VISITING FELLOWS 2023–2024

The Aleksanteri Institute Visiting Fellows Programme is welcoming thirteen highly qualified scholars in Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian studies from August 2023 to October 2024. On this page you can read more about each Aleksanteri Visiting Fellow and the fascinating projects they are working on while in Helsinki.
ROY ALLISON

Professor of Russian and Eurasian International Relations

St. Antony's College, University of Oxford

Roy Allison, D.Phil, is Professor of Russian and Eurasian International Relations at the School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford. He also directs the Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies at St. Antony’s College. His previous positions include Reader in International Relations, London School of Economics (2005-11) and Head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House (1993-2005). His research addresses the international relations, foreign and security policies of Russia, Ukraine and post-Soviet Eurasian states. He has written three books, including Finland’s Relations with the Soviet Union, 1944-1982 (Macmillan, 1985) and Russia, the West and Military Intervention (Oxford University Press, 2013) and co-authored two. He has also edited or co-edited five books. His research on Russian interventions in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria, Russian approaches to international order and law, and Russia’s role in regional organisations has appeared in International Affairs, European Security, Europe-Asia Studies and The Chinese Journal of International Politics.

Russian legal and normative rhetoric over its war against Ukraine:

Implications for the European security order

Professor Allison’s project reflects a recognition that Russia’s war against Ukraine represents the most extensive violation of the legal prohibition against territorial aggrandisement by force since the UN Charter was signed in 1945. His project will extend previous research to assess major legal and security policy implications of Russia’s rhetoric over the war. First, it will seek to clarify the purposes and audiences, as well as the ideational or instrumental content, of Russia’s quasi-legal, normative, political and historical rhetoric around the war. It will also evaluate the consequences of this rhetoric for legal regulation in the wider international system.

Secondly, his project will examine the major effects of Russia’s legally abusive claims for the European regional security order. What are the implications of these claims, in the context of Russia’s full-scale aggression, for the sustainability of the underlying principles of this order? These include the principles formulated by the 1975 CSCE conference Helsinki Final Act, the 1990 Paris Charter and the OSCE, which codified respect for borders, territorial integrity and constraints on military action. Professor Allison will elaborate a conceptual framework, which he outlined in a previous book on conflict regulation and crisis management, to identify possible new ‘tacit codes of conduct’ or norms of competition during the current war. These are revealed through a process of discursive signalling. His project will also question how far Russian compliance with treaty instruments, as public international law, can be envisaged for a reconfigured European security order, given Moscow’s egregious violation of treaties with Ukraine. For the project, he will consult Finnish specialists and officials, conduct interviews and collate library materials in English, Russian and Finnish as well as online data. He will prepare two articles for scholarly journals.

LUCA ANCESCHI

Professor of Eurasian Studies

University of Glasgow

Luca Anceschi is Professor of Eurasian Studies at the University of Glasgow, where he is also the editor of Europe-Asia Studies. His research work, which focuses on the Politics and International Relations of post-Soviet Central Asia, has been published on Central Asian SurveyNationalities Papers and the Journal of Contemporary Asia. Prof Anceschi is the author of Turkmenistan’s Foreign Policy—Positive Neutrality and the Consolidation of the Turkmen regime (Routledge 2009) and of Analysing Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy—Regime neo-Eurasianism in the Nazarbaev Era (Routledge 2020). 

During his Visiting Fellowship at the Aleksanteri Institute (May-June 2024), Prof Anceschi will focus on an ongoing research project titled Authoritarian Contagion. Pandemic Politics in Central Asia.

This project problematises the nexus between pandemic politics and human rights in one of Asia’s lesser-known constituencies, namely Central Asia, arguing that emergency measures introduced to manage the spread of Covid-19 became tools that further entrenched authoritarian control in a region wherein governance quality was already abysmal before the pandemic had erupted. Focusing on Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the project illustrates the path whereby Central Asia’s authoritarian leaderships managed the politics of Covid-19 to ultimately strengthen their control over the region’s key socio-political processes.

