The Eisendrath Symposium with Elena Milashina, Simon Ostrovsky and Ronald Suny

April 07, 2022

  • 2022 |
  • knight-wallace |

While the Russian invasion of Ukraine swiftly united NATO and western nations in condemning Putin, enacting sanctions and supplying defense weapons, there are growing cries for the U.S. and its NATO allies to do more militarily. Join Knight-Wallace journalists who have reported extensively from the region and a U-M policy expert as they examine Putin’s suppression of a free press, the call for direct military support, and the geopolitical, economic and humanitarian consequences of the growing conflict.

Elena Milashina is an award-winning senior investigative reporter for Novaya Gazeta, the acclaimed independent Russian news organization that recently ceased publication in response to threats of closure and imprisonment from the Putin regime. Simon Ostrovsky is a video journalist and filmmaker who reports for PBS NewsHour and The New York Times. Ronald Suny is a professor of history and political science at U-M and a senior researcher at the National Research University-Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Wallace House Director, Lynette Clemetson, will lead this discussion.

The Eisendrath Symposium on International Reporting honors Charles R. Eisendrath, former director of Wallace House, and his lifelong commitment to international journalism.

About the Speakers

Elena Milashina is a 2009-2010 Knight-Wallace Fellow and an investigative journalist “Novaya Gazeta,” Russia’s last remaining independent newspaper before it ceased publication in response to threats from the Putin regime. She investigates and brings to attention accounts of enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, torture, and persecution of relatives of alleged insurgents, women’s rights in Chechnya and beyond. Milashina exposed a major crackdown on gay men in Chechnya in spring 2017, investigated the catastrophe of the Kursk submarine, and hostage crises in Moscow and Beslan. She has documented atrocities committed by both sides during the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict and pressed for an end to impunity. She has repeatedly received death threats from the Chechen authorities. She is the recipient of Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism ad the International Women of Courage Award.

Simon Ostrovsky is a 2021-2022 Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow. As a Special Correspondent for PBS NewsHour and an investigative journalist, he is best known for his coverage of the Crimea crisis and the war in eastern Ukraine for which he was nominated for two Emmys. He won a DuPont Award from Columbia University in 2015 for his “Selfie Soldiers” documentary, which tracked Russian soldiers in Ukraine through their social media posts, and an Emmy Award in 2014 as a producer of VICE on HBO. Ostrovsky has covered extensively the countries of the former Soviet Union, where he witnessed five revolutions and four wars. He has served as South Caucasus Bureau Chief for Agence France Presse and as an investigative reporter at CNN. His work also has appeared on the BBC and CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”

Ronald Suny is the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago.  The grandson of the composer and ethnomusicologist Grikor Mirzaian Suni and a graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University, he taught at Oberlin College (1968-1981), as visiting professor of history at the University of California, Irvine (1987), and Stanford University (1995-1996).  He also served as Senior Researcher at the National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg (2014-2016).  He was the first holder of the Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of Michigan (1981-1995), where he founded and directed the Armenian Studies Program. 

About the Moderator

Lynette Clemetson is the Charles R. Eisendrath Director of Wallace House, home of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists and the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists at the University of Michigan.

Thank you to our co-sponsors:

Knight Foundation

Michigan Radio

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia

Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Detroit Public Television

PBS Books