Swimming in a Sea of Podcasts: The War in Ukraine Edition

I’ve been thinking about doing a follow-up to last year’s post on podcasts for about a month. Inspired by Paula’s recent piece on her outstanding blog Book Jotter I finally decided to do so – but with a twist. As Russia’s military onslaught attempts to crush Ukraine and forcibly reincorporate it one form or another into some later-day Russian Empire it’s imperative we keep abreast of the latest developments. But we also can’t hoodwinked by Russian propaganda, be it repeated on the political left or right. Therefore, with that in mind here’s a number of podcasts I’ve found helpful in providing valuable and trusted insight into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Angry Planet – After stumbling across this podcast last summer I’ve become a huge fan. Formally called War College, here you can listen to “conversations about conflict on an angry planet.” The interviews they’ve been doing of late pertaining to the Russian invasion have been top-notch. 

SpyTalk – Proudly advertising itself a podcast “devoted to the intersection of foreign policy, intelligence, and military operations” co-hots Jeff Stein and Jeanne Meserve have done a great job of late interviewing knowledgeable experts in the run-up to and wake of Russia’s invasion. 

Popular Front – The Popular Front podcast focuses on “the niche details of modern warfare and under-reported conflicts.” Originating in the UK, with host Jake Hanrahan and his Midlands accent it’s like listening to a cool and intelligent soccer hooligan interview journalists and military experts over pints in a pub. 

Deep State RadioAuthor and commentator David Rothkopf hosts a lively and smart roundtable discussion covering important issues foreign and domestic. The coverage of Ukraine over the last month or so has been quite good. 

The President’s Inbox  – Produced by the Council on Foreign Relations, each week host Senior Vice President and Director of Studies James M. Lindsay  interviews notable authors and officials in the fields of international relations and foreign politics.

The Bulwark –  Host Charlie Sykes is among a handful of conservatives like David Frum and the men and women of the Lincoln Project like Rick Wilson and Reed Galen I enjoy listening to and valuing their opinions. Like much of what he does, his coverage of the Russian invasion has been a thoughtful and intelligent breath of fresh air. 

The Lawfare Podcast – This  weekly law and government-focused podcast in cooperation with the Brookings Institution features “interviews with policymakers, scholars, journalists, and analysts” as well as lectures and panel discussions. Since the start of the year there’s been some great episodes on Russia, Ukraine and other related topics.

GZERO World with Ian Bremmer– “The United States will no longer play global policeman, and no one else wants the job. This is not a G-7 or a G-20 world. Welcome to the GZERO, a world made volatile by an intensifying international battle for power and influence.” The podcast version of Ian Bremmer’s weekly PBS TV show in which he interviews world leaders and thought leaders on a wide range of important issues. 

The Daily– From The New York Times, five days a week host Michael Barbaro interviews Times journalist to get their perspective on the day’s big stories. (There’s also a longform piece read by a professional narrator that drops every Sunday.) Great source for news about the Russian invasion.


Recent Discoveries – Just in the last week or so I’ve discovered a number of promising podcasts. Even though I’ve yet to give them a listen, I’m guessing they’ll be great sources of information and insight. 

Ukraine Daily Brief: A Deep State Radio Podcast – A spin-off of the above-mentioned Deep State Radio Podcast.

Foreign Office–  After hearing host Michael Weiss of the Free Russia Foundation interviewed on a podcast I was so impressed I immediately subscribed to Foreign Office, his own podcast. “Dedicated to those ever-relevant subjects of Russian intelligence operations and active measures. Featured guests include prominent historians and scholars, journalists, diplomats, and ex-spies.” My kind of content! 

The Week Ahead in Russia – I have high hopes for this one, since it’s produced by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Pod Save the World – “A weekly podcast that breaks down international news and foreign policy developments, but doesn’t feel like homework.” Sounds good to me. 

Talk Eastern Europe – Looks like a deep dive into the politics of Eastern Europe. 

The Journal – Even though I detest its editorial policy, feature writing The Wall Street Journal is outstanding. Advertised as “a podcast about money, business and power” over the last week it’s produced some great episodes on the Russian invasion.

That’s enough podcasts for now. Give them a try if you feel inclined.  And please, don’t fall for any Russian propaganda. 

9 thoughts on “Swimming in a Sea of Podcasts: The War in Ukraine Edition

  1. Really good list of podcasts. I hate to admit that I haven’t been listening to many podcasts lately as I was getting too mired in the negative. But, this list looks really good.


  2. You can guess I came here via Paula’s Bookjotter post, Mark. Once again I find that people who go there have interesting blogs. This one is a cracker for podcasts. I need more ear time but it feels important to be well informed right now. Thank you!


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