The project looks at three policy areas in which Central Asia’s pandemic power grab surfaced more noticeably, specifically: 1. Spatial Control, whereby the regimes, through restrictive legislation and new technology monitoring Central Asia’s urban spaces, limited the population’s freedom of movement and, indirectly, their capacity to protest; 2. Authoritarian Information Flows, whereby Covid-related measures ostensibly meant to align broadcast, print and digital information flows to the governments’ pandemic message curtailed even further the freedom of expression of ordinary Central Asians; 3. The International Politics of the Pandemic, whereby kleptocratic logics of governance guided Central Asia’s international pandemic politics, particularly so far as corruption cases emerged in the management of foreign aid and, more recently, the responses framed by regional leaders to Asia’s vaccine diplomacy.

EMILY CHANNELL-JUSTICE

Director, Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program

Harvard University

Emily Channell-Justice is the Director of the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at the Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University. She is a sociocultural anthropologist who has been doing research in Ukraine since 2012. She has pursued research on political activism and social movements among students and feminists during the 2013-2014 Euromaidan mobilizations. Her book, Without the State: Self-organization and Political Activism, was published in 2022 by the University of Toronto Press. She received her PhD from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, in September 2016, and she was a Havighurst Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of International Studies at Miami University, Ohio from 2016-2019.

Dr. Channell-Justice’s current research project, “Displacement, Emplacement, and Self-Organization: Ukraine 2014-2021,” asks how the eight-year period before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine can inform current policy decisions about displacement in Ukraine and across Europe. This project builds on her previous research on self-organization—non-institutional political participation—that developed during the 2013-2014 Euromaidan protests.

She explores how Ukrainians self-organized in response to the first Russian invasion in 2014 to help displaced people, connecting this experience to the protests’ success. From there, she expands the landscape of humanitarian response to displacement in Ukraine, considering the absence of a unified Ukrainian state policy toward internally displaced people (IDPs) and the presence of international and non-governmental organizations that help IDPs that took the state’s place.

The project is based on three data sets: firsthand research and interviews with experts working for international and non-governmental organizations that served internally displaced populations and populations living in the occupied territories; 80 interviews that were completed between 2014 and 2016 with internally displaced people from Donets'k and Luhans'k regions and Crimea, many of whom went on to work for a large international humanitarian organization; and policy analysis of the varied and shifting Ukrainian government policies that addressed IDPs’ needs in a piecemeal way between 2014 and 2021. At the Aleksanteri Institute, she will analyze these data sets in conjunction with the policies set forth by the various Ukrainian government ministries from 2014-2021. She will explore how IDPs’ experiences in 2014-2016 relate to the existing policies and weigh the assessment of experts she interviewed in 2021 against these experiences.

NATASHA DANILOVA

Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

University of Aberdeen

Natasha Danilova is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, UK. She conducts interdisciplinary research, contributing to the fields of Critical Military Studies, Feminist International Relations, Memory Studies, Political Sociology, Civil-Military Relations, and Visual Studies in IR. Currently, Dr Danilova’s research develops in two directions. She continues exploring gender/sexuality- and race-based dynamics of war-meaning making through museums, commemorations, and visual/performative arts in Britain and the US. Further, Natasha Danilova, in collaboration with Jenny Mathers from the University of Aberystwyth, works on the analysis of gendered responses in Russia to the war in Ukraine, focusing on the implications of ambivalent representations of soldiers’ mothers and women from military families as both supportive and disruptive of state’s war efforts.  

Dr Danilova’s work was published in leading international journals, including International Feminist Journal of Politics, Critical Military Studies, Gender, Place and Culture, Critical Studies on Security, and Armed Forces & Society. Her previously published monographs explored society-military interactions, and the political implications of state-funded war commemoration, digital/physical memorials and media-driven coverage of military fatalities (The Politics of War Commemoration, Palgrave 2015). 

