PhD Students - CREES

PhD students currently affiliated with CREES:

Jaroslava Barbieri

Jaroslava Barbieri is undertaking ESRC-funded doctoral research into the role of Russian state and non-state actors in the breakaway territories of the self-proclaimed Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) and the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples' Republics  (DNR/LNR), examining how Russia’s activities since 2014 have laid the groundwork for Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022. Jaroslava is supervised by Professor Kataryna Wolczuk and Dr Derek Averre  .

Graham Cox

Graham Cox: From the Great Migration to the Great War: The Re-Creation of a Polish State and the Question of Causality

Graham Cox is a doctoral researcher whose project examines the agency of the Polish diasporas in Britain, France and America in keeping Polish nationalism alive, right from the Great Emigration in 1830 until Poland's restoration in 1919.  He is supervised by Klaus Richter.

Paul Michael Graystone

Paul Michael Graystone is an ESRC-funded doctoral researcher. His work examines borderlands, exclaves and memory politics in Russia. Paul’s doctoral research focuses on Russian Borderlands in Crisis: Assessing Geopolitical Change in the Eastern Baltic 2008-2022  

Owen Grey

Owen Grey: From Entente to Axis: Romania and the Crisis of Europe

Jeppe Heino Hansen

Jeppe Heino Hansen: The Superfluous and the Colonised: Self-Colonisation in Russian Literature

Jeppe Heino Hansen’s doctoral research explores the narrative of self-colonisation in Russian Imperial era and Soviet era literatures under the title “The Superfluous and the Colonised: Self-Colonisation in Russian Literature.” Through analyses of major literary works, Jeppe traces discourses of self-orientalism and self-othering in Russian literature and reveals how Russian authors and literary characters repeatedly draw inspiration from the perceived ‘other’ in the struggle to identify the Russian ‘self.’ Jeppe is co-supervised by Dr Berny Sèbe and Dr Isobel Palmer.

Publications include:

Jeppe Heino Hansen (2023) Creating the Peasant as Other: Self-colonisation in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 51:5, 931-953, DOI: 10.1080/03086534.2023.2262303

Viktoria Kobzeva

Viktoria Kobzeva is funded by an ESRC Midlands Graduate School DTP Studentship. She is working on a PhD project titled: Activism woven into relations, imbued with emotion: the case studies of Chechen and Azerbaijani transnational activists networks. The doctoral project is a comparative study that fills the gap in post-Soviet Area Studies, with its focus on Caucasian diasporas, activism and transnational communities. Viktoria is supervised by Cerwyn Moore and Deema Kaneff, CREES. 

Annamaria Kiss

Annamaria Kiss is an LISS DTP ESRC-funded doctoral researcher based at King’s College London. Annamaria’s work examines high-risk transnational activism and Russian Perceptions of Transnational Armed Mobilisation. Annamaria is supervised by Samuel Greene at KCL and Cerwyn Moore at CREES, University of Birmingham.

Publications include:

Marton, P. and Kiss, A. (2016), Chechen Combatants’ Involvement as Foreign Fighters in Ukraine and Syria and Iraq [Review article]. Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, Special Issue: Violence in the Post-Soviet Space, Vol. 2, No. 2, Kuhrt, N. and Kaczmarski, M. (eds), pp. 189-220.

Kiss, A. (2019). Terrorism in Russia, in: Jones, David M. et al (eds): Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency Post 9/11, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 304-315.

Aleksandre Kvakhadze

Aleksandre Kvakhadze is an ESRC-funded doctoral researcher. His research focuses on violent social movements and transnational activism, examining volunteers from the Caucasus who have participated in hostilities in Syria. He has published work on these and related issues in journals, including Perspectives on Terrorism, and Caucasus Survey, while he also has an extensive record of policy work. 

Publications include:

Kvakhadze, A. (2020). Gender and Jihad: Women from the Caucasus in the Syrian Conflict. Perspectives on Terrorism, 14 (2): 69-79.

Kvakhadze, A. (2021). Transnational coalition building: The case of volunteers in the conflict in AbkhaziaCaucasus Survey, 9 (2): 159-179.

Kvakhadze, A and Moore, C. (2022). Putin’s Infantrymen: Kadyrov’s Involvement in the 2022 Ukrainian ConflictGeorgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies

Yuxiang Lin

Yuxiang Lin’s doctoral work seeks to explain the exception and ongoing success of the Bulgarian conservative political party GERB (Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria) over the past two decades. Based on one year’s fieldwork in Bulgaria during which time interviews were conducted with relevant political figures across the country, the study aims to address the wider issue of party politics in eastern Europe and why some parties are short lived while others endure. Yuxiang is co-supervised by Tim Haughton and Deema Kaneff, both from CREES.

Publications include:

Y. Lin (2022) ‘A Critical Literature Review of New Party Success in Central and Eastern Europe’, Bulgarian Journal of International Economics and Politics, Vol: 2(1): 65-77.

Y. Lin (2019) ‘Between Nationalism and Europeanism: Representations of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Bulgarian Media, 2013-2018, Orbis Linguarum  Vol: 17(2): 137-142.

Leonid Nersisyan 

Leonid Nersisyan is a Gulbenkian Foundation funded doctoral researcher. His research focuses on irregular warfare in Nagorno-Karabakh, and his general areas of research interest include defence analysis, arms control, armed conflict, foreign and military policy in Russia and the CIS region. He has published work on these and related issues in journals and an edited collection (in Russian) while he also has an extensive record of policy work. 

Publications include:

L. Nersisyan et al. (2018) Waiting for the Storm: The South Caucasus (V Ozhidanii Buri: Yuzhniy Kavkaz). Moscow, Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

Olga Prudenko

Dissertation title: The taste of home: Ukrainian cuisine in exile.

Since the escalation of the war in Ukraine in February 2022 thousands of Ukrainians have been displaced across Europe including more than 161,400 Ukrainian refugees in the United Kingdom. This thesis explores the relationship between food and identity of Ukrainian refugees living in UK. Three research questions relating to this topic provide the main focus of research: the role of food and foodways in (re)construction of the Ukrainians’ refugee’s identity; how food (re)creates a sense of belonging, acceptance and recognition; how food helps to (re)build the feelings of home  and emotional safety. Olga is supervised by Dr Deema Kaneff and Dr Charlotte Galpin.

Marta Starostina

Marta Starostina: The All-Union Join-Stock Company “Intourist” in the 20th century Baltics.