Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

William and Helen Petrach Program on Ukraine

The IERES Petrach Program conducts a large number of activities that improve the understanding of Ukraine in Washington and in the broader American and international contexts.


A major ongoing project brings together scholars from Washington, the US and Canada, the EU, and Ukraine to study the evolution of state-building and reform efforts in Ukraine over twenty years of independence since 1991. The goal is to determine the factors that facilitate reform and those that hinder it. This multi-disciplinary collaborative effort will contribute to the academic literature on political and economic change and offer practical advice on how to make reform more successful.

This project sponsored a major international workshop examining reform prospects in Ukraine in November 2011. A follow-up workshop, funded by an Elliott School SOAR grant, took place in June 2013. It will contribute to the literature on Ukraine by producing new research results on Ukraine and putting these into a much broader comparative perspective. This project will result in an edited volume and specific policy advice for key officials in Ukraine and the US.

Full-time faculty publishing major works on Ukraine in recent years include Henry Hale (World Politics, Journal of Democracy), Robert Orttung (Freedom House), and Sharon Wolchik (World Politics).


IERES's journal Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization produced a special issue on Ukraine (Spring 2013), which included the following articles:
Serhiy Kudelia, "If Tomorrow Comes: Power Balance and Time Horizons in Ukraine's Constitutional Politics"
Nadia Diuk, "Youth as an Agent for Change: The Next Generation in Ukraine"
Susan Stewart, "Public Procurement Reform in Ukraine: The Implications of Neopatrimonialism for External Actors"
Taras Kuzio, "Yushchenko versus Tymoshenko: Why Ukraine's National Democrats Are Divided"
Tanya Zaharchenko, "Polyphonic Dichotomies: Memory and Identity in Today's Ukraine"
Mykola Riabchuk, "Why We Speak Like That: Ambiguous Discourses of an Ambivalent Transition"
Emmanuelle Armandon, "Popular Assessments of Ukraine's Relations with Russia and the European Union under Yanukovych"

Additionally, the journal will publish in July 2013:
Serhij Vasylchenko, "The Negative Consequences of Proportional Representation in Ukraine"
Olena Rybiy, "Party System Institutionalization in Ukraine"

Recent PONARS Eurasia Policy Memos
Serhiy Kudelia, "The Price of Brotherly Love: What Will Russia Lose from Integrating Ukraine?"
Arkady Moshes, "Will Ukraine Join (and Save) the Eurasian Customs Union?"
Arkady Moshes, "Will Europe Walk Away from Ukraine?"
Volodymyr Dobovyk, "Ukraine and the United States: Assessing their Relationship on the Eve of the Elections"
Oleksandr Fisun, "Electoral Laws and Patronage Politics in Ukraine"
Olexey Haran, "Polarizing the Country? Yanukovych's Authoritarian Game between Russia and the EU on the Eve of Ukraine's 2012 Parliamentary Elections"

PONARS Eurasia held an academic workshop in November 2012 in Kyiv, in collaboration with the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation.  Participants presented 15 working papers on regional comparative politics and foreign policy. The program also hosted a well-attended public seminar, "What Now? Politics and Foreign Policy in Contemporary Ukraine," as well as hosting meetings with Ukrainian government officials. 

Additionally, the PONARS Eurasia program sponsored a 2010 Workshop in Odessa and a 2010 Washington Workshop with speakers Olexiy Haran (University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy) and Oleksandr Sushko (Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Kyiv).

Faculty Exchange with Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

IERES has a regular faculty and graduate student exchange program with the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. In recent years GW faculty Harvey Feigenbaum and Sharon Wolchik visited Lviv and several Lviv faculty members have come to IERES, including:

Roman Moskalyk , associate professor, "Strategies of Multinational Negotiations and Policy Advocacy: Lessons for Ukraine"
Iryna Yeleyko, associate professor, Faculty of International Relations, "The impact of policy on labor migration in North America"
Yuriy Kyrylych, Ph.D. student, "Problems of uneven socio-economic development in the world under globalization"
Liliya Ukraynets, associate professor, "The Evolution of the Relationships in the US-India-China Triangle in the Context of Globalization"  

Visiting Scholars

Serhiy Kudelia, assistant professor of Political Science at Baylor University, "Ukraine's Institutions"
Olena Rybiy, junior research scholar, I.F. Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, "The Algorithm of Institutional Analysis, as Applied to Political Institutions in Ukraine"
Alexandr Osipian, associate professor of history at Kramatorsk Institute of Economics and Humanities, NCEEER Carnegie Research Fellow, "Uses of History and Regional Diversity in Ukraine's Elections, 2004-2010: The Failed Reforms in a Divided Society"
Oleksandr Sukhodolia, Fulbright Scholar, National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, "Energy Security of Ukraine: Geopolitics, Economics, and Governance"  