Gendered responses in Russia to the war in Ukraine:

from news coverage to digital activism

While in Helsinki, Natasha Danilova will continue working on the analysis of Russia’s soldiers’ mothers and military families’ responses to Russia’s war on Ukraine, focusing on comparison between representations sourced from official/print newspapers, digital news media platforms (Meduza and MediaZona), and women-led digital activism on Telegram. The primary tasks of the research stay include: 1) presentation/discussion of explanatory concepts (e.g. Oushakine’s ‘patriotic despair’, Enloe’s ‘patriarchal confusion’, etc); and 2) development of mixed-method research methodology, inc. coding protocols to explore digital activism of military families’ members.

A preliminary assessment of the dataset suggests a substantial departure from the coverage of Russia’s military fatalities during late Soviet and post-Soviet conflicts. This departure can be explained by a compound, gender-specific effect of state’s ideology of traditional values, extensive, state-imposed media control, and widespread self-censorship, all of which adopt a gender-polarised, heteronormative framing. For instance, a figure of a soldier’ mother and/or a female military-family member is either barely mentioned, or it is narrowly framed through women’s engagement in hyper-feminine, war-supportive activities such as knitting soldiers’ socks. Another variation of a women-centric representation in the context of the war expresses itself through a story of regionally-based soldiers’ mothers who lost their sons during Russo-Chechen conflicts, and whose ‘patriotic despair’ had evolved into support of recently conscripted and mobilised soldiers. Conversely, a figure of a military father is either totally absent from the coverage, being substituted with references to the patriarchal, state-linked fatherhood, or mentioned in the rare instances of supporting (‘alive’) Russian male-professional soldiers.

Further, although the coverage sourced from Meduza and MediaZona generates a much more diverse coverage and reflects the attempt by independent journalists to fill in the emerged informational vacuum in society’s response to war, it prioritises the stories about predominantly women-led, complaint-focused activism presented alongside women’s ‘patriotic confusion’ and ‘patriotic distress’. In short, the research stay at the Aleksanteri Institute presents a great opportunity to advance the analysis and should lead to two journal articles.

ALEXEY GOLUBEV

Associate Professor

University of Houston

Alexey Golubev is a scholar of Russian history with a focus on social and cultural history of the twentieth century. He completed his Ph.D. in history at the University of British Columbia in 2016 and spent a year as a Banting Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Toronto before joining the UH Department of History in fall 2017. Dr. Golubev has previously taught at the Petrozavodsk University in Russia and was a visiting lecturer at the University of Eastern Finland, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Freiburg in Germany. His research has been supported by the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Killam Trusts, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, German Historical Institute in Moscow, and the Russian Foundation for Humanities. He is the author of The Things of Life: Materiality in Late Soviet Russia (Cornell University Press, 2020) and The Search for a Socialist El Dorado: Finnish Immigration from the United States and Canada to Soviet Karelia in the 1930s (Michigan State University Press, 2014, with Irina Takala).

No Natural Colonization:

The Early Soviet School of Historical Anticolonialism

As an Aleksanteri Visiting Fellow, Alexey Golubev will work on a project on the early Soviet school of historical anticolonialism, which represents the most ambitious and systematic attempt at deconstructing imperial narratives of Russian history from within the Russian academic community. Throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, Soviet Marxist historians produced an extensive corpus of scholarship in different forms, formats, and genres explaining the course of Russian history as a process that was driven by commercial capital and included colonial expansion, violence against indigenous people, their dispossession, assimilation, and genocide, and the erasure of their cultures and histories – in other words, the conceptual vocabulary that we generally associate with the much later postcolonial turn.

Rejecting the arguments put forward by leading nineteenth-century historians such as Sergey Solovyov and Vasily Kliuchevsky about Russia’s “natural” colonization, Soviet scholars revealed the violence of settler colonialism that had been part of Russian state building from the early modern period on. Overlapping with interwar Soviet nationalities policy, the agenda of early Soviet historical anticolonialism was still epistemologically distinct as it sought to provide a historically accurate and rigorous critique of capitalism and imperialism by revealing their past crimes. 

