Thursday, May 21│12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
George Washington University, State Room, 1957 E St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20052

The concept of the “Russian World” is often invoked by Russian officials to describe a unique civilization, caught between East and West. But it remains an ambiguous idea even within Russia itself, sending mixed signals about the Kremlin’s intended foreign policy.

On May 21 CGI and the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University held a discussion on the historical origins and contemporary political usage of this term, particularly as it applies to the Ukrainian crisis.

This event marked the release of CGI’s new report, “The Russian World: Russia’s Soft Power and Geopolitical Imagination” authored by Marlene Laruelle, Director of the Central Asia Program at George Washington University. Gerard Toal of Virginia Tech joined as the discussant, and CGI Program Director Konstantin Avramov moderated the Q&A.


  • Marlene Laruelle, Research Professor of International Affairs; Director, Central Asia Program; Associate Director, Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University.


  • Gerard Toal (discussant), Professor of Government and International Affairs, Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Associate Editor, Geopolitics and Eurasian Geography and Economics.