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Generation Putin, Ten Years Later

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This week Jessica Partnow offers a look at the state of youth activism in Russia from 2012 to today. She revisits her reporting from Ukraine and Russia and speaks with the people in those stories against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. First, she shares the story of re-connecting with her childhood pen pal Sasha, a Ukrainian boy who witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union and is now fighting to protect his country from the Russian invasion, through the eyes of his sister Anna who now lives in the US and is desperately trying to stay connected with her Ukrainian family and friends under siege. Later, we meet Vassili, a Muscovite who has always been proud of his country but is now grappling with a grim view of its future.

Special thanks to PRX, the Public Radio Exchange & Open Society Foundations.

Image Credit: Sasha Krizhanofsky reads his 1990 letter to Jessica Partnow in Korsun-Shevchenkivs’kyi, Ukraine, 2012.

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  • Anna Pirogova – Ukrainian citizen who emigrated to the U.S.

  • Vassili Sonkin – Russia-based journalist, translator, producer


Producer/Writer/Reporter: Jessica Partnow

Producer/Engineer/Co-Host: Monica Lopez

Additional 2012 reporting by: Sarah Stuteville, Alex Stonehill

The Making Contact Team

  • Interim Executive Director: Jessica Partnow
  • Staff Producers: Anita Johnson, Monica Lopez, Salima Hamirani


Music Credits:

  • Chris Zabriskie, “That Hopeful Future is All I’ve Ever Known”

  • Xylo-Ziko, “Submersible”

  • Xylo-Ziko, “Alternate”

  • Knit Your Own Scarf, “Nadie Sabe”

  • Xylo-Ziko, “Fireflies”

  • Kevin MacLeod, “Parisian”

  • Morgan Dusatko, “BARZAN Cue 4”

  • Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, Coda: Allegro molto vivace, Swan Lake

  • Scorpions, “Wind of Change”

More Information:

Author: Radio Project

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