Dr. Golubev is currently preparing an English-language reader with translations of early Soviet anticolonial critique of settler colonialism and indigenous erasure in Russian history and historical scholarship, as well as on an article (and, potentially, a book project) that would connect the ideas and findings of this critique with present-day decolonization debates. During his fellowship, he will identify the key actors and texts from the early Soviet school of historical anticolonialism on how to study, conceptualize, and write about the historical legacy of Russian colonialism, which he will use to describe the key themes and narratives pertaining to this school.

LAURA HENRY

Professor of Government and Legal Studies

Bowdoin College

Laura A. Henry is a Professor in the Department of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research investigates civil society, citizen activism, and environmental politics in the post-Soviet region, as well as global governance in climate and Arctic politics. Henry is the co-author (with Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom) of Bringing Global Governance Home: NGO Mediation in BRICS States (Oxford University Press, 2021) and the author of Red to Green: Environmental Activism in Post-Soviet Russia (Cornell University Press, 2010). She is also the co-editor of Russian Civil Society: A Critical Assessment (M.E. Sharpe, 2006).  Her work has appeared in Environmental Politics, Global Environmental Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs, Europe-Asia Studies among other journals. She has been a Watson Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar.

Activism in Exile After War:

Advocacy, Adaptation, and Exclusion

The project is designed to produce two articles and also to contribute to a co-authored book project.  The first article, tentatively titled “Exile: Russian Activism After War” and be rooted in the question of exit and voice.  It will focus directly on the experience of individual activists to identify opportunities and challenges of continuing activism after emigration.  This paper also will consider whether some forms of activism (climate/environment, feminism, anti-war activism) are more or less likely to continue in exile.

The second article, tentatively titled “TANs during a Time of War: Adaptation, Exclusion, and Advocacy,” offers an analytical framework for thinking about whether and how transnational advocacy networks change in response to significant disruption. Using the war in Ukraine – and the sanctions, travel bans, and politicized debates that followed – as a case study, I closely examine climate and environmental TANs (transnational advocacy networks) with significant participation by Russian activists and organization. I use this case to suggest sources of resilience and adaptation as well as to identify disruption and fragility within these networks. Finally, my work while a fellow would enhance my book project, tentatively titled Activism in Hard Times: Russian Citizens Adapting to Repression, co-authored with Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom and Valerie Sperling. 

During the summer of 2023, I will be carrying out field work comprising interviews with activists in exile and participant observation in a few selected sites, including Tbilisi, Georgia, Berlin, Germany, and Riga, Latvia, if time permits. This field work is funded by a Canadian Humanities and Social Science Research grant (Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, PI). My Aleksanteri fellowship will be devoted to analyzing this interview data and writing up my findings.

KRISTINA JONUTYTĖ
Postdoctoral Fellow

Vilnius University

Dr. Kristina Jonutytė is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University (Lithuania). She is a social anthropologist, and her research interests include political and economic anthropology, ethnicity, identity and religion, especially in Buryatia, Inner Asia, and post-Soviet Eurasia. She has been conducting research on Buryat religion and society since 2015, with a particular focus on the post-Soviet resurgence of Buddhism in Ulan-Ude, and has conducted 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Buryatia.

She defended her PhD at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg (Halle, Germany) in 2019, with a thesis on Buryat Buddhist giving practices and belonging in the urban context of post-Soviet Ulan-Ude. More recently, she has started a new research project that explores Buryat racialisation and belonging in contemporary Russia, in the context of the war in Ukraine, with a particular focus on Buryat outmigration to Mongolia. Since defending her PhD, she has held research and teaching positions at Vilnius University and Vytautas Magnus University, as well as visiting fellowships at the University of Cambridge and the University of Zurich. Her articles have appeared in Ethnos, Anthropology Today, Nationalities Papers, Inner Asia, and other journals.

