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Six panels over two days will examine different societal clusters, questioning the formation and the nature of public opinion about the war in Ukraine, the Russian government (federal and regional level), the economy, and other issues across Russia. Separate panels will explore the relevance of psychological approaches for decoding the underlying motivations, values, and emotions that shape individual perspectives as well as the continuing and rising relevance of conspiracy theories and irrationality (esoteric/magical thinking) in shaping collective beliefs; the changing digital media consumption patterns; and the communication strategies that might be available to external and domestic non-regime actors.

Organising Committee: Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Sophia Hnizdovska, Olga Logunova, Vera Michlin, Olga Vlasova, Iris Magne

Please note, attendance at the symposium is by invitation only. If you would like to attend, please contact one the members of the organising committee. 

Preliminary agenda

12 April 
09.00 - 09.30 Welcome coffee/opening remarks
09.00 - 10.30

2024 Russian Presidential Elections
Chair: Gulnaz Sharafutdinova (KCL)

  • Michael Rochlitz (University of Oxford)
  • Elena Koneva (Research agency ExtremeScan)
  • Margarita Zavadskaya (University of Helsinki)
10.30 - 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 - 12.30

Trends in war-time public opinion in Russia
Chair: Michael Rochlitz (University of Oxford)

  • Elena Koneva (Research agency ExtremeScan) Phases of the war in Ukraine and changing views of society: analysis of complex layers of Russian public opinion
  • Grigore Pop-Eleches (Princeton University) Countering Authoritarian Regime Propaganda: Evidence from Russia at War
  • Olga Vlasova (KCL) Lulled into Inaction: Understanding Russian Passivity and War Support
  • Guzel Yusupova (Humboldt Scholar) Researching the invisible in a closed society: methodological obstacles and solutions
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch
13.30 - 15.00

Fragmentation and Consolidation Dynamics in Russian Society
Chair: Marc Berenson (KCL)

  • Svetlana Yerpyleva (University of Bremen) Understanding the Dynamics of War Perception in Russia using Interviews and Ethnography
  • Katerina Tertytchnaya (University of Oxford) Russian’s changing views of civil rights’ (repression)
  • Margarita Zavadskaya (University of Helsinki) Growing Apart? Attitudes towards out-migration in Russia after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
  • Maxim Alyukov (University of Manchester) The effects of disinformation discourse in wartime Russia
15.00 - 15.30

Coffee break

15.30 - 17.00

Cultural and Psychological Approaches to Understanding Russian Audiences
Chair: Neringa Klumbyte (Miami University, Ohio)

  • Alexandra Arkhipova (Laboratory of Social Anthropology, EHESS) The New Language of Resistance and Avoidance in Wartime Russia
  • Ilya Yablokov (University of Sheffield) When your propaganda fails: the limits of Kremlin’s propaganda
  • Svetlana Stephenson (London Metropolitan University) The carnival of power: transgression, enjoyment and violence in Putin’s Russia
  • Maria Snegovaya (Center for Strategic and International Studies) Explaining Russians' Support for the War
18.00 - 20.00

KRI alumni and symposium guests reception

13 April
09.00 - 09.30 Morning coffee
09.30 - 11.00

Changing trends in digital media consumption
Chair: TBD

  • Arnold Khachaturov (Novaya Gazeta Europe) What can be learned about public opinion in Russia from social media data: the case of VK
  • Olga Logunova (King’s College London) Media Consumption as a Latent Factor in Russian Society Polarisation”
  • Ilia Kiriia (University of Grenoble Alpes) Russian alternative media in war conditions: the variety of economic strategies
  • Sviatoslav Hnizdovskyi (Open Minds Institute) Counter-intuitive Public Opinion Anomalies and Polarizations in the Social Media Landscape
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 - 13.00

Lessons in Political Communication Strategy
Chair: TBD

  • Gregory Asmolov (KCL) Autocratic resilience and the transformation of propaganda industry: crowdsourcing, outsourcing, insourcing
  • Ofer Fridman (KCL) Between Information War and Communication Regime: Russia's Approaches to Political Communications
  • Natalie Sabanadze (Chatham House) Reclaiming the narrative: exposing Russia’s anti-colonialist discourse and its impact on the Global South
  • Sigita Struberga (University of Latvia)

At this event

Maxim Alyukov

Research Fellow

Gulnaz Sharafutdinova

Professor of Russian Politics and Director of King's Russia Institute

Marc Berenson

Senior Lecturer, King's Russia Institute

Olga Vlasova

Visiting researcher

Olga Logunova

Research Associate

Gregory  Asmolov

Lecturer in Digital Entrepreneurship and Marketing

Event details

Council Room
Strand Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS