Anna Tsurkan (Founder, Project Coordinator)

Anna Tsurkan is a Founder and Project Coordinator of the Canada-Russia Research Initiative (CRRI). Anna grew up in Russia, where she obtained all her degrees, including a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Institute of the U.S.A. and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2013-2018, Anna worked for the above-mentioned think tank in the capacity of a research fellow. Her main areas of research include U.S.-Russia and Canada-Russia relations, Islamic radicalism and counterterrorism, disinformation and propaganda. Anna has written numerous papers and given many presentations on a broad range of security and political subjects linked to Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. In addition, Anna serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Canadian International Council (CIC) in Victoria and as a Vice-President, Research and Content Development, of the CIC Young Professional Network. She is also affiliated with the Canadian Association of Slavists and the North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network.

Oliver Schmidtke

Oliver Schmidtke is a Professor in the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Victoria. He also holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics and serves as the director of the Centre for Global Studies in Victoria (https://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/globalstudies/). He received his PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and has been a JF Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University, a visiting scholar at Humboldt University Berlin, a F. Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute, and a Marie Curie Fellow at Hamburg University. His research interests are in the fields of the European integration, migration, democracy, citizenship, and nationalism from a comparative transatlantic perspective. Oliver Schmidtke has been leading several collaborative international projects and European Union grants. He was president of the European Community Studies Association Canada (2004-06) and continues to be the leader of the EUCAnet project (European Studies Canada Network: http://www.eucanet.org). Oliver Schmidtke is a regular contributor to national and international media. He has published 15 books and over 70 journal articles/ chapters as well as presented more than 100 conference papers, keynote addresses and public presentations over the past 10 years.



Megan Swift

Megan Swift is an associate professor of Russian Studies in the department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria. She specializes in the culture of Lenin and Stalin’s Russia, and in the memory politics of Putin’s Russia.

In fall 2017 she organized the “1917 and Today: Putin, Russia and the Legacy of Revolution” conference at UVic (https://hcmc.uvic.ca/1917andToday/index.php). She is currently editing a book project based on that project.

Recent public talks and conference papers:

“Putin and the Patriarch: Appropriating Russia’s National Past.” Public Lecture Series of the Centre for Study in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria. October 18 (2018).

Abstract: https://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/csrs/assets/docs/lecture-posters/2018-2019/6-swift-draft.pdf

“The Memory Politics of the 1917 Centenary.” Canadian Association of Slavists. May 27, 2018. Regina, Sask.

“The Silent Jubilee: Commemorative Practice and the Construction of the Post-Soviet Anniversary in Putin’s Russia.” International conference on “1917 and Today.” University of Victoria, October 25-27, 2017.

Abstract: https://hcmc.uvic.ca/1917andToday/abstracts.php#ten

Recent refereed articles:

“The Poet, The Peasant and the Nation: Aleksandr Puškin’s ‘Skazka o pope  i o rabotnike ego Balde’ [Tale of the Priest and of his worker Balda] (1830) in Illustrated Editions 1917-53.” Russian Literature, Volumes 87-89 (January-April 2017): 123-146.


“The Bronze Horseman Rides Again: The Stalinist Reimaging of Alexander Pushkin’s Mednyi vsadnik, 1928-53.” The Russian Review, (Vol. 72, No. 1) January 2013: 24-44. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/russ.10679)

Dr. Chris Kilford

During his 36-year military career in the Canadian Armed Forces, Chris served throughout Canada, Germany, Afghanistan and Turkey in various command, instructional and staff roles. 

From July 2009 until July 2010, he was posted to the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan as the Canadian Deputy Military Attaché  and then to the Canadian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey as the Canadian Defence Attaché from July 2011 until August 2014.  Chris retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in September 2014.   

Chris completed a PhD in history at Queen’s University in 2009 with a focus on civil-military relations in the developing world in the post-colonial period.  Today, he is a Fellow with the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy, a Research Fellow with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, President of the Canadian International Council, Victoria Branch and a member of the national board plus a sessional professor with the Royal Military College and the Canadian Forces College teaching distance learning courses focused on political geography and global powers and institutions.

His articles and opinion pieces on Canadian defence and foreign policy issues plus Turkish and Middle Eastern matters have appeared in numerous Canadian and international publications and he has become a frequent media commentator.

Derek Fraser

Derek Fraser is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Global Studies, Adjunct Professor for Political Science at the University of Victoria and Member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Ukraine Foundation.

He had a long career with Global Affairs Canada. He gained extensive experience in East-West relations and the communist and post-communist world, through postings in Vietnam, Germany, the Soviet Union, Hungary and Ukraine, and in Ottawa, as Director of Relations with Eastern Europe.

He was the ambassador to Hungary, Greece, and Ukraine.



Paul Robinson

Alison Rowley

Nancy Teeple

Lisa Sundstrom

Tatiana Tiaynen-Qadir

Zachary Paikin