In the academic year 2018/2019, monthly lectures were given as a part of our Intermarium lecture series.
- Monte Rosa: Memoir of an Accidental Spy (book presentation)
Mr. Jaroslaw Martyniuk, a former energy economist with the IEA/OECD and a retired sociologist, presented a sweeping panorama of his life from the outbreak of WWII to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The narrative begins in Ukraine and ends in Paris where he coordinated the work of ﬁfty undercover interviewers engaged in unorthodox research with Soviet visitors in Western Europe, a chapter of Cold War history never before revealed in such remarkable detail. The story includes the author’s narrow escape from Communism, an account of his extended family’s ordeal in the Soviet Gulag, life in post-war Bavaria, thirty years in Chicago and culminates with twelve years in France where he worked for the International Energy Agency and Radio Liberty.
- E Pluribus Unum in Ukraine? Reconciling Conflicting National Identity in the Borderland
Mr. James A. Rice, the Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, discussed the historical roots of the east-west divide in Ukraine, currently being exploited by Putin’s Russia. It will describe the conflicting worldviews and mentalities of eastern and western Ukrainians and suggest how they can be reconciled going forward.
- Russian Military History
Mr. Geoffrey Seroka, a graduate student at The Institute of World Politics, has focused his graduate research on Russian/Eurassion affairs. In this lecture, he explored the military history of Russia, going back to pre-imperial times, in order to analyze the Russian Federation’s recent actions toward the United States, NATO, and Europe. Russia has historically viewed war in a different light than the West, and this historical context is vital to determining how to respond to recent belligerent actions.
- The League of Militant Godless
Ms. Helen Lamm, a graduate student in Statecraft and International Affairs at The Institute of World Politics specializing in American Foreign Policy has an interest in the politics of post-communism. She focuses on the interplay of religion and politics. She discussed the Soviet antireligious activism and propaganda, taking a look at the “volunteer” activism and analyzing the artistic renderings of religion in Bezbozhnik – the propaganda apparatus of the League of the Militant Godless.
- Suki w Zakone: A Criminal Key to Putin’s Russia
Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz discussed how the criminal underworld was coopted by the Bolshevik revolution, how it was tamed and broken by the Soviet state, how it coexisted with it and infiltrated it; how it became transformed in the post-Soviet realm; and how it became second nature of Putin’s system in Russia. Dr. Chodakiewicz stressed the historical continuities of Russia’s criminal underworld which have now infiltrated into the mainstream of its national life.
The lecture was preceded by the performance of Russian music on the prima/malaya domra by Mr. Charles Winkler. He was a Department of Defense analyst for more than 30 years, specializing in Soviet, Russian, East European, and Middle Eastern matters, and threat analysis. Now in retirement, he applies his national-security analyst’s perspective and research skills to matters of domestic and foreign affairs.
- The Future of the European Union
Mr. László Szabó, M.D. physician, businessman, politician, and diplomat, is the current Hungarian Ambassador. Ambassador Szabó practiced as a transplant surgeon, then shifted to the pharmaceutical industry and held several local and international leadership positions for more than 20 years. The Government of Hungary reached out to him to build the trade pillar of the Ministry until his appointment as Ambassador to the U.S. in July 2017. He presented the political and cultural vision of Central and Eastern Europe, and its implications to the region’s relations with the United States. He discussed the migration crisis, Brexit, and the rise of new political ideas that surround the debate on the future of the European integration.
- Belarus Under Putin’s Radar
Mr. Franak Viačorka, the Vice President of the Digital Communication Network, discussed how Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made it clear to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenka that Minsk must take steps towards deeper integration between the two countries. Polls have shown that, following the rise of Russian media presence in Belarus, pro-Russian sentiment increased within the society. He explored the questions of what, exactly, the situation in Belarus is and what role Belarusian civil society, the EU, and the U.S. could play in the new paradigm.
- The Challenge of Counterintelligence Cultures: The Counterintelligence State from Tsarist Russia and the USSR, to Putin’s Russia, the PRC, Cuba & Venezuela, and Resurgent Militant Islam
Dr. Jack Dziak, a co-founder and President of Dziak Group, Inc. and an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics, discussed the concept of the counterintelligence state. From counterintelligence cum prevocational style of the Tsarist Okhrana’s near classic penetration operations against its indigenous Marxist revolutionary terrorists; through the long, ugly Soviet secret police period; to the counterintelligence continuities and refinements of former KGB Lt. Col. and now Russian President, Vladimir Putin. He also briefly discussed the PRC counterintelligence state, whose pedigree long antedates that of Russia, the highlight client counterintelligence state systems such as Cuba and Venezuela, and the unsurprising similarities between resurgent militant Islam and the Soviet/Russian counterintelligence state paradigm.
- A Journey to the Gulag: Experiencing History Through Virtual Reality
Mr. Štěpán Černoušek, a Fullbright scholar and the head of the Virtual Museum Gulag.Online and the Chairman of the Gulag.cz Association, spoke about the project documenting the Gulag camps and creating VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) experiences for the unique online Gulag museum. Around 20 million people went through the horrors of Soviet labor camps. At least 1.6 million of them died. Among the victims of Soviet repression were also people from European countries and the U.S. Currently, with the exception of the former Perm-36 project, there aren’t any museums in Russia of former Gulag camps from Stalin’s era. However, hundreds of abandoned camps are still hidden away in the Siberian taiga. A small group of enthusiasts visit and document these sites to virtually preserve them to make them accessible to the public through virtual and augmented reality. The lecture began with a documentary from Mr. Černoušek’s expeditions, “A Journey to the Gulag”, after which the presentation of the virtual museum followed.