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The Russophone team of the Moscow Times recently fled Russia. Publisher of the Moscow Times Alexander Gubsky is now based in Amsterdam, and in this public lecture, he speaks about what happened in Russia on and after 24 February 2022. The lecture is introduced by Moscow Times founder and journalist Derk Sauer, and followed by a discussion with UvA scholars Ellen Rutten and Johana Kotišová.

Event details of The Price of Lying
Date 14 June 2022
Time 17:00 -18:30
Location BG 3

Why do 70% of Russians still support Putin and his “special operation” in Ukraine – and why don’t the 30% of Russians who do not support Putin and his policies protest en masse against the war? Why are Russian journalists and activists leaving Russia in droves? And what does the short- and medium-term future of the Russian economy and Russia look like? Will it be a new Iran, a new Venezuela, or a new Yugoslavia?

These questions are central in a public lecture for the University of Amsterdam by Alexander Gubsky – publisher and editor of the Moscow Times, whose Russophone team recently fled Russia and is now based in Amsterdam. Moscow Times founder and journalist Derk Sauer offers a short introduction; and media/journalism anthropologist Johana Kotišová (University of Amsterdam) shares reflections for discussion afterwards. Professor of Russian and Slavic studies Ellen Rutten (UvA) moderates the lecture and the ensuing audience Q&A.

Join online 

The lecture takes place at VOX-POP, the creative space of the UvA Faculty of Humanities: Binnengasthuisstraat 9. The lecture is co-hosted by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA).


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Alexander Gubsky is publisher of the Moscow Times and co-founder of the indendent news outlet VTimes, which was closed by the Russian authorities in 2021. In 2022 he relocated to Amsterdam in response to increasing media repressions in Russia.

Ellen Rutten is Professor of Literature at the University of Amsterdam, head of the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, and editor-in-chief of the journal Russian Literature.

Johana Kotišová is media and journalism anthropologist at the Media Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam.

Derk Sauer is a journalist and founder of the Moscow Times, VTimes, and publisher at publishing house Nieuw Amsterdam. Sauer also writes weekly op-eds for Dutch newspaper Het Parool.

BG 3


Binnengasthuisstraat 9
1012 ZA Amsterdam