Reconsidering Russia and the Former Soviet Union (not be confused with Rethinking Russia) is an online publication dedicated to Russia and the post-Soviet space. It was launched in March 2014 by Pietro A. Shakarian, a historian of Russia and the former USSR.
Shakarian earned his PhD in History at The Ohio State University, 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. He has lived and traveled extensively in the post-Soviet space. In 2021-22, he lectured at the American University of Armenia in Yerevan and he currently works as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the National Research University–Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg. In addition, Shakarian has written about developments in Russia and the former Soviet space for various publications, including The Nation, The Plain Dealer, and the Russian International Affairs Council and he has appeared on The John Batchelor Show. He also has collaborated with historian Ara Sarafian on several projects for the London-based Gomidas Institute, including the publication of new editions of rare historical books on the Caucasus in the Tsarist and Soviet periods.
Shakarian founded Reconsidering Russia while an MA student at the University of Michigan. It subsequently became a source of information and analyses on developments in the post-Soviet space for use by students, scholars, journalists, and interested readers. Entries have been 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, and World Politics Review, as well as in various books and web sources.
The Reconsidering Russia podcast series began in April 2015. The first episode featured Armenian political comedian Sergey Sargsyan, who later appeared with his fellow ArmComedian Narek Margaryan on The Conan O’Brien Show in May 2017. The podcast series has since become the dominant feature of Reconsidering Russia. Subsequent installments have featured various experts and analysts on Russia and the former Soviet region, covering an array of subjects including history, politics, literature, and culture. Prominent guests include Jack Matlock, Vladimir Pozner, Ellendea Proffer Teasley, Zhores Medvedev, and Fred Weir. The podcast has been praised by David Johnson of Johnson’s Russia List as “a podcast worthy of the name.” It is recorded from the Whisper Room Audio Studio at the Prior Health Sciences Library at The Ohio State University. Episodes are available online through MixCloud.