Category Archives: Russia

The Kościuszko Chair Intermarium Lecture Series in the Academic Year 2018/2019

In the academic year 2018/2019, monthly lectures were given as a part of our Intermarium lecture series.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

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.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. 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.

Click here to watch the lecture.

Briefing for the US Army War College, Class of 2018, IWP, May 2018.

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz participated in a briefing for the US Army War College, Class of 2018, organized at IWP, elaborating on the Contingency Planning for the Intermarium in the event of a Russian invasion.

https://www.iwp.edu/news_publications/detail/united-states-army-war-college-students-visit-iwp-for-seminar-with-iwp-faculty

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Centennial Commemoration, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, November 2017.

On November 8, 2017, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz moderated a panel on “The Failure of Marxism and the Collapse of the Soviet Union” at the Victims of Communism Centennial Commemoration, a three-day conference organized by the The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to mark the horror of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Panelists included Dr. Paul R. Gregory, Hoover Fellow; Dr. Alan Charles Kors, scholar of European intellectual history; and Dr. Russell Roberts, Hoover Fellow and EconTalk podcast. The event took place at the Library of Congress.

Dr. Chodakiewicz covered the topic of the failure of Marxism in a recent piece for the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research, entitled “Marxism’s Failure Tripped the USSR.”

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz was one of the speakers at the Project Gray Symposium on Russian Engagement in the Gray Zone

Project Gray is a collaborative study of the Gray Zone – the space between war and peace – where competitive interactions that fall short of a formal state of war, and which are characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty about relevant policy and legal frameworks, are undertaken by state and non-state actors.

The symposium took place on October 19-20, 2016. A joint endeavor of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the Special Operations Center of Excellence and the National Defense University, the Symposium brought scholars, research institutes, practitioners and other interested parties to discuss Russia’s role in today’s Gray Zone environment. It presented Russian engagement in the Zone, analyzing all the Russian activities that support its military effort to advance the strategic aims of this country.

Dr. Chodakiewicz was one of the participants of The Round Table Discussion on Russian Propaganda in the Media as an Element of Global Strategy and the Effectiveness of Strategic Communication. His lecture briefly characterized the nature of contemporary Russian strategic communication.  Then, it analyzed its most salient features illustrated with examples.

Gray Zone Challenges require a collaborative effort between the military, the interagency, academia and research institutions to provide a flexible and agile response sufficient to meet the changing character of war. To address these conflicts, the U.S. organization as well as the intellectual and institutional models to operate successfully in the Gray Zone need to evolve. Through a series of events with academic, government and military partners, and other interested parties, Project Gray attempts to analyze regional and trans-national conflicts, find solutions and develop best practices to operate in the middle ground between war and peace. The Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies of the Institute of World Politics is proud to be a part of that important work.

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Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz joined the prestigious 40th Writers’ Workshop as a speaker

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz was invited to give a lecture at the prestigious 40th Writers’ Workshop, which took place in Washington D.C. on September 25, 2016. The Workshop’s topic this year was immigration. In his lecture, Intermarium, the Land between the Black and Baltic Seas, Dr. Chodakiewicz discussed the characteristics of the migrant crisis in various parts of Europe as well as possible American response to it.

He began his analysis from the history of the Intermarium region and its crucial role for the stability of Europe and world peace. He stressed Intermarium’s Christian identity dating back to 966 A.D. as well as its unique democratic tradition. Peoples inhabiting Intermarium have developed an original form of government – an elective monarchy, in which 1 million people had the right to participate in the political process. This level of political freedom was reached by other countries of the world only in the 19th (U.S., the UK) and 20th century. This political system, known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, is responsible for the countries of Intermarium being somehow culturally different from the countries of Western Europe. Their strong republican and individualistic tradition makes them more akin to the Unites States of America.

Historical part of the lecture provided background information allowing to understand different approaches to immigration in the Western Europe and in the Intermarium region. By virtue of its cultural identity, stronger individualism and stronger beliefs, as well as a worse economic situation, the countries of Intermarium are less interesting a location for the migrants. However, the migrant crisis still results in the destabilization of the whole continent. With Russia pushing for the reintegration of what it believes to be its sphere of influence, the situation of Europe becomes more and more unpredictable. Therefore, it would be good for the United States to monitor the situation in the region and support those European allies, which are the most similar to the United States in terms of absolute values and democratic tradition.

Europe, including the Intermarium, needs America’s leadership. This concerns not only defense issues via NATO, but also the Old Continent’s immigration crisis. If the United States solves its own immigration problems, this also can serve as a paradigm for its European NATO allies about the ways to address theirs.

Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium

The Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium took place on April 9th, 2016. The links to the lectures as well as their summaries are published below:

Mrs. Maria Juczewska
Scholars or Friends? Women in John Paul II’s Life
John Paul II died eleven year ago and the memories of his pontificate are fading away. This is a convenient moment to try to re-invent the history should anybody wish to do so. This is why we have to learn and remember who the Slavic pope was and what he taught.
The main interest of John Paul II as a priest and as a scholar and theologian was the marriage and the family. His work with people, both in the youth ministry at the beginning of his career and later, with individual scholars, was focused on those interests. His friendships with Wanda Poltawska and Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka were based on scholarly interests and served the purpose of furthering his theological concepts and the idea of the civilization of life.
The journalists who inquire into Pope’s life tend to be more interested in juicy gossip that the truth. This is why their revelations need to be approached with a lot of skepticism and thorough knowledge about the life of an exceptional man and a saint.’

Dr. Ewa Salkiewicz-Munnerlyn
The Vatican and Its Tradition of Diplomacy: 2,000 years
The pontifical diplomacy is different from the secular one due to the fact that it is based on custom and very long tradition rather than written codes. It differs also because the diplomats of the Holy See need to be first of all devoted priests and persons characterized by loyalty, coherence and profound humanity. The envoys of the Holy See are first of all of the servants of the Word of God and the bearers of the Pope’s words.
The Catholic Church is the only religious institution in the world that has access to diplomatic relations and interested in the international law. It is a universal and international organization. What enters into diplomatic relations is neither the Catholic Church as a community of believers nor the State of Vatican City but The Holy See (the Pontiff and the Roman Curia), a separate subject of international law of religious and moral values. The Apostolic See has the nature of a moral person by divine law itself. Apostolic nunzios, whose role corresponds to that of secular ambassadors, are invested with both ecclesial and diplomatic missions. The former relates to the contacts with the local bodies of the Church, the latter relates to contacts with the representatives of a given state.

Mr. John Czop
Peasant Politics in France and Poland, 1750 to the Present
This lecture tests how the views of Barrington Moore, Jr., on regime change, and of Eugen Weber, on the process of modernization, fit the cases of France and Poland between 1750 and now.
Barrington Moore, Jr. posited a theory on the social origins of dictatorship and democracy. First, a problem of how the relationships between landlords and peasants, that is the reaction to commercialized agriculture, shaped different paths to modernity through, among others, democratic revolutions in the Atlantic world. The examples of France, Poland and England are compared.
Eugen Weber, in turn, was preoccupied in how the people of local identity, that had not identified themselves in national terms before, gained national identity in Europe in the second half on the 18th century. Again, the situation in France and Poland in terms of relationships between the land owners and the peasants is analyzed as well as the genesis of the sense of national identity in the two countries.

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
Counterintelligence as Strategic Communications: Russia’s Tradition of Deception and Denial
Virtually all Russian state operations are also counterintelligence operations, including strategic messaging/communications. Counterintelligence in the Muscovite tradition means neutralizing all opposition. This tradition dates back to the pre-Muscovy times.
Russian strategic communication is characterized by a number of recurring themes. It involves disinformation techniques, such as manipulation, reciprocity, analogy, provocation, and signals (sometimes they overlap; often they are case studies in predictability).
The ideology, institutions and tools that are used to form and implement strategic communication of the Russian Federation are based on the experiences of Tsarist Russia, Bolshevik Russia and the Soviet Union. Strategic communication targets both the Russian population and the elites as well as general public of other countries through media portals, agents of influence, manipulated celebrities and mercenaries.
Even though Russian foreign propaganda is hardly successful in persuading average people (being successful mainly with opinion-making elites), Russian influence perversely implants nefarious thought patterns and reinforces malicious narratives. It also promotes individuals and groups that use Russian media as a platform to project themselves and their message.

