Research staff and experts L-Ö
The Aleksanteri Institute is an academic community of more than 60 researchers and other experts in Russian and Eastern European Studies.

We share a multidisciplinary approach to the social, political and cultural phenomena. Our internationally renowned research covers the study of politics, history, civil society, regimes, culture, environment and the media. A notable part of the Institute's activities stems from its role as a national centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies: we coordinate nationwide research and study programmes and provide information services for a network of Finnish universities.

NB! Email addresses follow the pattern unless otherwise indicated. 


Lambin, Viktor
Research assistant | Doctoral researcher

I'm a doctoral student in the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal, and Regional Changes. I hold a MA degree in Global and Regional Security Issues from Ural Federal University (Yekaterinburg, Russia, 2020), and M.Soc.Sc. degree in European and Nordic Studies from the University of Helsinki (2021). In my PhD studies, I focus on Russian strategic communication, specifically on framing enemy images in the national discourse. Within this framework, I explore the so-called enemization of Russian public discourse in my PhD dissertation. In addition, I am also interested in Russian foreign politics in Europe, and Russia's security issues.

Contact languages: Russian, and English. 

Lempinen, Hanna

Visiting Researcher

I am a visiting researcher in the Russian Environment Research Group. My research has focused on societal and cultural aspects associated with Arctic energy developments and I am currently working with themes related to just energy transitions in the north. I am currently based at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, but I will be joining the FLOWISION project led by Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen in fall 2023.

Mierzejewski-Voznyak, Melanie

Visiting Researcher

I hold a PhD in Political Science from the University of Illinois-Chicago (2014). My areas of expertise are party politics and democratization in Eastern Europe and the Caucuses. My current research focuses on women and politics in Ukraine with a specific interest in the role political parties play in hindering or facilitating gender parity in political representation.

Previous research of mine has focused on populism in Ukraine and Georgia, the democratic impact of the color revolutions, the meaning of party membership in Ukraine, Ukrainian right-wing politics, as well as the decentralization of party politics in Ukraine. My research has been published in East European Politics, Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, The Oxford Handbook on the Radical Right (2018), as well as elsewhere.

I have worked with think tanks in Washington, D.C., Riga, and Prague, as well as taught political science and humanities courses at colleges and universities in the United States. In addition to being a visiting researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute, I will be lecturing in the Ukrainian Studies program.

Miklóssy, Katalin

University Lecturer, Head of Discipline in Eastern European and Balkan Studies

I am a historian and an area specialist in East Central and South Eastern Europe. In my current research, I focus on how spatiality determines the closely interlinked subjects of the rule of law, strategic culture and nationalism. Previously, I have also studied the role of competition in societal development and Cold War interactions. My latest publications include the co-authored book Strategic Culture in Russia’s Neighborhood (Lexington 2019) and special issue Erosion of the rule of law in East Central Europe (Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 3/2018). Based on my expertise, I have been invited to evaluate research projects for the EURIAS, the Austrian Science Fund and Baltic Sea Fund. I also frequently assist the media, political decision-makers on the Finnish and European level, and NGO’s.

 In 2013, I was appointed as a founding member of the Teachers’ Academy at the University of Helsinki, as acknowledgement of teaching skills and scholarship in education. Ever since, I am working to develop the internationalization of higher education and to invent new methods for interdisciplinary teaching. At the moment I am involved in a multilateral teaching co-operation with three Baltic universities (the Nordplus-project) Baltic-Nordic Network for the Advancement of Methodology in Area Studies. Previously, I collaborated with Belarussian and Georgian universities in the three-year Basercan-project.

Tel. +358 50 368 3231

Katalin Miklóssy: Research outputs, projects, activities, press mediaKatalin Miklóssy: Contact information

Mitikka, Eemil

Doctoral Student

I’m a quantitatively oriented social scientist specialized in Russia and post-Soviet countries. At the moment, I work as a doctoral researcher in doctoral programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change (PSRC). In my dissertation research, I examine the relationship between political participation and autocracy in Russia and more generally in post-Soviet countries.

