Russia’s ASAT missile test

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Earlier this week, events in space flirted with a real-life adaptation of Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 motion picture “Gravity” when the Russian military blew up an inoperative Soviet satellite that had been orbiting the Earth since the early 1980s. Moscow insists that the debris didn’t get within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of the International Space Station, but NASA says the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard ISS were awakened early and ordered to retreat to their docked spacecraft in case an impact prompted an evacuation. U.S. officials say they’ve tracked 1,500 pieces of orbital debris caused by the Soviet satellite’s destruction, but there are likely “hundreds of thousands” more smaller pieces that also endanger anything or anyone in their path. According to NASA, this trash will circle the Earth for decades, posing a constant threat to the operations of all spacefaring nations. Russia says the Americans are a bunch of hypocrites.

To shed some light on Russia’s weapons test, independent analyst and disarmament expert Pavel Podvig to returns to The Naked Pravda.

Timestamps for this week’s episode:

(6:09) Standup comedy in Russia: reviewing Denis Chuzhoi’s new special, and Vera Kotelnikova weighs the usefulness of speaking up for persecuted colleagues(10:17) Corruption news: Crimea arrests its potty-mouthed culture minister, Mediazona investigates two possibly wrongfully jailed police officers outside Rostov, and Novaya Gazeta unearths an honest judge in Chelyabinsk(13:47) Pavel Podvig joins the show

“The Naked Pravda” comes out on Saturdays (or sometimes Fridays). Catch every new episode by subscribing at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the show, please write to Kevin Rothrock at with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

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