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Professor John Russell

PositionEmeritus Professor of Russian and Security Studies
DepartmentPeace Studies
Telephone+44 (0)1274 23 4617

Research Interests (key words only)

Politics and history of Russia/former Soviet bloc; East-West relations; Eurasian regional studies; International terrorism; North Caucasus; Chechnya; International crime

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Students Supervised:

  • PhD (joint with Prof Gallagher, December 2005); Cengiz Dinc on ‘Debating Islamism, Modernity and the West in Turkey: the role of the Welfare Party’.
  • MPhil (November 2007); Hashim Gafarli: ‘The Impact of the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict on Security in the Caucasus’.

Internal & External examiner:

Internal examiner:

  • PhD (June 2010) Valentina Bertolucci on ‘Discourse of Terrorism’.
  • PhD (July 2004); Thomas Angelakis on ‘The Russian Response to NATO Expansion’.

External examiner for PhDs at Warwick (2011) and Birmingham (2010)

Professional Activities

  • Invited speaker on Chechnya/Russia at Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Royal Institute of International Affairs, International Institute for Strategic Studies (London and Rostov-on-Don, Russia), Valdai International Discussion Club (Russia),Finnish Institute, universities of Helsinki (Finland), Lund (Sweden), SIPRI, Carlforsska Gymnasiet,Västerås (Sweden), Sciences-Po (Paris), Association for the Study of Nationalities, International Studies Association (New York), Chevening (Bradford), Chechnya Peace Forum, Foreign Policy Centre, Great Britain-Russia Society, Rotary International (London), ITI (London and Washington DC),ICCEES (UK, Poland, Finland, Germany, Sweden), NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre (RAF Molesworth), NATO Parliamentary Assembly (Berlin), START(University of Maryland, USA), UK Ministry of Defence (Bradford, Leeds, St Andrews), Political Studies Association (Aberdeen), BASEES (Cambridge), National Media Museum (Bradford),Birmingham, Cambridge, Dundee, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Oxford, St Andrews,Sheffield universities.
  • Rapporteur/reviewer/referee for Economic & Social Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, Cooperation Norwegian Programme in Higher Education with Russia Bloomsbury Academic Press, Manchester University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge Press; American Political Science Review, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Civil Wars, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Europe-Asia Studies, Central & East European Studies, International Affairs, International Relations, Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies, Modern Languages Review, Nationalities Papers, Problems of Post-Communism, Slavonic & East European Review, Slavonica.
  • Contributor on Chechnya/Russia/Ukraine to BBC World Service, BBC Radio Four, BBC Russian Service, BBC Leeds, BBC Ulster, Bradford Community Broadcasting, ABC (Sydney, Australia), Anadolu News Agency (Turkey), ‘Ekho Moskvy’, Russia Today (Russia), Deutsche Welle (Germany), Newstalk 93fm (Jamaica) Press TV (Iran), RTE (Ireland), Voice of America (Washington)
  • Introduced new courses in International Terrorism and The Resurgence of Russia in International Relations’; pioneered (with Dr Martyn Housden) cross-School teaching in International Perspectives on Crime
  • Awarded Certificate of Distinguished Service for Teaching by University of Maryland University College, European Division (1998)



Chapters in Books:

