Jaroslava Barbieri

De-sovereignisation as an instrument of Russia’s coercive diplomacy in the context of post-Soviet de facto states.

Barbieri Jaroslava

Supervisors: Professor Kataryna Wolczuk and Dr. Derek Averre

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


  • MA Social Research, University of Birmingham, (2018–19)
  • MPhil European Politics & Society, University of Oxford (2015–17)
  • MSc Political Theory, London School of Economics (2014–15)
  • BA Philosophy, Sapienza University of Rome (2010–13)


Barbieri, J. (2023) ‘Raising Citizen-Soldiers in Donbas: Russia's Role in Promoting Patriotic Education Programmes in the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics’, Ethnopolitics. https://doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2023.2220097

Barbieri, J. (2020)  ‘The dark side of decentralization reform in Ukraine: Deterring or facilitating Russia-sponsored separatism?’, in Shelest, H, and Rabinovych, M. (eds.), Decentralization, regional diversity, and conflict. The case of Ukraine. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

‘Supporting Ukraine’s victory, success and European integration as a safeguard to Europe’s future security, prosperity and resilience’, Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies, Swedish Institute of International Affairs (2022)

‘Possibilities for engagement: A study on attitudes and media consumption patterns among civilians in the occupied Donbas, with recommendations on how to strengthen communication, co-authored report, Arena Research, Johns Hopkins University (2022)

‘Political identity, media consumption and health decisions in times of COVID-19: evidence from Estonia and Ukraine’, co-authored, Arena Research, Johns Hopkins University (2022)

‘Ukraine at 30: From independence to interdependence. What unites Ukrainians and what divides Ukrainians after 30 years of independence’, co-authored, Arena Research, Johns Hopkins University (2021)

Translated Federico Chabod’s book History of the idea of Europe from Italian into Ukrainian | wrote introduction and 100-page glossary, Kyiv: Lybid’ (2020)

‘Assessment of the Impact of Political and Economic Interdependence on the Implementation of the Association Agreements’, co-authored report, EU-STRAT (2019)

Conference papers


Jaroslava has a multidisciplinary background spanning from Russian foreign policy and post-Soviet affairs to European studies and political philosophy. Jaroslava is a recipient of the 1+3 ESRC studentship Award. Her doctoral project examines Russia’s role in strengthening attributes of statehood and sovereignty in post-Soviet de facto states (with a focus on Ukraine and Moldova), particularly how Russia’s activities since 2014 have laid the groundwork for Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022. She is currently a researcher for the Arena Program based at Johns Hopkins University, dedicated to analysing and countering the impact of disinformation and malign propaganda on modern democracy. She is also a project manager at Zinc Network, an international development and strategic communications business, where she works on projects focusing on the post-Soviet region. During her PhD, she has been a postgraduate teaching assistant at POLSIS, University of Birmingham, and SSEES, University College of London.

Previously, Jaroslava was a research associate for EU–STRAT, an international research project funded by the European Commission which focused on the relationship between the European Union and the countries in the Eastern neighbourhood. Before that, she was a research assistant at the Conflict Studies Research Centre, a research consultancy primarily focused on defence studies and cyber security in Eurasia.

Her media commentary has appeared on Sky News, The Independent, NBC News, ABC News, France 24, TIME magazine, Euronews, Channel 4 News, Newsweek, BBC Radio and LBC Radio.

Research interests

  • Russian foreign policy
  • Ukrainian politics
  • De facto states
  • Post-Soviet conflicts
  • Post-Soviet democratisation in hybrid regimes
  • Disinformation
  • Politics of memory
  • History of European political ideas

Contact details:J.Barbieri@pgr.bham.ac.uk

Social Media: https://twitter.com/jarabarbieri