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Fletcher Eurasia Club Lunch Seminar: Samuel Bendett on Unmanned and Autonomous Technologies in the Russia-Ukraine War

December 12, 2023 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm

Please join the Fletcher Eurasia Club for a lunch seminar with Fletcher alumnus and researcher Samuel Bendett, an expert in Russian military capabilities. The conversation will focus on the aerial, ground, and maritime autonomous systems fielded by the Ukrainian and Russian militaries and how artificial intelligence has impacted the battlefield in Ukraine. Visiting scholar Pavel Luzin will participate in the conversation as a discussant, sharing his expertise on Russia’s defense industry.

Nearly two years into its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military is unable to break the Ukrainian resistance. At the same time, the Ukrainian military is meeting strong opposition from the Russian military forces along the entire front. Numerous unmanned and autonomous technologies deployed by both sides are key to this development. The array of military capabilities and strategies continues to affect the war’s progression.

We encourage you to read in advance the following reports by Bendett on Russia’s use of uncrewed systems in Ukraine for CNA, as well as his recent pieces for the Center for a New American Security on the role and implications of AI on the war and Russia’s capacity to develop and deploy advanced military technology. We also recommend checking out Luzin’s latest report for the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) about Russia’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) industry. The Eurasia Club weekly lunch seminar series engages with students, faculty, staff, and researchers to foster a better understanding of the region among members of the Fletcher community. Members of the wider Tufts community are also welcome to attend. Lunch will be served.

Samuel Bendett is an advisor with CNA’s Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Division, where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and a Senior Associate (non-resident) with CSIS Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program. His work involves research on Russian military technology developments; uncrewed, robotic, and autonomous military systems; and artificial intelligence. He is an honorary “Mad Scientist” with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Mad Scientist Initiative and a Russian military autonomy and artificial intelligence subject matter expert for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Systems Information Analysis Center. Bendett’s prior employment includes the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Defense University, the U.S. Congress, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations on foreign policy, international conflict resolution, and defense and security issues. His analyses, views, and commentary on Russian military robotics and artificial intelligence capabilities appear in major domestic and international news and media outlets. He received an M.A. in law and diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a B.A. in politics from Brandeis University.

Pavel Luzin, Ph.D. in international relations (IMEMO, 2012), is a researcher of Russia’s foreign policy and defense, space policy, and global security issues. Luzin is a visiting scholar at The Fletcher School (USA) and a contributor to the Foreign Policy Research Institute (USA), the Jamestown Foundation (USA), and Riddle (Intersection Foundation, Lithuania). In 2017–2018, he was a consultant on armed forces, law enforcement agencies, and defense industry issues for Alexei Navalny’s presidential campaign. In 2016–2018, he was a consultant on Russia’s domestic politics for the “Nations in Transit” project at Freedom House (USA). In 2013–2014, Luzin was a research fellow at IMEMO (Russia). In 2013, he was an assistant to the editor-in-chief of the Security Index journal at PIR Center (Russia). Luzin was also a lecturer and senior lecturer at Perm State University (Russia) in 2010–2017, a senior lecturer at HSE (Perm campus, Russia) in 2011–2013, and a visiting assistant professor at HSE (Perm campus, Russia) in 2018–2019.

Fletcher Eurasia Club

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Fletcher Russia and Eurasia Program

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