  • 2014 ‘Ramzan Kadyrov’s “illiberal” peace in Chechnya’, in Anne Le Huérou, Aude Merlin, Amandine Regamey and Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski (eds) CHECHNYA AT WAR AND BEYOND, Routledge, London, 133-151. ISBN 978-0-415-74489-8
  • 2012'Russian Perspectives on the 'War on Terrorism' in the Decade since 9/11' in Rachel E. Utley (ed) 9/11 TEN YEARS AFTER: PERSPECTIVES AND PROBLEMS, Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 65-88. ISBN 978-1-4094-2455-0
  • 2012 'Whose "Near Abroad"? Dilemmas in Russia's Declared Sphere of Privileged Interest' in M. Friere and R.Kanet (eds) RUSSIA AND ITS NEAR NEIGHBOURS: IDENTITY, INTERESTS AND FOREIGN POLICY, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 109-128, ISBN 978-0-230-39017-1
  • 2010 ‘Kadyrov’s Strategy against in Chechnya'in Roland Dannreuther and Luke March (eds) RUSSIA AND ISLAM: STATE,SOCIETY AND RADICALISM, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 175-190. ISBN 978-0-415-55245-5.
  • 2010 'Case Study: Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya: Authoritarian Leadership in the Caucasus' in David Canter (ed) THE FACES OF TERRORISM: MULTIDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp.209-226.ISBN 978-0470-75380-4
  • 2007 'Terrorists, Bandits, Spooks and Thieves: Russian demonisation of the Chechens prior to and since 9/11' in Special Issue 'The Politics of naming: Rebels, Terrorists, Criminals, Bandits and Subversives', in Michael Bhatia (ed), TERRORISM AND THE POLITICS OF NAMING, Routledge: Abingdon, pp. 101-116, ISBN: 978-0-415-41372-5
  • 2006 - 'The Impact of Chechnya and the "War on Terror" on British-Russian Relations', in Hanna Smith (ed) in THE TWO-LEVEL GAME: RUSSIA'S RELATIONS WITH GREAT BRITAIN, FINLAND AND THE EUROPEAN UNION, Aleksanteri Institute, Helsinki, Finland, pp.67-86. ISBN 952-10-3061-5.
  • 2005 - 'A War by Any Other Name, Chechnya, 11 September and the war against terrorism', in Richard Sakwa (ed.) 'CHECHNYA: FROM THE PAST TO THE FUTURE', Anthem Press, London, pp.239-264. ISBN 1-84331-164X (Hbk), 1-84331-165-8 (Pbk).
  • 2003 - 'Exploitation of the "Islamic Factor" in the Russo-Chechen Conflict before and after 11 September 2001' in Rick Fawn (ed), REALIGNMENTS IN RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY, Frank Cass, London, pp. 96-109 (see below for Journal format) ISBN 0-7146-5496-5
  • 2002 - 'Mujahedeen, Mafia, Madmen...: Russian perceptions of Chechens during the wars in Chechnya, 1994-1996 and 1999-2001'' in Rick Fawn and Stephen White (ed), 'RUSSIA IN RETROSPECT: TEN YEARS SINCE THE END OF THE USSR', Frank Cass, pp.73-96 (see below for Journal format). ISBN 0-7146-5293-8

Articles in Journals:

  • 2011 'Chechen Elites: control, co-option or substitution?' Europe-Asia Studies, 63 (6), 1073-1087. 
  • 2011 'Kadyrov's Chechnya - template, test or trouble for Russia's regional policy?' Europe-Asia Studies, 63(3) 509-28
  • 2010 'Monster in the Mountains', THE WORLD TODAY,vol.66, No.5, May 2010, pp.10-13
  • 2009 ‘The Geopolitics of Terrorism: Russia’s Conflict with Islamic Extremism’, EURASIAN GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMICS, vol. 50, no.2, pp. 184-196.  ISSN 1538-7216
  • 2008 'Ramzan Kadyrov: the indigenous key to success in Putin’s Chechenization Strategy?' NATIONALITIES PAPERS, vol.36, no. 4, September 2008, pp. 659-687. ISSN 0090-5992
  • 2007 'Chechnya: Russia's war on terror or war of terror?' in EUROPE-ASIA STUDIES, vol.59, no.1, January 2007, pp. 163-168. ISSN 0996-8136
  • 2006 - Discussion article 'Obstacles to Peace in Chechnya: what scope for international involvement?' in EUROPE-ASIA STUDIES, vol.58, no.6, 2006, pp.941-964. ISSN 0966-8136
  • 2005 - 'Death à la Carte', in THE WORLD TODAY, vol. 61, no.4, April 2005, RIIA, London, pp. 24-25. ISSN 0043-9134.
  • 2005 - 'Terrorists, Bandits, Spooks and Thieves: Russian demonisation of the Chechens prior to and since 9/11' in Special Issue 'The Politics of naming: Rebels, Terrorists, Criminals, Bandits and Subversives', THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY, vol.26, No.1, 2005, pp.101-116. ISSN 1360-2241
  • 2004 'Primed to Explode', in THE WORLD TODAY, vol.60, no. 6, June 2004, Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, pp. 20-21
  • 2003 - 'Exploitation of the "Islamic Factor" in the Russo-Chechen Conflict before and after 11 September 2001', in EUROPEAN SECURITY, vol.11, no.4 (Winter 2002), pp. 96-109. ISSN 0966-2839
  • 2002 - 'On the Side of Might', in THE WORLD TODAY, vol.56, no.12, December 2002, Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, pp.17-18
  • 2002 - 'Mujahedeen, Mafia, Madmen...: Russian perceptions of Chechens during the wars in Chechnya, 1994-1996 and 1999-to date', in JOURNAL OF POSTCOMMUNIST STUDIES AND TRANSITION POLITICS, vol. 18, No. 1, March 2002, pp.73-96. ISSN 1352-3279

