How Not to Become a Spy: In Conversation with Justin Lifflander

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Justin Lifflander, former weapons inspector during the Cold War, will share his experience working in the former Soviet Union and provide his perspective on current Russia-U.S. relations. 

Justin Lifflander inspected missiles at a production plant for the U.S. monitoring team as part of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) during the Cold War. He has since written a best-selling memoir that delves into his experiences and constraints with Cold War politics.

Offering a valuable insight into his work as a weapons inspector, Justin Lifflander will join Dr Jonathan Eyal, Associate Director at RUSI, to discuss, among other things, the crises of communication between the U.S. and Russia and Russian domestic politics and intelligence operations.

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A graduate of Cornell University, Justin Lifflander arrived in Russia in 1987 as a driver-mechanic for the US Embassy in Moscow. A year later, he moved to Votkinsk in the foothills of the Ural Mountains, where he inspected missiles at a production plant as part of the INF nuclear disarmament treaty between the US and the USSR. After his stint as a weapons inspector, Lifflander moved back to Moscow, got married, and worked as an executive for Hewlett-Packard Russia for twenty years. He then served as the business editor for the Moscow Times daily newspaper from 2010 to 2014 and authored several articles about Russian-American relations, the tragicomedy of life in Russia, and cigars. He now holds American and Russian citizenships and resides in Moscow with his wife, son, and mother-in-law.

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