Reconsidering Russia and the Former Soviet Union (not be confused with Rethinking Russia) is an online publication dedicated to Russia and the ex-Soviet republics. It is intended to serve as a source for reliable information and analyses regarding developments in the post-Soviet space for use by students, scholars, journalists, and interested readers. Entries are regularly featured on Johnson’s Russia List and have been cited in media as diverse as The John Batchelor Show, The Nation, The National Interest, The Wall Street Journal, World Politics Review, and the Stanford University Libraries website as well as in books, including Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands by Richard Sakwa. Reconsidering Russia podcasts are available online through iTunes and SoundCloud.
The author of Reconsidering Russia is Pietro A. Shakarian, a PhD Candidate in Russian History at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He earned his MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, his MLIS at Kent State University, and his BA in History at John Carroll University in Cleveland. In addition to Reconsidering Russia, he has written about developments in Russia and the former Soviet space for The Nation, Hetq Online, and Russia Direct and he has appeared on The John Batchelor Show and the podcast for Sean’s Russia Blog.
Since August 2013, he has also served as an Associate Editor for the London-based Gomidas Institute. He is the author of Haze Over Ararat, a historical overview of the environmental movement in Soviet Armenia published on Gomidas’ Armenian Review Online. This was later translated into Armenian by Lilit Grigoryan, an MA Graduate Student in Russian Translation at Kent State University.
He also worked with Gomidas to publish critical editions of rare historical books on the Caucasus in the Tsarist and Soviet periods. They include Journey to Ararat (1846) by Friedrich Parrot, Transcaucasia and the Tribes of the Caucasus (1854-55) by Baron August von Haxthausen, and The Red Flag of Ararat (1932) by Aghavnie “Ave” Yeghenian. These critical editions were produced with assistance from the John G. White Special Collection of Folklore, Orientalia and Chess at the Cleveland Public Library.
With four other contributors, Mr. Shakarian also co-authors The Abovyan Group, an online publication on the history and culture of Russian, Soviet, and post-Soviet Armenia.
Outside of Russian, Soviet, and Caucasus history, he is also interested in international cinema, art (especially cubism and the Russian avant-garde), world literature, and jazz. He also launched a blog dedicated to Soviet film, entitled Back in the USSR, in 2011, though it has not been regularly updated since 2013.