Our Wall Street Journal team won the Russia debate on NPR

A team consisting of a former Moscow correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, a current Wall Street Journal columnist and editorial board member, and Dr. J Michael Waller won an Oxford-style debate in New York on National Public Radio. An audience of 300 people voted on the winner.

The debate topic was, “Russia Is Becoming Our Enemy Again.” Arguing in the affirmative were:

  • Claudia Rosett, a veteran Wall Street Journal Moscow correspondent and now a resident journalist at the Fund for the Defense of Democracies;
  • Wall Street Journal columnist and editorial board member Bret Stephens, and
  • IWP Annenberg Professor of Communication J Michael Waller.


Arguing in the negative were:

  • Nina Khrushcheva, granddaughter of former Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev;
  • Robert Legvold, the Marshall D. Shulman Professor at Columbia University; and
  • Mark Medish, a Vice President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former White House National Security Council staffer and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.


Edward Lucas of The Economist magazine served as moderator.

Sponsored by Intelligence Squared, an initiative of the Rosenkranz Foundation in association with NPR, the debate took place at the Asia Society and Museum in New York City on October 30.

A sold-out audience of 300 people voted 47 to 41 percent in favor of the proponents of the argument, a surprising result given the political views of most of the audience of Upper East Side Manhattanites. (Numbers based on online polling have changed.)

NPR’s New York affiliate, WNYC, broadcast the debate live. The debate will be rebroadcast on other NPR stations over the next few weeks. The debate will be podcast. For video of the debate, click here.

The Weekly Standard covered the event on November 7.