Online Articles:

  • 2014 ‘Pride and Prejudice: a British Perspective on the Sochi Olympics, Valdai Discussion Club, 3 March
  • 2014 ‘Security and the Sochi Olympics’, Valdai Discussion Club, 29 January
  • 2014 Review of ‘Kimberly Marten, Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States’, The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies [Online], Issue 16, January,
  • 2008'Zhirinovsky's NATO Lesson' in CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN REVIEW, vol.2, part 1
  • 2008 'Shades of Chechnya: the dilemma of pragmatism versus principles in the British-Russian relationship', CHECHNYA PEACE FORUM,11 November 2008,
  • 2005 - Basayev: the Beast of Beslan?' Stephen Shenfield/JRL RESEARCH AND ANALYTICAL SUPPLEMENT No. 29, January 2005

Official Reports:

  • 2008 ‘Medvedev’s presidency: implications for NATO’s future relations with Russia’, Invited presentation to the Political Committee of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, Reichstag, Berlin, May.  Reprinted in RUSSIA PROFILE, 3 June 2008
  • 2007 Report on Terrorist Threat in Russia, 8+3pp, submitted to House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on Global Security – Russia, Second report of Session 2007-08, London; Stationery Office, pp.Ev156-160. ISBN 978021503741 

Public/Academic/Stakeholder Engagement

Conference and Seminar presentations:

