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Reporting Russian Truths in the Era of Fake News

David Filipov

As the Russian presidential elections approach and the debate on Russian meddling in United States elections continues, Stetson’s Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (SPREES) is pleased to host David Filipov, the recently returned Washington Post Moscow Bureau chief, for his perspective and insight.

The event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 5:30 p.m. in duPont-Ball Library, room 25L, on the Stetson University campus in DeLand.

As the Moscow Bureau chief, Filipov covered the aftermath of the election of President Donald Trump in Russia and the continued descent of U.S.-Russian relations into something resembling a new Cold War.  During his reporting he also sought to bring to life the personal and human side of Russia and the former Soviet Union. During this lecture he will talk about the challenges of getting Russia right at a time when the cacophony of propaganda and fake news, and the return of Cold War-style suspicions on both sides has clouded the conversation.

Mayhill Fowler, Ph.D.

Russian President Vladimir Putin,
Photo from www.kremlin.ru

“You can’t turn on the news these days and not hear about Russia,” said Mayhill C. Fowler, assistant professor of history and director of SPREES at Stetson University. “But it’s hard to figure out what’s really going on because of political agendas on both sides. So, we’re pleased to bring David Filipov to campus to share his knowledge of today’s Russia.”

A fully proficient Russian speaker, Filipov previously covered Russia and the former Soviet Union for The Boston Globe from 1994 to 2004. Filipov wrote about Boris Yeltsin’s Kremlin, the civil wars in Chechnya, unrest in the former Soviet republics, and the rise of Vladimir Putin. He has also reported on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Filipov was part of the Boston Globe newsroom team that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. He was the recipient of an Overseas Press Club award for his 1999 coverage of the war in Chechnya, and the James Aronson Social Justice award as part of a Boston Globe team that reported on deaths around the world attributed to curable diseases. He is a graduate of Brown University, where he majored in Russian studies, and Bryn Mawr College, where he earned an M.A. in Russian language and literature.

David Filipov is shown on a balcony in Russia

David Filipov recently returned from the Washington Post’s Moscow Bureau.

The lecture is part of a 60th anniversary celebration of studying Russia and Russian at Stetson University. Founded in 1958, the Russian Studies program — now SPREES — trains students to analyze and interpret the territory, people, history, language and cultural practices of the Eurasian landmass from a multidisciplinary perspective. The program offers students the opportunity to learn about the varieties of history, geography, politics, economics and culture in the countries that once formed part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Students learn not only about the diversity within this fascinating region but also about how Russia and its neighbors fit into global patterns of political, economic and cultural interactions. SPREES students become proficient in the Russian language by taking a broad array of courses at Stetson University and by spending a semester or summer in language study in the Russian-speaking world, including places like Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.

The “60 Years of Russia at Stetson” celebration also will include an exhibit on the program’s history co-curated by Mayhill Fowler, Ph.D., and Katya Kudryavtseva, Ph.D., An alumni reception and panel with alumni on how studying Russia shaped their careers will open the exhibit on March 16, and Stetson’s Russian Club will sponsor a folk music concert at the end of March.

-Heather Hunter