DRS Network

Digital Russia Studies research network unites scholars of humanities, social and computer sciences working at the intersection of ‘digital’ and ‘social’ in the Russian context.

Olga Dovbysh is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on economic-sociological approach to Russian media markets, national and regional, market actors and state interference. In relation to Digital Russia Studies, she is interested in how online media (including hyperlocal media) and social network sites transform the Russian media landscape. She currently works on the project ‘Sustainable Journalism for the Algorithmic Future’ funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation.


Kristian Lundby Gjerde is a Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Oslo. His research includes Russian memory politics and Russian foreign policy discourse, and he has a keen interest in the use of programming as a tool in social science and area studies research.


Brendan Humphreys is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Aleksanteri Institute. From the discipline of political history, he specialises in Eastern Europe, and has a broad range of research interests, including biographical and urban studies, the politics of visual culture, plus language within political communication.


Ekaterina Kalinina is a Lecturer at Jönköping, Department of Language and Communication, Sweden. She works predominantly in the fields of digital memory by focusing on contemporary media landscapes of Russian Federation. Her current project ‘Uncertainty of Digital Archives: Exploring nostalgia and civic engagement’ investigates the role of affective mnemonic experiences, such as nostalgia, in triggering social mobilisation in digital and physical environments. She is also actively engaged in practice based research and works as a project manager at the Swedish organization Nordkonst, where she manages cultural projects and conducts research on cross-cultural artistic practices and intercultural communication. She is currently leading a project on Hip Hop as cultural diplomacy in Russia financed by Swedish Institute.


Reeta Kangas is a University Lecturer of Russian Studies and a Postdoctoral Researcher of Art History at the University of Turku. Her research concentrates on Russian and Soviet art, political art, propaganda, and human-animal studies. Furthermore, she is interested in the ways in which digital methodologies can be employed to study the visual.


Mikhail Kopotev is an Associate Professor of Russian at the Department of Languages, University of Helsinki. His research interests include quantitative analysis of big textual data and corpus linguistics, specifically plagiarism detection, collocational analysis, and e-learning. He is an editor of Quantitative Approaches to the Russian Language (Routledge, 2018) and the author of the Introduction to Corpus Linguistics (Praha: Animedia, 2014).


Anna Lowry is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute. Her research interests are in political economy of Russia and Eurasia, including Russia’s development strategy and high-technology industries, modernization and diversification of the Russian economy, and industrial policy and technological cooperation in the Eurasian Economic Union. Her current research projects also examine issues of Russia’s digital economy as well as the impact of new technological innovations on Russia’s political economy, more broadly.


Arto Mustajoki is Professor Emeritus of Russian language, University of Helsinki. His research interests include corpus studies. His papers on lexical and syntactical features of Russian are mainly based on the Integrum database.


Mila Oiva is a Postdoctoral Researcher of Cultural History at the University of Turku. Her research focus is on cultural history of Russia and Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the particular interest on practices and information flows. She utilizes, teaches and studies computer assisted research methods.


Teemu Oivo is a Project Researcher and PhD at the Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland. His research focus is on public discourses and information flows in news and discussions about national others in Finnish and Russian press and e-media.


Justyna Pierzynska is a PhD student at the Department of Social Research, Media and Communication, University of Helsinki. Her area of interest are the representations of geopolitics and history in Eastern European media. She researches the ways in which “common knowledge” about distant regions and peoples is produced in the media.


Ekaterina Protassova is a University Lecturer of Russian at the Department of Languages, University of Helsinki. She uses Internet-based tools to research meanings of words, combining them with qualitative research. Her research interests include internet forums of the Russian-speaking diaspora.  Moreover, she has collected the first Russian child language database for the CHILDES system, a place for corpora in child language.


Saara Ratilainen is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Researcher in Russian media and culture at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki.  Her research focuses on Russian-language media and culture, specifically on the Russian-language internet as a cultural space. Her current research projects are examining Russian-language online journals, grass-roots online communities and feminism in digital media. She is a researcher on the Russian MediaLab.


Wladimir Sgibnev is a Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig, Germany. His research focuses on questions of urban development and mobility in post-Soviet cities, and their interrelation with wider socio-economic transformation processes. Out of his concern with urban public transport, he has developed a particular interest in the growing role of digitalisation in the sector, such as ride-sharing or digital ticketing, and their spatial and labour-related effects.


Pihla Toivanen is a Master’s student in Data Science in University of Helsinki. She is specializing in computational media research, and she has been working as a research assistant in projects related to counter media and hybrid media events. Her main research interest is, how concepts from social sciences could be formalized for computational methods


Julia Velkova is an assistant professor/research fellow in Technology and Social Change at the Department for Thematic Studies, Linköping University in Sweden. She holds a PhD in media and communication studies from Södertörn University in Sweden. She currently researches temporality and geopolitics of cloud infrastructures, with particular focus on the ways in which energy, waste and data economies intersect at data centres in the Nordic countries. One of her cases is the Russian Yandex data centre in Finland.


Dmitry Yagodin is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Russian Environmental Studies at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. His research focuses on climate journalism and environmental communication in Russia. Both global and local media landscapes interest him. In relation to Digital Russia Studies, he is interested in investigating the role that digital communication networks and technology play in shaping environmental discourses.


Ira Österberg is a PhD student working at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. She is interested in applying quantitative and computer-assisted methods in the analysis of Russian cinema and Russian film music.