Carole Grimaud Potter


Valérie Geneux


Nikolay Chechelashvili

Project Development: Carole Grimaud Potter, Valérie Geneux

Public Relations, Press and Media / Events: Valérie Geneux, Carole Grimaud Potter

Web Design / Community Management/ Communication: Carole Grimaud Potter, Nikita Taranko Acosta, Maximilian Gassmann

Web Media: Nikolay Chechelashvili

Publishing: Valérie Geneux, Carole Grimaud Potter

Translation:  Isabelle Bairamukova / Nikita Taranko Acosta

IT Support: Dmitriy Gusev


Carole Grimaud Potter

Responsible for Russian, Ukrainian and Central European space

Carole is the founder of the project C. R. E. E. R and she is a former journalist of the written press. The decision to specialise in the Median Europe and Russia led her to resume her studies in 2013. After a Bachelor Degree in LEA (Applied Foreign Languages from French) specialising in English and Russian languages with the focus on International Economic Affairs (obtained in 2016) and following the successful completion of the two Summer programmes at the Moscow State University (2014 and 2015), Carole decided to undertake another Summer programme at MGIMO in Russian Energy Policy (2016). She entered the same year the Global Studies Institute in Geneva to continue her specialisation via Russia-Median Europe Master (MAREM). Carole continues her studies in the Master’s programme among a group of students who are passionate about the region just as she is. That is why most of peers decided to join her project in 2017. Carole specialises on Russian and East European nationalism, Eurasianism and neo-Eurasianism as well as fascism and extremism.

Valérie Geneux

Responsible for Balkan and Southeastern European space

Valérie, originally from Geneva, decided to follow the Master’s Programme « Russia-Median Europe » offered by the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva. She made this choice after obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in General History and Ancient History at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Geneva. Valérie has always displayed a remarkable interest in the issues concerning the Balkan region (especially the former Yugoslavia). This said, Valérie’s area of expertise covers several relevant themes for the Balkans, such as nationalism, integration, historical memory, culture, but also the notions of identity and democracy region-wide. Finally, Valérie is also conducting research on communist and contemporary Romania, a subject she is particularly fond of.

Nikolay CheChelashvili

Responsible for the Caucasus region

Nikolay is of Russian (father) and Georgian (mother) origin. He arrived in Geneva at the age of 3 in the Summer of 1994. While studying at Calvin College, a major event would mark the pursuit of his studies: the Russian-Georgian war (2008). In 2011, Nikolay completed an internship at the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva. In 2016, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Armenian-Russian Studies (Armenian and Russian language, history and literature) before undertaking the Master’s Programme “Russian-Median Europe (MAREM) at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva where Nikolay pays particular attention to the Caucasus region and its relations to Russia. For instance, Nikolay’s line of research focuses on the three countries with the “shared neighbourhood” between Russia and the European Union (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). He is currently writing a thesis tackling namely the EU’s mechanisms of influence in Georgia.

Special Contributors

Jasmin Gut

Having recently completed her studies at the Global Studies Institute in “Russia-Median Europe” Master’s Programme as well as a Master’s Degree in Literature — both at the University of Geneva — Jasmin is interested in various fields of research. She is passionate about literature and international politics with a focus on Russia. It is thus only natural for her to combine these two interests in her research. Jasmin has done several trips and stays in Russia, including an expedition to the Russian Arctic. That is where she discovered the “real Russia” and fell in love with this great country while keeping the necessary critical distance at all times for scientific work.

Kevin Bonvin

Kevin has Swiss, French and German roots. He has been interested in European cultural and historical issues since childhood. Kevin obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in General History and Latin Language and Literature while studying Russian to broaden his horizons towards Eastern Europe. The Russia-Median Europe Master’s Programme of the Global Studies Institute allows him to combine his interest in Russian history and culture. Kevin specialises in European political and cultural issues as well as the East-West confrontation.

Caroline Favre

Although Caroline is open to dealing with diverse and varied topics, she is mainly interested in issues of memory and nation-building. She never rules out the possibility of using literature as a reliable source and is particularly fond of topics concerning the Soviet period. She gained interest in literature during her Bachelor’s Degree in German and Russian Studies (language, literature and culture) at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Geneva. During that period, Caroline also completed a one-year exchange programme at the University of Vienna. She has recently finished her Master’s Programme “Russian-Median Europe” at the Global Studies Institute in Geneva and continues to conduct research on her main areas of interest.

Tiruhi Galstyan

Tiruhi was born and raised in Armenia and has just completed her Master’s Programme « Russia-Median Europe » at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in General History in Armenia, but she had decided to continue her studies in an international city such as Geneva in order to put her academic knowledge in history and international relations into practice. Coming from a country with a turbulent history marked by wars and violence, Tiruhi is interested in both politics and history of the South Caucasus. At present, she specialises in Russian politics in the post-Soviet space, in particular in the South Caucasus and paying a special attention to Armenia. Her line of investigation comprises historical, political and security matters of this area.

