The Sunday Show At The Riga Conference
1 October, 2017

This week Hromadske presents a special edition of The Sunday Show. We always make sure to provide you with the coverage of the most current and topical issues, even if that means traveling to a different country. And the Riga Conference in Latvia was certainly the place to be at this weekend. Started in 2006, it has been an annual platform for global decision-makers to discuss the most vital issues in international relations and security. Hromadske is proud to partner with The Riga Conference for the third consecutive year.

This week, we have prepared six exclusive interviews with top global experts on Ukraine, Russia, and international security.

✅ Making Defense Reform Stick

It has been over three years since Russia invaded Ukraine, and defense remains an important issue. Ukraine has already undergone a number of reforms in the defense sector, but there is still much room for improvement. Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who worked as a police officer for many years, discusses how to reform the defense and law enforcement sectors, how to ensure those reforms take root, and how Canada can help.

Harjit Sajjan

Canadian Defense Minister

✅ The Economies of Russia and Ukraine, Explained

Since the Euromaidan revolution and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian economy has experienced an extreme collapse and, only recently, stabilization. Meanwhile, falling oil prices and Western sanctions have hit Russia hard. Sergei Guriev, chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, assesses Ukraine’s path to a stronger economy and explains how Russia’s isolation from global markets affected the country’s economy.

Sergei Guriev
Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

✅ Russia's Peacekeeper Proposal: A Critical Look

The prospect of sending a United Nations Peacekeeping Mission to the Russian-occupied Donbas is not new. But it received a new impetus when Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to endorse it on September 5. However, Putin emphasized that the peacekeepers should only be present on the contact line with the goal of guarding the OSCE mission. Meanwhile, Ukraine and the West did not agree. Former Deputy Secretary General of NATO (2012-2016) Alexander Vershbow explains to Hromadske why Putin’s proposal would not actually resolve the conflict and what the U.S. could possibly have done differently to stop Russian aggression from spreading so widely.

Alexander Vershbow

Deputy Secretary General of NATO (2012-2016)

✅ Fighting Oligarchy in Latvia

Ten years ago, it was a widely accepted fact that three oligarchs wielded excessive power over Latvian politics. Then a failed anti-corruption investigation, followed by a magazine report on their backroom political and business machinations, helped to bring their corruption to public attention. Pauls Raudseps — editor of IR Magazine, which uncovered the oligarch’s business activities — talks about Latvia’s experience fighting oligarchic corruption.

Pauls Raudseps

Leading Latvian journalist, IR Magazine editor

✅ Britain and Ukraine After Brexit

Britain’s decision to exit the European Union has been broadly perceived as a negative blow against European unity and, by extension, against Ukraine’s European path. But the situation isn’t as grim as many think, says Chatham House’s Robert Brinkley. He believes that, after leaving the EU, the United Kingdom will continue to support Ukraine. And the country’s newfound freedom from the bloc might even offer a few advantages.

Robert Brinkley

Chatham House Ukraine Forum, Russia and Eurasia Program Head

✅ Russia Entering a Transition


In 2018, Russia will go to the polls to elect its president. There is little doubt that President Vladimir Putin will be reelected for another six-year term. But that won’t entirely be a victory for him. Putin will effectively be a lame duck — after the new term, he will have to leave office or risk violating the constitution. What we he do? How will the Russian political system handle the approaching specter of a transition. RFE/RL’s Brian Whitmore describes the upcoming challenges for the Kremlin.

Brian Whitmore

Russia analyst at RFE/RL and author of the Power Vertical podcast