Russia’s unprovoked and illegal military attack against Ukraine in February 2022 has caused immense destruction and human suffering that will leave deep scars in Ukraine. This war will also have long-term repercussions for European and global security. The world community has condemned Russia’s actions and agreed upon sanctions that target Russia’s ability to continue the war in Ukraine. Consequently, Russia’s economy has taken a blow that, together with the political consequences of Russia’s war, may change Russia’s status in the world. At the same time, the Kremlin has introduced new regulations to suppress civic activism in Russia, resulting in a mass exodus of people from the country. Consequently, we have decided to reformulate the original conference theme about Russia and global insecurity into a specific question on how Russia’s war in Ukraine will change the world.

The 21st Aleksanteri Conference to be held in October 2022 provides a forum to seek answers to this and other relevant questions with researchers specialising in Russia’s foreign and military thinking, as well as information, cyber and energy security. The conference also welcomes research contributions on politics, security and civil society in Ukraine, as well as in Russia, and Eurasia.

Russia’s war in Ukraine will also change the way in which current and future scholars will study the region. The suspension of cooperation between Western and Russian research institutes and the forced evacuation of scholars from Ukraine means limited access and resources for conducting research in Russia and in Ukraine. At the same time, we need to critically assess the theoretical and methodological underpinnings guiding the research that will help to understand this new era of insecurity and its meaning for Europe and the world.

Taking into account the principles of engagement agreed upon by Universities Finland UNIFI and guidelines of the University of Helsinki on collaboration with Russia and Belarus, the conference organisers wish to note the following:
- No proposal or presentation advocating for Russia’s war on Ukraine will be accepted.
- Colleagues based in Russia or Belarus will participate in a personal capacity only, meaning that we will remove institutional affiliations from the conference programme.

The conference organisers encourage Ukrainian scholars to participate in the event. For this purpose they are exempted from paying the conference fee.

Important dates:
Deadline for submitting paper, panel and roundtable proposals: 29 May 2022
Notification of acceptance: 30 June 2022
Conference programme published: by early September 2022
Online registration and registration fees due by: 30 September 2022
Conference: 26-28 October 2022

(Photo by Albert Lores)