Racialised Ethnic Minority Belonging at a Time of War:

The Buryat Case

Dr. Jonutytė’s current research project explores the sense of belonging among Buryats, a Mongolian ethnic minority, who have fled the Russian Federation due to the war in Ukraine. The war has escalated discussions of ethnic identity and belonging among non-ethnic-Russian populations in the Russian Federation. Many are redefining what it means to be a minority in Russia and their place in the country’s social and political fabric.

Official Russian discourse emphasises the historical unity between the Eastern Slavic peoples. While Russia has waged a war to realise its vision of such unity, its non-Slavic minorities debate their place in the Slavic-dominated nation. Such negotiations of belonging take place amidst long-term racialisation and discrimination of ethnic minorities in Russia. The war has intensified discussions of these issues, especially online and among the diaspora, and ethnic anti-war movements have become prominent. The overarching research aim of the project is to thus examine how Russia’s racialised ethnic minorities, in particular Buryats, relate to Russia today, study alternative visions of belonging which have limited space for expression in contemporary Russia, and explore how the war is reshaping this identification.

At the Aleksanteri Institute, Dr. Jonutytė will analyse data from ethnographic fieldwork in Mongolia, as well as work on an article on the ways in which the war in Ukraine is shaping the sense of belonging among Buryats who have fled Russia. 

 

PETRU NEGURĂ

Researcher

Institute for Legal, Political and Sociological Studies, Chisinau

Petru Negură is researcher at the Institute of Legal, Political and Sociological Research in Chisinau, and Associate Professor at the Free International University of Moldova, Chisinau. Currently, he is a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) in Regensburg, Germany. Negura held an MA and PhD in Sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). He has been invited scholar at the EHESS, Paris, and lecturer at the Ecole Doctorale en Sciences Sociales of Bucharest. From October 2020 to March 2023, he was a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at IOS, Regensburg. Negura also has been a Fulbright visiting scholar at the University of California in Berkeley, a fellow of the New Europe College (Bucharest), of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, and the Academic Fellowship Program, Open Society Foundations. He has been leading the PLURAL Forum for Interdisciplinary Studies in Chisinau. He is also the co-founder of PLATZFORMA - Revista de critica socială. His academic interests deal with nation-building, public education and social welfare in Eastern Europe and the former USSR.

 

LIBORA OATES-INDRUCHOVÁ

Professor of Sociology of Gender 
University of Graz

Libora Oates-Indruchová is Professor of Sociology of Gender at the University of Graz (A). Her research interests include cultural representations of gender, gender and social change, censorship, everyday creativity and narrative research, with a focus on state-socialist and post state-socialist Czech Republic. Her publications include Censorship in Czech and Hungarian Academic Publishing, 1969-89: Snakes and Ladders (Bloomsbury 2020; expanded Czech version forthcoming in 2024); “Blind Spots in Post-1989 Czech Historiography of State Socialism: Gender as a Category of Analysis” (East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures, 2022) and “Self-Censorship and Aesopian Language of Scholarly Texts of Late State Socialism(The Slavonic and East European Review, 2018). She also co-edited The Politics of Gender Culture under State Socialism: an Expropriated Voice (with Hana Havelková; Routledge 2014, paperback 2015; expanded Czech edition 2015) and Creative Families: Gender and Technologies of Everyday Life (with Jana Mikats and Susanne Kink-Hampersberger; Palgrave 2021).

 

Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp Goes East

The Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp holds an iconic place not only in the history of British women’s movement, but also in the history of the international peace movement of the 1980s. In the scholarship on East Central Europe there has been growing interest in the global involvement of the Eastern Bloc countries in women’s activism, but a link to the Greenham Common protests has been only little explored. My research of the Czech print media from the 1980s shows that there was sustained coverage of the protests at the time also in the Eastern Bloc. This preliminary research indicates that Greenham Common women were co-opted as “allies” for the discourse on the involvement of the Communist women’s organizations in the international peace movement and that at the same time there is absolute silence about any links to the Second Wave of the women’s movement or, indeed, about the existence of any women’s movement at all. I am interested in the silences and accentuations in the coverage of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in the Czech press, in comparison with the British press, and further, in placing the Czech coverage in the contexts of the international peace movement, Cold War politics and the gender culture of late state socialism. At Aleksanteri I intend to work on an article-length text that will bring together several strands of the research so far: the media coverage, the Communist Party and the Security Services materials, as well as the linkages from among the dissident circles. The focus will be on the contexts, in which this example of women’s protest was placed by these various actors in the Czech environment. 