Isabelle Bairamukova

Isabelle is a recent graduate from the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva. She has just successfully completed the Master’s programme « Russia-Median Europe » and is about to finish an internship at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Adrien Nonjon

Editor specialising in Ukraine

Adrien is a recent graduate from the French Institute of Geopolitics (IFG) in Paris. He is mainly interested in the geostrategic questions concerning Ukraine, but also in the study of the local extreme right groups and their different dynamics. Adrien is also a member of the think tank GEG — “Groupe d’Études Géopolitiques” — (Geopolitical Studies Group from French), where he co-directs the Russian Department of GEG Russia.

Axel Genoud Prachex

Coming from the mountainous region of Savoy (France), Axel has always been intrigued by what is happening beyond the mountains. He has been increasingly pushing his fascination and curiosity further to the East as his interest has been steadily growing in the Median Europe since his exchange in Prague. Axel is currently pursuing a Master’s Programme at the French Institute of Geopolitics (IFG) in Paris. For the time being, he is focusing on the relationship between Russia and the European Union, namely around the Pontic basin.

Marton Krasznai

Marton was born in a family of diplomats and he grew up between Vienna and Budapest, before settling down in Geneva. From a young age, he was able to perceive the intricacies of Central Europe, a region which is linked to the rest of Europe by its history, but which differs from it at the same time by the nature of the challenges it has yet to overcome. Following a Master’s Programme “Russia-Median Europe” at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva, and after having completed a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations within the same institution, Marton is strongly interested in the diplomatic relations of the former USSR and contemporary Russia with the rest of the European countries. In addition, Marton pays a special attention to the current course of Hungary, where the main party’s grip on power is of his utmost concern.

Nikita Taranko Acosta

Interdisciplinary analyst & translator specialising on the EAEU and the CIS

Nikita grew up in an international environment. He comes from a bilingual Russian-Spanish family and was born in Minsk (Belarus) and raised in the Canary Islands (Spain). Nikita has started his professional career by obtaining his Bachelor’s Degrees in Translation and Interpreting at the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain (2011) in addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Multilingual Communication at the University of Geneva (2013). During his studies, Nikita had the chance to complete several academic, professional and linguistic stays abroad in various European countries, apart from participating in several exchange programmes in Switzerland and the UK. These experiences helped to enhance Nikita’s linguistic skills (he is currently able to communicate fluently in Spanish, Russian, English, French and German) and aroused his interest in international politics and in the concept of “Global Citizenship”. It is after undertaking a module in Russian Studies at the University of Manchester (2015) and due to his personal background as well as a deep attachment to the post-Soviet space — namely to the Eastern Slavic countries (Belarus, Russia and Ukraine) — that Nikita decided to diversify his profile by following a Master’s Programme “Russia-Median Europe” at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva, hoping to acquire the necessary tools and knowledge to work on the economic and sociopolitical issues of the region from a transnational angle.

Maximilian Gassmann

Maximilian is currently a student in International Relations at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva. He is especially passionate about contemporary Russia, country to which he dedicates most of his studies: to its culture, its history and its relations with the rest of the world. Maximilian has recently completed an exchange semester in Russia at the Faculty of Global Politics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2017.

Ricardo Coelho Alves

After four years of professional experience in the financial sector, Ricardo decided to expand his knowledge in this field. That is why he got enrolled in a Master’s Programme in Economics and Politics at the University of Fribourg. Having a particular interest in competitiveness and regional development, Ricardo follows closely the economic issues of Eastern Europe

Edouard Pontoizeau

Edouard is a French student who has been living in Canada for five years. He obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Political Science at the University of Montreal. Edouard’s field of study involves the political and economic transitions as well as the modes of governance in the republics of the former Soviet Union. He is especially interested in issues such as corruption, the exercise of power (behaviour of elites, neo/patrimonialism, etc.) and the study of the post-Soviet States’ political and economic strategies (namely those deployed in Azerbaijan). Edouard is also a member of the Quebec network for post-Soviet studies and he wrote a dissertation about the link between the endemic corruption in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas industry and the preservation of the current regime.

Hendrik Zscoch

Hendrik is of German and Dutch origin. He attended the University College of Maastricht, where he obtained a Bachelor Degree in International Relations and Political Theory. Hendrik is involved in the MARBLE research project at the UCM dealing with Russia’s ouster from the G8 group in 2014. His Bachelor thesis tackles the role of natural resources in Russia’s foreign policy agenda. After completing the MGIMO programme “Russian Energy Politics” in 2016, Hendrik decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Global Politics at the London School of Economics. His thesis explores the European Union’s reaction to the Russian military intervention in Eastern Ukraine. Hendrik is interested in a wide range of topics concerning Russian politics, the nationalisms and social movements in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet states’ transformation processes.