Kristiina Silvan

Postdoctoral Fellow in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. She earned her PhD in Political History at the University of Helsinki in February 2022. Her PhD dissertation is titled Legacies of the Komsomol: Government-Affiliated Youth Activism in post-Soviet Belarus and Russia. Currently, she works primarily on state–society relations in Central Asian states, especially Kazakhstan, and Russia’s role in the Central Asian region.

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Articles by Kristiina Silvan

  1. International activities of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union: East versus West

    The Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRYU) is an administered mass organization for youth in contemporary Belarus and has been supported by the Lukashenka government for decades. It is therefore well positioned to engage in international activities. What’s more, it claims to develop “multi-vector international youth collaboration” by participating in international programs and projects. This article aims to map and explain the international activities of the BRYU from the early 1990s until the present day. It asks how the association’s international activities look in practice and what explains these patterns. It finds there is a qualitative difference between the BRYU’s international activities with actors in Russia, the European Union and China. The article suggests that in comparison to the BRYU’s domestic activities, which have been the primary focus of previous research, the youth league’s participation in international affairs is limited. It argues that this state of affairs can be explained by its structural subservience to President Lukashenka, for whom the BRYU’s international activities are of secondary importance.

  2. nation-building À la russe How Putin’s government is educating the Russian elites of tomorrow

    The nationally organized camp Seliger All-Russia Youth Forum gathers tens of thousands of young Russians every year. Here a report from the inside of the camp, observations in contemporary nation-building.

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