Latest Episode

Ainu Fever

Roma Shatrov is the founder of the Silent Cape Nature Park in Sakhalin. Irina Grudova is Ainu, the indigenous inhabitants of Sakhalin. Roma is obsessed with Ainu history and culture and has dedicated the Silent Cape to revitalizing their tradition. Irina is a local Ainu activist and is skeptical of such outsiders looking to exploit her heritage. Yet Roma and Irina instantly hit it off and formed a strong bond over their mutual love of the Ainu. Rusana Novikova brings us a story about the romanticism and self-discovery at the heart of Irina and Roma’s complicated friendship, and its potential promise for Ainu and Russian relations.

Previous Episodes

Ep 2 Teddy Meets The KGB

Teddy assumed the KGB would monitor his travels around the Soviet Union. In Kiev, Teddy discovers that someone went through his luggage. And half-century later he learns his suspicions were correct. The KGB wrote a report on him, complete with excerpts from his diary. What was in this report? What did the KGB hope to learn from Teddy? And what was this vast network for keeping tabs on tourists anyway?

Ep 1: Teddy Greets the USSR

Teddy Roe took an extraordinary trip to the USSR in 1968. For three months, he travelled from one end of the USSR to the other. Most Americans at the time believed the USSR was their greatest enemy. Teddy was among tens of thousands who toured the Soviet Union. Why did Americans want to travel there? Why did the Soviets want them to come? What just what was the tourist experience like?

Kyivan Rus’

Guest: Christian Raffensperger on the place of Kyivan Rus’ in the wider European medieval world.

The Soviet Rock Scene

Guest: Artemy Troitsky reflecting on his life in the Soviet and Russian rock scenes.

The Economic War

Guests: Ben Aris and Ilya Matveev on the Russian economy during wartime.