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No place in Europe has been more at the center of the confrontation between western liberal democracy and Russian totalitarianism than what is now known as the Czech Republic. And today, with nearby neighbor Ukraine engulfed in a deadly war with Russia fighting to keep its sovereignty as a free nation, this confrontation is front and center in the minds of the Czech people. 

In
Liberty vs. Tyranny: Czech Views on Ukraine, Freedom and Democracy Shaped by Strife with Russia, a two-episode CITIZENARTS podcast, we provide their insights about the up and down history of the Czechs as a democratic people; tormented experience as subjects in a Soviet puppet state; and views about Russia’s war in Ukraine and the role of NATO -- a 
discussion made all the more relevant given the Czech Republic’s appointment to the UN Human Rights Council, replacing Russia’s membership that was suspended by the UN General Assembly on May 10, 2022.

This podcast is available at Apple Podcasts, any of the platforms listed above, or wherever you get your shows. For your convenience, you can also listen to Liberty vs. Tyranny: Czech Views on Ukraine, Freedom and Democracy Shaped by Strife with Russia by clicking the episode links below.

Listen to Liberty vs. Tyranny: Czech Views on Ukraine, Freedom and Democracy Shaped by Strife with Russia

Trailer -- Liberty vs. Tyranny: Czech Views on Ukraine, Freedom and Democracy Shaped by Strife with Russia

 

Listen as founder Jim Gabbe provides a brief overview of the latest CITIZENARTS podcast, the importance of the Czech experience to understanding what is happening – and could be to come – in Central and Eastern Europe given Russia’s latest aggression, and introduces the distinguished panel assembled for Episode one.

Episode One - Liberty vs. Tyranny: The Czech Experience

 

CITIZENARTS founder Jim Gabbe provides context for the deep understanding that the Czech people have about the Soviet Union’s subjugation of Central and Eastern European states and the victorious fight for a free and democratic Czech Republic.
 
Jim and four distinguished Czechs engage in an enlightening, provocative discussion about the history of democracy in Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union’s subjugation of the country, the hope of the Prague Spring which was crushed when Warsaw Pact tanks rolled into Prague, the victory of freedom and democracy in the Velvet Revolution and the newly formed Czech Republic’s decision to join NATO.

Joining us are: Jan Kavan, a student leader during the Prague Spring, later foreign minister, deputy prime minister of the Czech Republic and signatory to its NATO membership, and president of the United Nations General Assembly; Pavel Hlavacek, professor and authority on politics in the Czech Republic, and US foreign policy/security issues in East Asia; Eva Klabalova, designer, product developer, lecturer, and founder/creative director of KAVA footwear; and Jan Železný, the youngest member elected to his town council and currently a PhD student focused on global political economics, particularly the US-China rivalry and US foreign policy in Asia.

Episode Two - Liberty vs. Tyranny: Czech views on Russia’s war in Ukraine

 

In this second and final episode of Liberty vs. Tyranny: Czech Views on Ukraine, Freedom and Democracy Shaped by Strife with Russia, CITIZENARTS founder Jim Gabbe is once again joined by a distinguished panel of Czechs and other experts on the Czech Republic.

 

In this episode, the discussion turns to the Russian war on Ukraine. Given its history with Russia, fight for freedom and democracy and proximity to Ukraine - this  tragic confrontation is front and center in the minds of the Czech people.  Indeed, there are striking parallels between the Czech Republic and Ukraine experience - notably a growing orientation toward western Europe and democracy - and a brutally repressive response from Russia.

 

Joining us once again are: Jan Kavan, a student leader during the Prague Spring, later foreign minister, deputy prime minister of the Czech Republic and signatory to its NATO membership, and president of the United Nations General Assembly; Pavel Hlavacek, professor and authority on politics in the Czech Republic, and US foreign policy/security issues in East Asia; Eva Klabalova, designer, product developer, lecturer, and founder/creative director of KAVA footwear; and Jan Železný, the youngest member elected to his town council and currently a PhD student focused on global political economics, particularly the US-China rivalry and US foreign policy in Asia. And joining us for this episode are Aleš Fuksa, a noted Czech journalist and Scott Andrews, a former US Army linguist and currently a researcher and lecturer at the Military History Institute of the Czech University of Defence.

 
 

About the Panel

 

We extend our deepest gratitude to our panel of knowledgeable, accomplished, and thoughtful Czechs, some of whom lived through the Soviet Union’s oppression, others who have known only freedom, and all of whom live with the echoing threats and aggression toward their country in the actions of Russia today. Please click their names to read a brief bio.

Credits and Additional Information

 

Jim Gabbe - Host and director

Jeff Lewis - Producer and technical director

Jill S. Gabbe - Executive producer

Photo credit: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

Liberty vs. Tyranny: Czech Views on Ukraine, Freedom and Democracy Shaped by Strife with Russia is a production of CITIZENARTS. All rights are reserved.

For other CITIZENARTS podcasts, please visit: www.citizenartscreative.org/podcasts

 
 
Contact

For more information about Liberty vs. Tyranny: Czech Views on Ukraine, Freedom and Democracy Shaped by Strife with Russia, the MARCH audio drama podcast or any CITIZENARTS programming, please contact:

Jeff Lewis, Producer, CITIZENARTS

jeff.lewis@citizenartscreative.org