This week on the podcast:
- From today — that’s Thursday the 20th of February — most Chinese citizens will be temporarily blocked from entering Russia as part of Moscow’s latest moves to contain the spread of coronavirus. The ban covers all Chinese citizens traveling to Russia on employment, tourist and student visas. On the line to discuss Russia’s latest moves to stop the coronavirus spread is Alexander Gabuev, chair of the Asia-Pacific program at Carnegie Moscow Center.
- Vladimir Putin fired his long-time advisor Vladislav Surkov this week — the Kremlin’s so-called “grey cardinal” who was, until a few weeks ago, Russia’s chief negotiator over the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. On the phone to explain a bit about the man behind the reputation and explore whether Surkov leaving the Kremlin will mean anything for Russia-Ukrainian relations, Mark Galeotti of Honorary Professor at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies and author of "We Need to Talk about Putin".