on Grave “Will He or Won’t He?” Question.

New Yorker's Masha Gessen, Photo credit: Lena Di
The New Yorker's Masha Gessen, Photo credit: Lena Di

Masha Gessen, a staff writer at the New Yorker, will join dissident Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats for “Will Putin Use Nuclear Weapons?”—a discussion on Thurs., Feb. 2, 4 p.m. EST at New York University’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia (19 University Place, Second Floor [at E. 8th Street]).

This event will be both on Zoom and in-person. To receive a webinar link, visit the registration page; RSVP for in-person attendance on the event page.

In Gessen’s Nov. 2022 piece in the New Yorker, she wrote that “Russia is preparing for a nuclear, or nuclearish, strike in Ukraine.” Albats, while acknowledging the Kremlin leader’s recklessness, disagrees. The conversation will center on this grave “Will he or won’t he?” question.

The event is the latest in a new series hosted by Yevgenia M. Albats, a Jordan Center Distinguished Journalist in Residence. In this series, Albats is joined by leading experts— journalists, researchers, and foreign service officers, among others—in one-on-one, public conversations regarding the most pressing issues in our understanding of Russia today and America’s role on the global stage.

Masha Gessen, who has been writing for the New Yorker since 2014, is the author of 11 books, including Surviving Autocracy and The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won a National Book Award in 2017. A Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College, Gessen has written on a range of subjects, including Russia, autocracy, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, for the New York Review of Books and the New York Times.

Yevgenia M. Albats is a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author of The State Within the State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia—Past, Present and Future (FSG, 1995), and radio host. She has been political editor and then editor-in-chief and CEO of the New Times, a Moscow-based, Russian language independent political weekly, since 2007. On February 28, 2022, Vladimir Putin blocked its website, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine. Albats continues to run the, and she kept reporting from Russia until she had to leave the country at the end of August 2022—after she was found guilty of spreading disinformation about the Russian army and fined for her coverage of the war with Ukraine and pronounced a foreign agent.

Since 2004, Albats has hosted “Absolute Albats,” a talk-show on Echo Moskvy, the only remaining liberal radio station in Russia. The radio station was taken off the air a week after the war in Ukraine started. Albats moved her talk show to her YouTube channel; it now has more than 100,000 subscribers. Albats is the author of the four independently researched books, including one on the history of the KGB.

Previous events in the series may be viewed on the Jordan Center’s YouTube Channel.

In-person attendees should be prepared to show a government-issued ID and proof of COVID-19 vaccination and booster.

For more about the Jordan Center, please visit its website.

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James Devitt
James Devitt
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