Joshua Kucera is a freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, Georgia. He has covered the former Soviet Union for more than 15 years, for publications including Slate, The New York Times, and The Atlantic. From 2016-2022 he was the Turkey/Caucasus editor at Eurasianet, managing the coverage of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.
In his career he has reported from more than 30 countries. Before becoming Caucasus editor he blogged on military and security issues in the former Soviet Union for Eurasianet at The Bug Pit. He has published several series of dispatches on Slate: from Kazakhstan, the Russia-China border, Ukraine and Xinjiang, and analyses in the New York Times on Tajikistan and U.S. policy in Uzbekistan and Central Asia generally. He wrote dispatches for Al Jazeera America from Crimea, Abkhazia, and Russia; and for The Atlantic from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Greenland and on his doings with Russian intelligence and U.S. counterintelligence.
He makes regular appearances on broadcast media including the BBC, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, and PRI’s The World.
He has received several grants from the Pulitzer Center, including to report on instability in Tajikistan, the arms race on the Caspian Sea, the border between Europe and Asia, and the 2020 Armenia-Azerbaijan war.
He worked as a staff reporter in the Washington bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly from 2004-2006, covering the U.S. Army and reporting from Djibouti and Afghanistan on U.S. military missions there. In 2012, he published a research report for the Open Society Foundations, "U.S. Military Aid to Central Asia: Who Benefits?
He spent six months covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq for Time, and two years in post-Milosevic Serbia writing for Time, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers. He started his journalism career with the Associated Press, working in bureaus in Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Richmond, Virginia.
He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Williams College and an M.A. in Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia from Harvard University. His MA thesis on Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, “Between Europe and Asia” - Geography and Identity in Post-Soviet Nation-building Narratives, won the Student Research Paper Competition at George Washington University’s Central Asia Program and a version was published in the journal Central Asian Affairs.
He speaks professional Russian, restaurant-and-shop Turkish, and extremely primitive Georgian. He has forgotten Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, and French.
He grew up in Des Moines, Iowa.