Iryna Yeleyko, Ivan Franko National University, Lviv, "International Labor Migration and Migration Policy"
Tanya Zaharchenko
, University of Cambridge, "Understanding Polyphony: Ukraine's Fluid Identity/ies"
Serhiy Kudelia, Baylor University, "Ukraine: Democracy in Danger," co-sponsored with the National Endowment for Democracy
Olga Onuch, Oxford University, "When 'Ordinary People' Join In: Understanding Moments of Mass Mobilization in Argentina (2001), Egypt (2011), and Ukraine (2004)"
Taras Kuzio, "Ukraine's 2012 Parliamentary Elections"
Roman Moskalyk, Ivan Franko National University, "Strategies of Multinational Negotiations and Policy Advocacy: Ukraine's Experience"
Marlene Laruelle, IERES, "Xenophobia and Labor Migration: A New Paradigm for Framing Identity Debates in Ukraine?"

Other Projects

IERES also cooperates with North American organizations dedicated to Ukraine, including hosting the 2010 annual alumni conference of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program (CUPP) and co-hosting a dinner with the US-Ukraine Business Council for IERES's 2010 workshop on the Ukrainian presidential elections.

Ivan Franko National University

Ivan Franko National University in L'viv, Ukraine

Ukraine's economic and political transition since 1991 exemplifies the challenges and opportunities that face the countries of the former Soviet Union. The 2004 "Orange Revolution" drew renewed attention to Ukraine and the Institute has sponsored numerous events that have analyzed and discussed Ukraine's recent political changes and its relations with Europe and Russia. As Ukraine's future continues to take shape, the Institute, with the generous support of the Petrach Endowment, will help bring clarity to the complicated transition in Ukraine.

Mr. Petrach was born in Dobrotvir, Poland (now Ukraine) and served successively in the Polish, Soviet and Czech armies against the Germans in World War II. He twice escaped from German prisoner-of-war camps and was also imprisoned in the Soviet Gulag for three years. Mr. Petrach graduated from L'viv State University in 1939 and taught as an assistant professor from 1945-1948 at Bacumov College in Czechoslovakia. He moved to Canada in 1948, and met his future wife, Helen, while visiting relatives in the United States. While Helen worked as a librarian at the Library of New York Academy of Medicine, Mr. Petrach obtained a position with the National Security Agency as an instructor of advanced Slavic languages. On retirement he received a medal citing his "outstanding" and "dedicated service to the Government of the United States, 1965-1993." After Helen's retirement, she took an interest in the stock market and was very successful. Mr. Petrach created "The William and Helen Petrach Endowment for Ukrainian Exchanges and Programs" at the George Washington University in her memory.

Read Mr. Petrach's remarkable autobiography. P D F icon


European Identity as Cultural Strategy: Countering Russia in the Post-Soviet Borderlands of Urkaine, Georgia, and Estonia
December 2, 2015

Ukraine's Unresolved Conflict: Why It Is Far from Frozen and What That Means
December 3, 2015

The World Youth Democracy Forum and Webcast Meeting with the 2015 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Winner: Dr. Jamil Hasanli
December 9, 2015

Discussion with Rabbi Yeshaya Cohen
December 9, 2015

Women and Water in Central Asia and South Asia: Building a Sustainable Future
December 11, 2015

» All upcoming events

Sign up for our events mailing list


Professor Sebastien Peyrouse co-authors articlein the November 2015 issue of Eurasian Geography and Economics entitled "Central Asia: the New Silk Road Initiative's Questionable Economic Rationality Rationality."

Professor Robert Orttung to be principal investigator of a multi-disciplinary project "Promoting Urban Sustainability in the Arctic," supported by the National Science Foundation and meant to assess the consequences of human activities in the region across a number of important dimensions.

Professor Robert Orttung featured in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog regarding Russia's media strategy and interviewed by the Institute of Modern Russia on effects of Russia's declining economy.

Professor Cory Welt writes a policy memo for PONARS Eurasia on media freedom and rule of law in Georgia.

Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor Hope Harrison recently interviewed by Deutsche Welle on US-West German relations under Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on entitled "Examining Kazakhstan's Religions Contradiction."

Professor Harris Mylonas reviews Kostis Kornetis' Children of the Dictatorship: Student Resistance, Cultural Politics and the "Long 1960s" in Greece in the American Historical Review.