Twitter: @eemilmitikka
GitHub: eemilmitikka


Muravyeva, Marianna

Associate Professor, Russian law and administration

I have been engaged in socio-legal research and policy activities with public and voluntary sector organisations since 1996. I have worked as a researcher, trainer and professor for academic and non-academic agencies and projects, including the UN (UNDP program in Central Asia), NGOs (including women’s shelters in St. Petersburg) and a number of universities in Russia, Finland, the US and the UK. My research and policy engaged projects include those sponsored by the EC, US State Department, Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils, Finnish Academy and Dutch National Research Organisation.

My research is interdisciplinary, bringing together history, social sciences and law to examine long-term trends and patterns in social development, with a special focus on normativity, gender and violence. Some of my most recent projects focus on family violence (violence against parents and domestic violence), the history of crime (homicide and, particularly, femicide), legal history, gender history, and history of sexuality. Currently, I am focusing on the study of everyday uses of law based on empirical data from Russian courts and how it contributes to thinking about rule of law and better governance.

I am a founding member of the Russian Association of Women’s Historians (RAIZhI) and co-chair of the Women and Gender Network of the European Social Sciences History Conference. I am also an editor for the Palgrave book series World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence and a member of a number of editorial boards, including for the Russian Law Journal and Comparative Legal History.

Marianna Muravyeva: Research outputs, projects, activities

Mäkinen, Sirke

University Lecturer in Russian and Eurasian Studies

I am in charge of the Finnish Universities network’s Expertise in Russian and Eastern European Studies (ExpREES) since May 2019. I plan and develop teaching in this study module as well as teach and supervise the ExpREES students.

I am a scholar of  international politics and hold a PhD in Political Science (2008). In my research I have focused on Russia’s role in international relations, and my current research interests deal with the link between higher education and international relations. Recently I have published on EU-Russia cooperation in the field of higher education and Russia’s educational diplomacy. I continue studying how Russia promotes its higher education abroad and how Russia’s higher education is perceived and its promotion received in the countries of post-Soviet space and EU member states. I am the leader of the research project Towards Good Neighbourliness with Higher Education Cooperation funded by the Kone Foundation and hosted by the Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University. I have also published e.g. on Russian geopolitical argumentation, geopolitics teaching and studies in Russian universities and Russian border discourses.

Previously I have worked at Tampere University, Finland, for 20 years in different positions in teaching, research and administration. I have supervised Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s theses and taught courses on Russia’s domestic and foreign policy, geopolitical thinking and methodology. I have also been a convener for a double degree programme in Cross-Border International Relations (CBIR) organized in cooperation with St. Petersburg and Petrozavodsk State Universities. In addition, I have been the chair and deputy chair of the Finnish Political Science Association. 

Tel. +358294123656

Sirke Mäkinen on Research Gate



Nakonechnyi, Mikhail

Postdoctoral Researcher

I graduated from the History Department of Pskov State University and studied as a postgraduate student in the St.Petersburg Institute of History (Russian Academy of Sciences) in 2012-2016. Additionally, I was a Research Associate in the Carceral Archipelago project (School of History, University of Leicester), funded by the European Research Council. Currently, I am a DPhil student at St.Peter's College, History Faculty, University of Oxford.

My area of expertise includes a comparative history of penal medicine, the GULAG, and Russian imperial prisons. I joined ERC-funded GULAGECHOES (Gulag Echoes in the “multicultural prison”: historical and geographical influences on the identity and politics of ethnic minority prisoners in the communist successor states of Russia and Europe) project in September 2019 as a post-doc researcher. My principal responsibility as a member of the team is to elucidate the historical dimension of the project research questions, particularly unexplored ethnic facets of the Soviet GULAG. 


