Ukraine and the Wider Conflict. Values at Stake: Jacob Mchangama

By any measure this has been a momentous week for global politics. President Biden’s surprise trip to Kyiv, his “freedom” speech in Warsaw, the visit of China’s top diplomat to Moscow, and Vladimir Putin’s decision to suspend Russian participation in the last remaining nuclear arms treaty with the U.S. are all signs of deepening big-power tensions. 

This coincides with the first anniversary of the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War Two. In the early hours of February 24 last year Putin’s tanks rolled across Ukraine’s borders.

Our podcast guest is well-known human rights advocate, Jacob Mchangama, CEO of the Danish think tank Justitia, and author of the recent book, “Free Speech: A History From Socrates to Social Media”. We discuss the Ukraine war's broader implications for fundamental values that are a vital part of the growing struggle between the West autocratic powers.

One of the biggest surprises of the past year has been the strength of European and American support for President Zelenskyy and Ukraine.

“I’m very heartened by it,” says Mchangama. “It’s a good antidote to a decay of the West and complacency of democracies narrative that has been driving some of the authoritarian backlash.”

“Even a year in, there still seems to be solid support in many countries for the Ukrainian cause and for continuing to supply them with the means to defend themselves and hopefully decisively turn the tide.”

Today, it could well be argued that Joe Biden is the first cold war President since Ronald Reagan. In this episode, we learn why free speech is so vital to oppressed groups and racial minorities. We examine the recent "free speech recession", and how to ensure that young people are better equipped to deal with misinformation on social media and the internet.

Recommendation: Richard has recently watched and enjoyed three movies on the big screen in theaters. They are: "Everything Everywhere All at Once", the British film "Living" and the Irish movie "The Banshees of Inisherin".

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