Background Briefing: April 12, 2022


With Putin at 83% Approval in the Polls, Will the War in Ukraine Bring Him Down?

We begin with a former Russian TV anchor who knows Vladimir Kara- Murza who was just arrested in Moscow after appearing on CNN in an interview where he predicted that the Ukraine war would bring down Putin who would be replaced by a democrat. Joining us to reconcile that prediction from a dissident who was twice poisoned and almost killed by the regime and the latest Levada poll that has Putin with 83% approval is Stanislav Kucher, a journalist and former Russian TV presenter. He has previously worked as Editor-in-Chief of the Snob multimedia platform, Chief Political Analyst and Creative Director of Kommersant-fm all-news radio network, Anchor at Sovershenno Sekretno TV channel and Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler (Russian edition). He currently lives in New York City and we will discuss his article at CNN, “How Russians born in the 1990s became Putin’s soldiers.”


How Can Ukraine and Europe Stop Trading With the Enemy and Financing the War Against Them?

Then we explore ways the Ukrainians and Europeans can get out of the trap of financing the war Russia is waging against them as they trade with the enemy destroying Ukraine and threatening Europe. Joining us is Gregory Treverton, a senior adviser with the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor of the practice of international relations at the University of Southern California. He has served in government for the first Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, handling Europe for the National Security Council, and was chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 2014 to 2017. His books include Dividing Divided States, Beyond the Great Divide: Relevance and Uncertainty in National Intelligence and Science for Policy.


The Best Way to Defeat Putin is to Deliver on the Green New Deal

Then finally we are joined by Juan Cole, a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan. He is also the author of the blog, Informed Comment at and he is the author of The Ayatollahs and Democracy in Iraq, Engaging the Muslim World, and his latest book is Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires. We discuss his article at Common Dreams, “Want to Defeat Putin? Deliver the Green New Deal.”