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Russia: The Foe We Only Half Know (Postponed to 3/15)

  • Marriott Residence Inn, Pentagon City (map)


Postponed to Thursday, March 15th
Dr. Robert Legvold

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The next Rethinking Seminar in the Rethinking Future Environments and Strategic Challenges Series has been POSTPONED UNTIL THURSDAY, MARCH 15.  The speaker, Dr. Robert Legvold, is coming from Eastern Massachusetts, which is predicted to be hit with high winds and 12-18 inches of snow starting tonight and continuing through early Wednesday morning.  If you have already registered for the Tuesday event, you do not have to register again. 

All other details have not changed and are provided below.  All available video, audio, presentation, and bulletized notes files for previous events can be found on the Video ArchivesPast Series and Speakers pages of the


Columbia University
Russia: The Foe We Only Half Know
Marriott Residence Inn, Pentagon City (6:00 – 8:00 PM)

Over the past several years, the Russian government has provided support to Syria in its civil war, maintained its support for the separatist regimes in eastern Ukraine, intervened in the U.S. electoral process and that of European allies, pushed false narratives to sway Western public opinion, and is rebuilding its armed forces, while modernizing all three legs of its nuclear triad.  Dr. Legvold’s talk will discuss why the Russians are doing what they are doing. His talk will examine:

  • The Russian leadership on the eve of elections, its priorities and perspectives as it looks both inward and outward;
  • The factors driving Russian foreign policy and the resources sustaining it;
  • Constraints on Russia foreign policy options: structural, material and political;
  • Whether the Russian leadership has a strategic vision, and, if so, what it is;
  • The Russian leadership’s view of allies and adversaries, including its assessment of the United States;
  • The Russian leadership’s expectations as it contemplates Russia's future and key trends in the world over the next 5-10 years; and
  • Improving U.S. policy toward a Russia that we only half understand.

Dr. Robert Legvold is Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, where he specialized in the international relations of the post-Soviet states. Previously, he was Director of The Harriman Institute, one of the world's leading academic institutions devoted to Russian, Eurasian and East European studies. Prior to coming to Columbia in 1984, he served for six years as Senior Fellow and Director of the Soviet Studies Project at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  Dr. Legvold also served on the faculty of the Department of Political Science at Tufts University and was project director for “Rethinking U.S. Policy toward Russia” at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 2009-2012 he was director of the “Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative” sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Dr. Legvold's areas of particular interest are the foreign policies of Russia, Ukraine, and the other new states of the former Soviet Union, U.S. relations with the post-Soviet states, and the impact of the post-Soviet region on the international politics of Asia and Europe. His most recent books are collaborative volumes including The Policy World Meets Academia: Designing U.S. Policy toward Russia (2010) and Russian Foreign Policy in the Twenty-first Century and the Shadow of the Past (2007). His most recent essays include “Reconciling Limitations on Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons Conventional Arms Control, and Missile Defense Cooperation,” in Steve Andreasen and Isabelle Williams, eds., Reducing Nuclear Risks in Europe: A Framework for Action (2011) and “Encountering Globalization Russian Style,” in Julie Wilhelmsen and Elana Wilson Rowe, eds., Russia’s Encounter with Globalization (2011).

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