February 23 - Behind the Capture of the Mexican Drug Lord; Who Will Fill the Vacuum in Ukraine?; Rebooting Ukraine

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with the capture of the Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” (shorty) Guzman in a luxury hotel in the tourist resort of Mazatlan. Mexico City-based journalist Ioan Grillo, the author of “El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency” joins us to discuss the role of Mexican Marines in recapturing the fugitive drug lord who Forbes magazine has named number 67 on its list of the world’s most powerful people, and what role U.S. intelligence might have played in nabbing Chicago’s public enemy number one.

ioan grillo


Part 2

Then we speak with the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer, who is now director of the Brookings Institution’s Arms Control Initiative where he focuses on arms control, Ukraine and Russian issues.  We discuss the sudden collapse of the kleptocratic Yanukovych regime and what might follow it to fill the political vacuum, as well as who might pony up to help the almost bankrupt country recover now that Russia’s $15 billion loan is likely to be put on hold as the “spoiler” Putin decides his next move now that his puppet has fled his palace.

steven pifer


Part 3

Then finally we speak with a Ukrainian scholar Mykola Riabchuk, a senior research fellow at the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Studies in Kyiv, and co-founder and member of the editorial board of Krytyka, a leading Ukrainian intellectual magazine. We discuss the future of a divided country that has just undergone its third post-Soviet revolution, and whether another kleptocrat, Yulia Tymoshenko, who was just released from prison, will fill the void or whether the country could be rebooted in a less corrupt and more lawful direction.

mykola riabchuk