Oivo, Teemu

Doctoral student
I am currently working on the University of Helsinki three-year project “Strategies of Persuasion: Russian Propaganda in Algorithmic Age”. In this project, I study how Finnish websites that present themselves as “alternative news”, use RT and Sputnik as their information sources. In addition, I am involved in the Russian Media Lab Network . More general research interests of mine deal with establishment and contestation of authority that are embedded in national ideas in public discussion. Furthermore, I am affiliated with the University of Eastern Finland, where I do my PhD research on discursive Russianness in Russian and Finnish media within the Doctoral Programme on Social and Cultural Encounters.

Oroza, Minna


I coordinate the planning and implementation of the East Central European, Balkan and Baltic Studies (ECEBB) and Ukrainian Studies teaching programmes.  In addition, I am coordinator for the Baltic-Nordic Network for the Advancement of Methodology in Area Studies (BAMSE 2020) network funded by Nordplus.

Our courses are open to all University of Helsinki degree and exchange students and students of the nationwide Expertise in Russian and Eastern European Studies (ExpREES), and students from other Finnish universities via the Flexible Study-Right Scheme (JOO). I am responsible for guidance and support for students and teachers, and I take care of international teachers visiting our programmes. I want to provide students with a nice learning environment and teachers with a good teaching environment.

If you have any questions concerning ECEBB, Ukrainian Studies or BAMSE, please turn to me!

Tel. +358 50 330 1898

Minna Oroza: Research outputs, projects, activitiesMinna Oroza: Contact information

Pallot, Judith

Professor, Research Director

In 2018, I was awarded European research Council Advanced Grant to continue the research I have been engaged in for the previous decade on the experiences of minority prisoners of the Russian penal system, especially of its geographical aspects.  I brought the project  to Helsinki University after 40 years of teaching and research at the University of Oxford because of the reputation of the Aleksanteri Institute for high quality research on Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe and its proximity to St Petersburg.

I have  been  researching and writing on the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation for my whole academic career and have authored books and articles on a range of subjects, including the Stolypin Land Reform, household production in the rural peripheries, Soviet spatial planning and, since 2005, minorities’ experience of the Russian prison system. In 2016, I was made President of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, a position which I have held for the past three years. In 2021 I was awarded a grant by the Academy of Finland, ‘Jugoslavian Rangaistuspolitik’ Yugoslavian Penal Policy. The two projects have strong synergies.

Much of my time has been taken up since 2018 with the administration involved in running the projects, which, inevitably has been complicated, by the covid-19 pandemic and the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, I have been able to devote some time to research and writing, and attending conferences where I have had to opportunity to put the projects on the map. 

Read a profile written by Joonas Pörsti for Yliopisto 8/18: "Who runs Russia's prisons? Judith Pallot, who transferred from Oxford to Helsinki, knows prison hierarchy"

Tel. +358505685215
Email:  judith.pallot@helsinki.fiSee Prof. Judith Pallot's Research profile for publications and other activities. 


Peltonen, Hanna


I coordinate the Finnish Universities network’s Expertise in Russian and Eastern European Studies (ExpREES) and make sure that the roughly 100 study units provided by the 12 Finnish network universities all fit into the big picture, the 25 ECTS ExpREES study block.

I take care of study administration and offer advice and guidance to the over 180 registered students. As our students are geographically scattered all over Finland, my aim is to promote online teaching and e-learning. I'm also interested in other projects in education development and international education exchange (see, for example, BASERCAN).

My academic interests include the Russian economy and entrepreneurship.

Tel. +358 50 331 9894
E-mail: hanna.o.peltonen at

Hanna Peltonen: Research outputs, projects, activities, press mediaHanna Peltonen: Contact information

Perkiömäki, Mika

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am specialized in the research of Russian culture and media in the sphere of environmental humanities. I defended my PhD in Tampere University in August 2021. In my dissertation, Imagined Riverography of Late Twentieth-Century Russian Prose, I studied representations of rivers in late Soviet Russian natural-philosophical prose from an ecocritical perspective. My PhD research was part of the project Water as Social and Cultural Space: Changing Values and Representations, which belonged to the AKVA programme of the Academy of Finland. My PhD project also included a teaching and research visit to Ural Federal University in Ekaterinburg.