  • 2018 Lecture on US policy to Russia and Putin, University of Leeds, MoD course, 27 June
  • 2014 ‘Chechnya’, Security Challenges in the North and South Caucasus, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, December
  • 2014 ‘Russia’, US-NATO Drawdown Conference on Afghanistan, NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre, RAF Molesworth, December
  • 2014 ‘Putin – up close and personal’, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bradford, March
  • 2014 Panel member, ‘Ukraine: a nation in crisis’, The Exchange, University of Sheffield, March.
  • 2013 Invited delegate to X Valdai International Discussion Club, hosted by President Vladimir Putin in Russia, September
  • 2013 ‘Role and Perspectives of Russia’, Return of the Great Powers history workshop, University of Leeds, July
  • 2013 ‘Security Challenges in Russia’s “Near Abroad”’, seminar at St. Antony’s College. Oxford, January
  • 2012 'Ramzan Kadyrov: Chechnya's son-king' to the Great Britain-Russia Society in London, November.
  • 2012 ‘Ramzan Kadyrov’s “Illiberal” Peace in Chechnya at CERCEC conference ‘Tchétchénie – logiques de violence et expérience de guerre’, Paris, October.
  • 2012 ‘Elite Politics in Chechnya’ at ‘The North Caucasus: Islam, Security and Politics’ expert round table at Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, June
  • 2012 'Russia: new political paradigms' at RUSSIA(N) IN THE GLOBAL CONTEXT, University of Leeds, March
  • 2011 Russian Perspectives on the ‘War on Terrorism’ in the Decade since 9/11’, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: 9/11: TEN YEARS AFTER, University of Leeds, March
  • 2011 'The Battle of Algiers' at the MEDIA AND CONFLICT INTERCHANGE film festival, National Media Museum, Bradford, October
  • 2010 'Bad' Europeans or 'Good' Eurasianists?: the Western media's understanding, and misunderstandings, of Russians', Panel on FRIEND, FOE, OR NEITHER: STEREOTYPES AND ENEMY IMAGES IN AND ABOUT CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA,ICCEES VIII World Congress, Stockholm, July
  • 2010 'Whose Near Abroad: Dilemmas in Russia's declared sphere of privileged interests', Panel on THE CHILL PEACE: WESTERN ENGAGEMENT WITH RUSSIA AFTER 'THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR', International Council for Central and East European Studies (ICCEES) VIII World Congress, Stockholm, July
  • 2010  'Chechen Elites: Control, Co-option or Substitution?', CEELBAS Conference on International Elites and the Formation of Political Identity in Post-Soviet Space, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, June
  • 2010 'Peace After Protracted Conflict: Lessons from Chechnya for the North Caucasus and Beyond', The Caucasus: Imagining Freedom, Negotiating Dominion International Conference on the Caucasus, University of St Andrews, April.
  • 2010 'After GWOT - What? Russia and Global Terrorism in the post-Bush Era?', University of Durham, February
  • 2009 'The Geopolitics of Terrorism: Russia's Conflict with Islamic Extremism'. National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), University of Maryland, USA, July
  • 2009 'Chechnya', THE POLITICS OF SUB-NATIONAL AUTHORITARIANISM IN RUSSIA, University of Dundee, June
  • 2009 'Chechnya: an update', Speaker at Eurasia Strategy Seminar,SECURITY CHALLENGES IN RUSSIA'S NORTH CAUCASUS, IISS, London, May
  • 2009 'The Problem with Russian Foreign Policy: their 'Chechenophobia' or our 'Eurasiaphobia'?, Panel on PHOBIAS AND FOREIGN POLICY BEHAVIOUR, International Studies Association 50th Annual Convention, New York,USA, February
  • 2009 'Reflections on the Russo-Georgian war', Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Sweden, January.
  • 2008 'Kadyrov, the first 500 days', Chechnya Peace Forum/MARCCH conference on 'CHECHNYA AFTER THE WAR', School of Oriental & African Studies, London, November
  • 2008 'Russia and NATO Relations: After the South Ossetian Conflict' International Affairs Forum, University of Leeds, October
  • 2008 'Empires & Nations' joint conference of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and the Association for the Study of Nationalities, at SciencesPo, Paris, organiser of international panel on 'The North Caucasus: Russia's troubled Frontier', paper on 'Ramzan Kadyrov; 21st Century satrap or Chechnya's nation builder?' Jul.
  • 2008 School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh, conference on 'Russia and Islam: Institutions, Regions and Foreign Policy', paper on 'Kadyrov's Strategy towards Radical Extremism' June
  • 2008 Anglo-Russian Conference 'DIALOG-08', presentation on 'Russia and its role in the struggle against international terrorism', Foreign Press Association, London, June
  • 2008 Lund University, Sweden, conference on 'Islamism, the State, and the Quest for Identity', presentation on 'Strategies in the Former Soviet Union to Counter Perceived Islamic Radicalisation: a Case Study of Chechnya', Lund, May
  • 2008 Chechnya Peace Forum and Foreign Policy Centre 'Spotlight on Russia' conference at the Royal United Services Institute, London, presentation on the implications of the Medvedev presidency of the situation in Chechnya, May.
  • 2008 Centre for Central and East European Studies, University of Glasgow West Coast seminar on 'Russia's Role in the War on Terrorism', 7 May
  • 2007 ‘Putin’s Chechen Policy’ University of Leeds, School of Politics and International Studies. November
  • 2007 ‘Putin’s Chechen Policy’, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, November.
  • 2007 ‘Russia and the War on Terror’, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews, November
  • 2007 ‘Russia’s War on Terror’, Jean Monnet School of Excellence, University of Manchester (with MMU & Salford), October
  • 2007 ‘Real Russia: Trends and Prospects; Political Implications of the Growing Middle Class’, Eurasia Strategy Seminar, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, October
  • 2007 ‘Putin’s Chechnya Policy; success or failure’, Royal Institute of International Affairs Russia-Eurasia programme seminar Chatham House, London, September
  • 2007 'Strong Men in High Places: the role of charismatic leaders in post-conflict transitional societies in the Caucasus - a case study of Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya' in THE FACES OF TERRORISM conference, Centre for Investigative Psychology, University of Liverpool, Maritime Museum, Liverpool, April

In the News/Media

Interview with Pulse Radio on World Cup in Russia, 13 June 2018.

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