Author Ben Judah (‘Fragile Empire’) discusses how his extensive research in Russia’s furthest-flung regions shows from below the weakness of the Russian state and its ethnic tensions; and reveals the increasing anger of the periphery and the failure of the regime to engage ordinary Russians.
Ben Judah was born in 1988, less than three years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. He studied at Oxford University and has travelled widely in Russia and Central Asia. He has reported from the abandoned Gulags of Kolyma, tracked a Yeti in Tajikistan, and covered the Georgian war and revolutionary violence in Kyrgyzstan.
His work has featured in the Financial Times, the Economist, the New York Times, Prospect, Standpoint and Foreign Policy. He reported for Reuters in Moscow before joining the European Council on Foreign Relations in London as a Russia analyst. He is currently a visiting fellow at the European Stability Initiative
Tonia Samsonova is a foreign correspondent working for Russian radio station Echo Moskvy, she is also a host on TVRain, an independent online TV channel. In 2013 she moved to London to investigate Russian corruption.