In this episode of KennanX our host, Jill Dougherty, explores the lasting legacy and impact of Chernobyl. We are joined by Craig Mazin, Creator and Producer of HBO’s Chernobyl; Serhii Plokhii, Director, Ukraine Research Institute, Harvard University; Masha Gessen, Staff Writer at The New Yorker; and Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Advisor at the Kennan Institute and Editor-In-Chief of The Russia File.

Listen to the episode below. You can also find us on Apple Podcasts HERE and on Libsyn HERE.



More about this episode's experts:

Craig Mazin is the writer and executive producer of the five-part series Chernobyl, which tells the true story of the world’s worst nuclear disaster and the remarkable acts of bravery and sacrifice that followed. The series premieres on HBO in May and stars Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson. Mazin’s previous writing credits include the blockbuster films Identity Theif, The Hangover 2 and 3, and The Huntsman: Winter's War. Mazin currently cohosts the popular weekly screenwriting podcast “Scriptnotes” with fellow writer John August.

Serhii Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. A leading authority on the region, he has published extensively in English, Ukrainian and Russian. Plokhii is the author of several influential monographs, including, Lost Kingdom: The Quest for Empire and the Making of the Russian Nation (New York, 2017). His newest book, Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe was be released by the Basic Books in May 2018.


Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Advisor at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. Mr. Trudolyubov was the editorial page editor of Vedomosti between 2003 and 2015. He has been a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times since the fall of 2013.



Masha Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Gessen is the author of ten books, including “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” which won the National Book Award in 2017, and “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin.” Gessen has written about Russia, autocracy, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, among others, for The New York Review of Books and the New York Times


Our host, Jill Dougherty, is an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union. In her three-decade career with CNN she served as Foreign Affairs Correspondent, based in Washington, D.C., where she covered the State Department and provided analysis on international issues. Dougherty previously served as U.S. Affairs Editor for CNN International; Managing Editor of CNN International Asia/Pacific, based in Hong Kong; and CNN's Moscow Bureau Chief and Correspondent.