We have a variety of experts who can speak to the media about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and associated topics.
See below for their profiles and contact details. You can also use our media coverage and contribution portal to view recent media appearances on the subject by our academics.
Dr Olga Onuch
Dr Onuch is a leading expert in Ukrainian politics specifically, but also in inter-regional comparative analysis. Her research regularly appears in leading media outlets (The Washington Post, The Times, The Guardian, BBC, ITV, Al Jazeera, AFP, among others). Onuch’s research on protest politics in Ukraine has resulted in her consulting policymakers in Canada, Ukraine, the UK and US. Her research received praise and awards placing her on the map as one of the foremost experts on protests and activism in Ukraine.
Ms Anna Glew
Anna is a PhD candidate in Russian and East European Studies at The University of Manchester. Her research focuses on the commemorative activity of ordinary people in Ukraine - particularly the commemoration of the Euromaidan victims - and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Dr Vitaly Kazakov
Dr Kazakov is an early career researcher with an interest in mass events, sports and new forms of media, with a particular focus on Russia. His PhD study investigated mechanisms of political narrative and national image-creation by the Russian government in the context of all stages of the hosting of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. He has previously spoken to the media about Russian soft power, and has spoken since the invasion about its effects on Russians both within and outside the country.
Prof Stephen Hutchings
Professor Hutchings is President of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, and is on the editorial boards of several journals including the Russian Journal of Communication, ArtMargins and Russian Studies in Literature. His Reframing Russia for the Global Mediasphere: From Cold War to 'Information War'? project researched the use of RT and other Russian state-backed media outlets to promote disinformation abroad and the Western response to it. He has spoken in the media since the invasion about RT’s pro-Moscow stance on the conflict.
Prof Vera Tolz-Zilitinkevic
Professor Tolz-Zilitinkevic’s specific expertise is on media, disinformation and nationalism. She has published widely on various aspects of Russian nationalism, identity politics and the relationship between intellectuals and the state in the imperial and Soviet periods. Her most recent books are Nation, Ethnicity and Race on Russian Television: Mediating Post-Soviet Difference (with Stephen Hutchings) and ‘Russia’s Own Orient’: The Politics of Identity and Oriental Studies in the Late Imperial and Early Soviet Periods. She is currently involved in a collaborative research project on broadcasting and audience engagement strategies of RT. She can comment on many aspects of the war as she has an understanding of the Russian political system, and is also following Russian society's reaction.
Dr Jo Laycock
Jo is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History based in the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. She has particular expertise in the displacement of peoples in the aftermath of conflict in countries at the boundary of histories of Europe, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union – she examines the movements and connections across imperial and national borders after such events. In particular, her work examines the consequences of forced displacement in the short and long term; from humanitarianism, emergency relief and resettlement to collective memory and the challenges of refugee and diasporic ‘homecomings’.
Dr Hannah Haycox
Hannah is a Research Associate in social policy at the University’s Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity. She is an expert in the areas of refugee resettlement and everyday racism who has particularly detailed knowledge of the Syrian refugee resettlement programme in the UK - including the impact of housing and welfare support - and she has commented on the BBC and other outlets about the obstacles that refugees face in the UK, both in the present and potentially in the future.
Prof Peter Gatrell
Peter is an Emeritus Professor who has spent most of his career at The University of Manchester. He is primarily an historian of population displacement in the modern world, but the first part of his career was devoted to the economic and social history of Russia. Most of his current research activity is focusing on the history of Europe since 1945, with a focus on migration into/within the continent. He has recently spoken on the BBC’s Ukrainecast podcast about the displacement of people in Ukraine.
Prof James Pattison
James focuses on ethical issues in international politics – he has particular expertise on humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect, alternatives to war such as sanctions, Just War Theory and the challenges posed by the rise of private military and security companies. He has written three books (all with Oxford University Press) and over 20 journal articles since 2007, including in British Journal of Political Science, Ethics & International Affairs, European Journal of International Relations, International Theory, Journal of Political Philosophy, and Review of International Studies.
Dr Laure Humbert
Dr Humbert is a Lecturer in Modern History specialising in histories of humanitarianism, displacement and international organisations. Her work focuses particularly on medical humanitarianism in Europe during and immediately after the Second World War. She is also a Research Affiliate on the project ‘Researching the Impact of Attacks on Healthcare’ (RIAH). RIAH is seeking to improve understanding of the immediate, long-term, and wider impacts of attacks on healthcare on populations in contexts that have experienced armed conflict.
Dr Talia Zajac
Talia Zajac is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library, and is a specialist in early Rus’ - the medieval state which included the territories of present-day Belarus’, Ukraine, and European Russia. Her research focuses on cultural and religious contacts between early Rus’ and Western Europe. She previously held the Eugene and Daymel Shklar Research Fellowship at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, and has been a contributor to the Internet Encyclopaedia of Ukraine, among other publications on medieval queenship, women in early Rus’, and the history of Eastern Orthodox-Catholic relations.