Our coverage of Wasiura

Michael Wasiura, Russia, Television

Michael Wasiura Reports, You Decide

A young man out of the University of Michigan idealistically joins the Peace Corps in 2006 and goes off to Odessa in Ukraine. A few academic degrees later, he returns to Odessa  where he falls in love with the region — and a beautiful Russian woman. They get married, and move to Moscow where he begins the life of a young expat in Russia.

 

He teaches English while he learns both the Russian language and the politics of his adopted land. Suddenly, he finds himself on a Russian version of cable news, a regular participant in View article …

Betlemi St, Tbilisi, Georgia, sign

I Challenged Putin’s Propaganda Machine — and Look What Happened. Part 4

PERSPECTIVE

This is Part 4 of a four-part series. Read Part 3 here.

In early February, I had written a worst-case-scenario letter to my son, printed it out, and sent it to a friend in Chicago for safekeeping. I couldn’t be sure of what was going to happen, or of what the ultimate consequences of the gathering storm might be for me personally — but just in case I disappeared into a penal colony, I wanted him to have something about what I was thinking in the moments before everything changed. The letter weighed the dilemma: View article …

Michael Wasiura, Russia, Television

I Challenged Putin’s Propaganda Machine From Within – Look What Happened. Part 1

PERSPECTIVE

Michael Wasiura is a freelance writer. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he received a Master’s Degree in International Economic Analysis from Fordham University, then taught English in Moscow before becoming a fixture on Russian television.

I was pretty sure I had just created an international incident. Twenty minutes earlier, live on a nationally televised Russian political talk show, I had credibly accused the Russian state of committing crimes against humanity. 

I View article …

Artyom Sheynin, Michael Wasiura, Russian TV

I Challenged Putin’s Propaganda Machine From Within — Look What Happened. Part 2

 

PERSPECTIVE

This is Part 2 of a four-part series. Read Part 1 here.

At an hour when most of the people tuning in could only be retirees, housewives, off-duty taxi drivers, and others with a 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. gap in their weekday afternoon, the fact that Russia’s main channels all featured programs on issues of international importance might appear admirable to an American audience accustomed to seeing soap operas, Jerry Springer, Judge Judy, or Keeping Up With the Kardashians at such hours. 

View article …

Russian nesting dolls, propaganda

I Challenged Putin’s Propaganda Machine — and Look What Happened. Part 3

PERSPECTIVE

This is Part 3 of a four-part series. Read Part 2 here.

Regardless of the topic, the tactic of throwing out mutually contradictory “versions” always seemed to work for the debate’s predetermined winners: 

The novel coronavirus was an American bioweapon genetically modified to infect only people of “Mongoloid” ethnicity, and the US was failing to cope with wave after wave of COVID-19 infections at home. 

Minneapolis police officers were sadist pigs, and peaceful protesters against police violence were destroying America. 

Leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny had faked his View article …

Protest, Russia, invasion, Ukraine, Tbilisi

Among the Anti-Putin Russians on the Run in Tbilisi

TBILISI, GEORGIA — On February 24, the evening Russia invaded Ukraine, a few thousand locals gathered in front of the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi to protest. Among them were several dozen Russians. You knew at a glance they were Russian, because the signs they held said so. “I’m Russian,” one read (in English). “Sorry for that.”  

 

Even before the war, this liberal, mobile, and disproportionately westernized group had understood that there was no future for them back home. As the full horror of the Kremlin’s plans — both for Ukraine and for Russia — became apparent View article …