Dr. Tomasz Sommer
Latest revelations from the Soviet secret police archives
The latest historical discoveries regarding the Polish Operation of NKVD from 1937-1938 were discussed. The problem number one was the lack of the original order 00485, which sanctioned anti-Polish operation. It was found in Kiev a year ago and presented at a press conference in Warsaw. It was made available on Wikipedia for everyone interested to see.
Another important problem was the question of how the Polska Organizacja Wwojskowa – according to Soviets the main risk factor for the Soviet system – emerged. A solution to this puzzle was found in the State Archives in Chernihiv. Skarbek was pointed as a head of the POW by the deputy minister pointed Konar-Poleszczuk who in January 1933 was tried in Moscow for causing the Great Famine. During the judicial procedure he admitted to his role in causing Great Famine and explained that he has performed his bad deeds with the help of Polish nationalists from POW whose leader was Skarbek. Why exactly the eager communist Skarbek was accused by him of such a notorious crime? The explanation is simple – he simply knew him from the 20s from Kiev.
Skarbek, of course, could not assassinate Stalin and destroy the Soviet Union alone. Therefore, OGPU created the group of co-conspirators for him co-opting the people who were on trial earlier in 1928 to “the conspiracy”. With time the number of suspected Poles was increasing dynamically, with victims singled out on the basis of as little as a Polish-sounding name in the final stages of the genocide.
There is an urgent need to create a list of the victims of the anti-Polish operations. Approx. 40 percent of victims – almost 80 thousand Poles were executed in the Ukraine. In the archives of the SBU set of those lists was found. Thanks to them the mechanism of the genocide can be accurately described. In the documents there is also detailed information about the places of burial.
What is needed now is archeography, the mining of the resources whose number amounts to 10 million pages in the archive of the SBU alone. Surely, after this enormous material has been read, the history of the Great Terror will have to be written again. Naturally, many historians should work on this task. What Dr. Sommer wants to do alone is to read through as much of material relating to the anti-Polish operation as he can before the Ukrainian archives close inevitably, which is an imminent threat related to the situation in the Ukraine.

Mr. Albert Lulushi
The Origins of CIA’s Involvement in Regime Change and Paramilitary Operations
Beginning in 1949, CIA embarked on a series of covert paramilitary operations aimed at destabilizing and overthrowing Soviet satellite governments in Europe. The planning and execution of these operations was modeled after the widely successful operations that OSS mounted during World War II.
The outcome was very different. The lecture describes CIA’s initial experience in paramilitary operations using as a case study its efforts to force a regime change in Communist Albania between 1949 and 1954. The origins of the Agency were described as well as Kim Philby’s spying activities’ contribution to the failure of certain operations.
The aspect of transferability of those experiences was discussed as well.

 

Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium is coming!

You are cordially invited to the Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium that is going to take place on April 9th, 2016.

The program and location of the Symposium may be found here:

http://www.iwp.edu/events/detail/kosciuszko-chair-spring-symposium-4

Dr. Chodakiewicz discusses freedom and security of the Intermarium region at the Cornell Club

On November 21 2015, Dr. Chodakiewicz has given a lecture entitled Polish Freedom and Democratic Traditions in Anglo-Saxon Perspective for the Polish American Business Club. The event was held at the Cornell Club in New York and discussed the matters of freedom and security in the Intermarium both in the historical and the contemporary perspective.

The lecture may be watched here:

Questions from the audience are here:

Dr. Chodakiewicz reviews “The Rise and Fall of Belarusian Nationalism, 1906-1931” by Per Anders Rudling

According to Professor Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Per Anders Rudling’s The Rise and Fall of Belarusian Nationalism, 1906-1931 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) is seriously flawed both as far as its intellectual framework and understanding of subtle nature of the identity of the people inhabiting Belorussian lands. More in-depth research and less analytical bias stripped of leftist ideological prejudice should fix the problem. A version of the review was published as “Scholarship of Imagination,” East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, vol. 2, no. 3 (2015), posted at http://www.ewjus.com/

The full review is also available here: Scholarship-of-Imagination-May2015

 

Eighth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Conference

On Saturday, November 14th, The Eight Annual Kosciuszko Chair Conference took place. Topics discussed a number of questions related to the past and the contemporary reality of the Intermarium as well as its closer and more distant neighbors.

Topics and speakers included:

“Poland for the Poles!” Recent Research on Christian Nationalism
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies, IWP

Reflections on Russian Youth and their Perceptions of Reality and the World
Harrison Grady

China in the Intermarium: The Ukraine and Belarus Connections
Dr. Paul Coyer
IWP Research Professor, Contributor to Forbes

Jews and the Polish Underground: A Book to End History?
John Armstrong
Independent Scholar

Active Measures and the Smolensk Investigation
Dr. Chris J. Cieszewski
Professor, University of Georgia

Free Expression in Contemporary Poland
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director, American Transparency

Grupa Azoty and the Information War
Maria Juczewska
Student, IWP