Tag: wagner

Background Briefing: August 23, 2023


Revenge is Putin’s Dish Best Served Cold to His Former Chef

We begin with what appears to be an act of terrorism by Vladimir Putin against his former chef Yevgeny Prigozhin who he labelled as a traitor two months ago for challenging Putin’s leadership in a dramatic march by Wagner mercenaries on Moscow. Joining us to discuss this brutal hit on a murderous brute by the boss of a Mafia state is Olga Lautman, a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis who is also the creator and co-host of the Kremlin File podcast series, which features expert discussions on the Kremlin’s internal affairs, global operations, and tactics used from their hybrid warfare toolkit to destabilize Western democracies. She has a new Substack newsletter covering Russia, Ukraine, Eastern, and Central Europe with a focus on Russia’s intelligence operations available at olgalautman.substack.com


The Winner of Tonight’s GOP Presidential Primary Debate is Not on the Stage

Then ahead of tonight’s first Republican presidential primary debate, we discuss how the one person not on the stage has already won the debate while his closest challenger has just dropped 11 points in the polls after rebooting his floundering campaign. Joining us is Justin Higgins, who has worked as a lobbyist for a Fortune 400 agribusiness company, as a policy advisor to a Tea Party, now House Freedom Caucus Member of Congress, and worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign at the RNC, all before becoming a Democrat and an appointed official for the Democratic Governor of Puerto Rico. He now hosts the Politics + Media 101 podcast.


Moscow is Tightening Its Grip on Belarus, Georgia and Moldova

Then finally we speak with Jeffrey Mankoff, a distinguished research fellow at the U.S. National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies specializing in Russian and Eurasian affairs and a nonresident senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Previously, he served as an adviser on U.S.-Russia relations in the U.S. Department of State and is the author of Russian Foreign Policy: The Return of Great Power Politics and Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security. We discuss his article at Foreign Policy, “Next Door to Ukraine, Moscow’s Grip is Tightening.”