DRAGANA OBRADOVIC

Associate Professor
University of Toronto

Dragana Obradovic (Ph.D. University College-London, 2009) is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research interests are regionally connected to the cultural history of the former Yugoslavia. She is interested in the legacy of state socialism, particularly as it pertains to class transformation, the rural/urban divide, and the depiction of labour in literature and film. Her first book was Writing the Yugoslav Wars: Literature, Postmodernism, and the Ethics of Representation (University of Toronto Press, 2016). She has a forthcoming article on documentary filmmaking and war crimes. She has published articles on post-socialist literary poetics, contemporary Bosnian cinema, and diasporic graphic novel production. She was awarded the Jackman Humanities Institute (University of Toronto) Faculty Fellowship in 2022. 

Prof. Obradovic's spring 2024 visit has regrettably been cancelled.

How did rural communities experience socialist modernity in Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1991? How did their way of life, with its strong emphasis on communalism, transform as a result of state intervention dictated by principles of socialism? This project is an exploration of rural history in western Serbia, in a locale that experienced multiple stages of socialist transformation. Through research that is based on ethnographic methods and archival research, this project seeks to address a lacuna in histories of socialism: namely, the experience of socialism from the perspective of the rural.

Typically, socialist transformation in Yugoslavia is perceived as entirely grounded in industrial rationality so scholarship is skewed towards analyses of factory sites and urban centers. Yet, Yugoslavia’s population was 75% rural prior to World War II, with the majority living and working on subsistence farms. Through a detailed social and anthropological mapping of peasant life, Professor Obradović’s project traces how rural milieus evolved under socialism and the mechanisms of cultural and economic adaptation in the face of socialist transformation. This project also traces how the cultural life of the village—with its own extensive tradition of communalism—informed or impeded socialist goals. Through a diverse methodology (which will foreground the role of oral history), this project captures more nuanced dynamics between the internal life of the village and state politics. 

During her time at the Aleksanteri Institute, Professor Obradović work on an article that will combine the results of both the archival visits and interviews with villagers. Specifically, the article will look at how villagers responded to forced requisition of agricultural products in the 1950s, a policy that affected the average household more than any collectivization measures.  

 

SERGII PAKHOMENKO

Associate Professor

Mariupol State University

Sergii Pakhomenko is Associate Professor at the Political Science and International Relations Department of Mariupol State University (relocated to Kyiv, Ukraine), and a Visiting Associate Professor at the Communication Science Department of University of Latvia (Riga). His research interests include the politics of historical memory in Ukraine, Russia and the Baltic states, propaganda and information warfare with a focus on the use of history in strategic communication and propaganda.

His resent articles are Between History and Propaganda: Estonia and Latvia in Russian Historical Narratives. In: The Russian Federation in Global Knowledge Warfare (2021, Springer International Publishing); Securitization of Memory in the Pandemic Period: Case of Russia and Latvia. (2020, Czech Journal of International Relations), Politics of Memory in Latvia and Ukraine: Official Narratives and the Challenges of Counter-Memory. (2020, Romanian Political Science Review)

Sergii Pakhomenko was a visiting fellow at the University of Tartu (Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies), visiting scholar at the University of Latvia (Faculty of Social Science) and academic coordinator from Mariupol State University of Erasmus+ project Rethinking Regional Studies: Baltic-Black Sea Relations. At Mariupol State University he headed the Center of Baltic-Black Sea Studies.  

 

Sergii Pakhomenko is studying the topic “Historical narratives in propaganda: cases of Russia and Ukraine”. The main objective of the research is to identify and classify the historical narratives of Russian propaganda, their channels of dissemination (including social media), methods of manipulation, and goals of influence in Ukraine.