I started at the Aleksanteri Institute in December 2021, and I work in the research project FLOWISION: Best from Both Worlds – Enhancing Energy Transition in Russia and Finland by Making Resource Flows Visible, where I study practices of mediatized knowledge production and distribution on fossil and renewable energy and climate change in Russia and Finland.

Additionally, I have studied representations of people’s relationship to northern nature, especially northern sea and ocean, in early Soviet Pomor literature at the University of Helsinki in the project Northern Neighbours: Environment and Modernization in the Literatures of the Russian Arctic. I have also worked as the coordinator of Tampere Research Centre for Russian and Chinese Media (TaRC). Currently I am the editor-in-chief of Idäntutkimus, the Finnish review of East-European studies, and the vice-chair of Society of Finnish Slavists. I have taught in the Bachelor’s Programme in Languages and Russian and Eurasian Studies at Tampere University, as well as the Master’s Programme in Languages and the Master’s Programme in Russian Studies at the University of Helsinki.

Room C209

Pesci, Eugenia

Doctoral Candidate

I am a Doctoral Candidate in the Doctoral Programme of Political, Societal and Regional Change at the University of Helsinki. I'm  an early stage researcher in the Aleksanteri Institute within the framework of the H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions funded Consortium MARKETS. The University of Helsinki subproject focuses on the evolution and coherence of informal and formal rules and practices in the development of post-Soviet institutions.  In my PhD thesis, I explore and compare informal practices in the provision of social welfare in Russia and other post-Soviet states and their impact on the implementation of social policies.


Pulkkinen, Karoliina

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a philosopher of science with an interest in values in science. I defended my PhD dissertation in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at University of Cambridge in 2019. My PhD research focussed on epistemic values in the development of periodic systems of chemical elements, including the system of the Russian chemist Dmitrii Mendeleev. The results of my research have been published in journals such as Philosophy of Science, Ambix, and Centaurus.

I also have an interest in the role of values in climate science as my previous postdoc concerned values in climate modelling. The project Values, Choices, and Uncertainties in Climate Modelling was a collaboration between philosophers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and climate scientists at Stockholm University.

At the Aleksanteri Institute, I am researching the role of values in science in the Soviet Union with the aim of determining how past science can inform our normative frameworks regarding the management of social, political, and epistemic values in scientific practice more broadly.

I have been a principal instructor for Ethics of Medical Technology at KTH and a seminar supervisor for Philosophy of Science and Ethics and Politics of Science and Medicine at University of Cambridge. I am also one of the editors and co-founders of Jargonium, the blog for history and philosophy of chemistry. I also edit Chemical Intelligence newsletter for Society of History of Alchemy and Chemistry (SHAC).



Pynnöniemi, Katri

Assistant Professor, Russian Security Policy
(University of Helsinki and National Defence University)

I am an assistant professor at the University of Helsinki (Aleksanteri-institute), holding the Mannerheim Chair of Russian Security Studies. This joint professorship between the University of Helsinki and the National Defense University was established in August 2017, and a multidisciplinary research project titled "Russia's Role in the World in 2035: Interests, Resources, Challenges" was developed in collaboration with Russia Group at the NDU. The research project explores four main themes: Russian military policy and the changing character of war, Russia’s strategic goals and the rupture of international system, security implications of the energy transition and climate change, and resilience of the Russia’s political system.

Within this larger research program, my own research focuses on Russian foreign and security politics, with emphasis on changes in strategic thinking (doctrines, strategies and concepts), conceptualization and implementation of information warfare tools as part of Russian foreign policy, and the analysis of treat perceptions and enemy images in Russian strategic communication/deception.

Tel. +358 299 530577

Katri Pynnöniemi: Research outputs, projects, activitiesKatri Pynnöniemi: Contact information

Tarasenko, Anna

Postdoctoral Researcher

I have a political science background and hold a PhD in Political Science with a focus on the non-profit sector development. I have conducted empirical research on various types of NGOs and their involvement in social service provision as well as interest representation in Russia and other contexts. I’ve participated in several international projects such as the UNRISD research project, New Directions in Social Policy: Alternatives from and for the Global South (supervised by professor Linda Cook of Brown University). Currently I’m working as a post-doctoral researcher on the A Child’s Right to a Family: Deinstitutionalisation of Child Welfare in Putin’s Russia research project run by Dr.Soc.Sc Meri Kulmala at the Aleksanteri Institute.

From 2010 I have been teaching and running seminars in both Russian and English language at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg) as well as giving lectures at universities at home and abroad (University of Helsinki, Finland; University of Bielefeld, Germany).

Room 217
Te. +358 40 811 6381

Anna Tarasenko: Research outputs, projectsAnna Tarasenko: Contact information

Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka

 Professor, Russian Environmental Studies

From 2018 I have worked as associate professor and professor of Russian Environmental Studies, focusing on issues such as environmental policy, resource policy, regional and environmental planning, democracy and power. During 2011 – 2017, I worked as professor in Russian Energy Policy and energy and climate related themes continue to figure in my current work as well. I’m currently in charge of six research projects:

My teaching duties include lectures in the Master’s Programme in Russian Studies as well as other special courses and programmes coordinated by the Aleksanteri Institute. I’m also actively involved in societal interaction taking part in discussions in the media and at public events as well as providing expertise for public officials and the government. 

Tel. +358 40 517 0521

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen: Research outputs, projects, activities, press mediaVeli-Pekka Tynkkynen: Contact informationBlog:


Viljanen, Elina

Visiting Researcher

I am a musicologist and my expertise lies in Russian Studies and intellectual history, especially in Western history of art music and musicology, Soviet musicology, Russian/Soviet intellectual and cultural history, Stalinism and Soviet culture.

I defended my Doctoral thesis, The Problem of the Modern and Tradition: Early Soviet Musical Culture and the Musicological Theory of Boris Asafiev (1884–1949), at the University of Helsinki in January 2017. In it, I analysed the Soviet culture, music, philosophy and science of the 1920s. Since April 2017 I have been working as a post-doctoral researcher sponsored by the Cultura Foundation and the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation.

My post-doctoral research project focuses on Soviet cultural theories, musicology and the intellectual culture of the Stalin era. It is connected to a larger, international and multidisciplinary project, Russian Cultural Modernisation during Stalinism in Russian/Soviet intellectual history department at the Aleksanteri Institute.

I have worked as a visiting scholar in Russia, the US and China. Currently I have the pleasure of being able to concentrate mainly on research. I am, however, also interested in teaching and especially in developing international interaction in university teaching. I am looking forward to future teaching duties on the Master’s programme in Russian Studies and in the musicology section of the Department of Philosophy, History and Art Studies.

Tel. +358 40 725 0893

Elina Viljanen: Research outputs, activities, press media

Zeveleva, Olga

Postdoctoral researcher

I defended my PhD in sociology at the University of Cambridge (2019), and hold a PhD in sociological theory and methods from the Higher School of Economics (2016). In 2019, I joined the University of Helsinki as a postdoctoral researcher on the project “Gulag Echoes in the Multicultural Prison”, funded by the European Research Council.

I am a political sociologist focusing on systems of social control. I examine how states establish and maintain the rules people are governed by in their everyday lives, and how people respond such rules from the bottom up. My doctoral work at the University of Cambridge investigated how journalists construct their civic, ethnic, and professional identities in a context of state crackdown on news media, focusing on the case of local Crimean journalists during Russia’s occupation and annexation of the peninsula. In 2018-2019, I held the Oxford Russia Fellowship at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, and carried out a research project examining the limits of journalistic autonomy during peacetime and in times of conflict, comparing the Republic of Tatarstan to contemporary Crimea. The results of my research have been published in The British Journal of Sociology, Current Sociology, The Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, The European Journal of Communication, and Nationalities Papers.

On the Gulag Echoes project, I work on social control in the context of penal systems. I employ qualitative methods across multiple field sites to examine how ethnic, civic, and political self-identification form among prisoners in the Russian penal system.