The research is highlighting the following questions: 1) What the main narratives of memory politics in Russian Federation and Ukraine are based on; 2) How does the denial of the Ukrainian narrative build not only on the Kremlin's understanding of Ukrainian history but also on its policy towards the modern Ukrainian state; 3) Whether reference to history serves as an ideological support for Russian aggression or whether it constitutes one of the goals to destroy Ukrainian identity; 4) What is the place of historical policy in actions of the Russian occupation authorities in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine; 5) How does the Russian historical propaganda, and Ukraine's propaganda-response, contribute to the securitization of historical memory?

Among other issues, the study reveals how Russian propaganda has transferred the frame of Nazism, as formed in the mass historical consciousness of Russians, onto the image of Ukrainians.

At the Aleksanteri Institute, Sergii Pakhomenko will work on a textbook “Historical narratives in Russian propaganda” and an article titled “Historical Manipulation in Russian Propaganda: Case of Ukraine”.

MAX TRECKER

Postdoctoral Researcher

Leibniz-Institute for History and Culture of Eastern Europe

Max Trecker, born in 1989 in Strausberg, studied history and economics at LMU Munich and CEU Budapest. His dissertation on the coordination of East-South economic relations in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance was published in 2020 by Routledge. His last book on the birth of a new entrepreneurial class in East Germany after 1989 came out in 2022. In Helsinki, Max will work on a research project on Ukraine as a place of economic imagination.

Like no other country in Europe, Ukraine served as a projection surface for economic ideas in the modern era. These ideas came on the one hand from different strata of the Ukrainian population, but on the other hand from non-autochthonous actors. In some cases, Ukraine was seen as a component of a larger (imperial) economic space, and in other cases, as an independent economic entity that was not primarily dependent on integration into other economic spaces in order to unfold its full imagined potential. What all these ideas had in common was that they attested to Ukraine's – in theory – great potential, provided that the space was only reshaped in the right way. In his research project, Max wants to focus on the period between the beginning of industrialization in Ukraine – starting with the development of the metallurgical industry in Donbas – and the contemporary period. In Helsinki, library collections dealing primarily with Ukraine before 1917 are of prominent interest for the research project.

OLENA UVAROVA

Associate Professor

Odesa National Medical University

Olena Uvarova graduated from the Odesa I. I. Mechnikov National University in 2003 with an honors degree and obtained a PhD in World History in 2008. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Social Sciences at Odesa National Medical University, Ukraine, teaching such courses as “History of Ukraine and Ukrainian Culture” “Ethnopsychology” and is the Chair of the student scientific group at her department. Her research interests include several topics that have a common orientation: European international relations in the 18th-19th century, Greek communities in Ukraine and Odesa, and history of Odesa. In the past years she also conducts research with the Branch of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Odesa. She was a guest lecturer for the "Multinational South of Ukraine" School, organized by the DAAD, Odesa (2021), and at the Branch of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Odesa (2021, 2023). 

 

Russian ‘Patronage Policy’ concerning Ottoman Christians and ‘Protective Policy’ for Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine: comparing ideologies

At the Aleksanteri Institute, Dr. Uvarova will continue to work on her research project devoted to the Russian “Patronage Policy” for Ottoman Christians in the second half of the 18th - the first third of the 19th centuries and similar directions of Russian state ideology at the beginning of the 21st century in relation to Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine. The relevance of the study is that it will illustrate the mechanism of using the ethno-religious factor in international relationships. The aim is to observe Russia's interest in Ottoman Christians that were seen as an instrument of pressure on Sublime Porte and were used to solve Russia's geopolitical aspirations in the course of the Eastern Question, and to evaluate to what extent these ideological components are similar to Russia’s slogans of helping Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine, used in relation to Russia’ full-scale attack on Ukraine. 

During her research stay, Dr. Uvarova will review literature on the topic of the project, analyze data for a follow-up publication and communicate with colleagues at the University of Helsinki for exchanging ideas and views.