Professor Oleh Havrylyshyn publishes two articles: one on economic reform in Ukraine, another on transition in Ukraine.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article with Keith Darden about why - and how - some countries are more linguistically homogenous than others.

Associate Dean Hope M. Harrison writes article on twenty-five years of German unification for the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Professor Eliot Sorel's publication Total Health for All is included in the ceremonial World Mental Health Day Volume to be observed October 10th.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse interviewed about Turkmenistan on the Steppe Dispatches website.

Professor Harris Mylonas reviews Onur Yıldırım's Diplomacy and Displacement: Reconsidering the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations, 1922–1934 in the Journal of Cold War Studies.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse writes article (in Russian) on governments' responses to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Central Asia.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on the perspectives and limits of Chinese-US competition, using Kazakhstan as a case study.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes new article on nation building in Social Science Quarterly.

Professor Harris Mylonas co-authored a post with Akis Georgakellos in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog about upcoming elections in Greece.

Professor Harris Mylonas co-authored a policy memo with Ariel Ahram about the distinction between bounded and unbounded de facto states.

Professor Robert Orttung and Sufian Zhemukhov write an op-ed for the Moscow Times entitled "Why Has Putin Spared Ekho Moskvy?"

Professor Robert Orttung quoted in Bloomberg article about recent Russian actions in Crimea.

Professor Harris Mylonas writes article in Foreign Affairs entitled "The Agreement that could Break Europe: Euroskeptics, Eurocritics, and Life after the Bailout."

Professor Harris Mylonas interviewed by TV2 Africa about Greece's recent 'no' vote.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on Kazakhstan's World Religion Congress for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog.

Professor Robert Orttung writes an article on Russia for Freedom House's annual "Nations in Transit" report.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes a book review of Dan Lainer-Vos's Sinews of the Nation: Constructing Irish and Zionist bonds in the United States (Cambridge: Polity Press,  2013) in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.

Professor Harris Mylonas participates in H-Diplo and International Security Studies Forum roundtable on Adria Lawrence's "Imperial Rule and the Politics of Nationalism: Anti-Colonial Protest in the French Empire." A PDF can be found here (Professor Mylonas's contribution can be found on pages 8 through 12).

Professor Robert Orttung writes op-ed "Why Autocrats Love FIFA?" for the Moscow Times.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes paper entitled "The 'Russian World' : Russia's Soft Power and Geopolitical Imagination."

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes article on Russia's interaction with far-right European groups in the most recent Russian Analytical Digest.

Professor Henry Hale co-authors piece on Russians' opinion of Ukraine in the Washington Post's blog The Monkey Cage.

Professor Marlene Laruelle interviewed by Steppe Dipatches on Central Asian states' relations with Russia and China.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on Central Asian states' management of religion on

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes op-ed entitled "The Power of Soft Power in Kazakhstan" in the Monkey Cage blog of the Washington Post.

Professor Cory Welt is a guest editor (and co-authors the introduction) of a special issue of Problems of Post-Communism on Russian foreign policy.

Alexander Reisenbichler publishes an article on the creation of the Financial Stability Forum in the Review of International Political Economy.

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article "Russia as a 'Divided Nation'" in the journal Problems of Post-Communism (also available on

Professor Kimberly Morgan and Alexander Reisenbichler (a former IERES PhD fellow) publish a chapter entitled "The German Labor Market: No Longer the Sick Man of Europe" in an e-book on the German economy. Other contributters include Peter Hall, Philippe Schmitter, and many others.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article on recent presidential elections in Uzbekistan on

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article on US sanctions on Alexander Dugin in Foreign Affairs.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article on events in Greece in 2013 in the European Journal of Political Research.

Professors Marlene Laruelle draws attention to Kazakhstan's attitude toward the Eurasian Union and Sebastien Peyrouse analyzes Kyrgyzstan's prospects for accession therein in the most recent edition of the Russian Analytical Digest.

Professor Robert Orttung quoted in an article in Vice News about online tactics used by EU, NATO, and Russia.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes a paper on the mythmaking of Novorossiya (available on

Professor Robert Orttung and two undergraduate IERES students - Elizabeth Nelson and Anthony Livshen - write an article in the Washington Post on how Russia Today operates across different language platforms on Youtube to spread Kremlin messages about Ukraine. 

Professor Eliot Sorel to lead panel on mental health in Bucharest from June 24 to June 27 as part of an international congress integrating primary care, mental care, and public health.

Professor Robert Orttung, together with students from GWU and the University of Chicago, publish an article on Russian television and the Internet.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on youth patriotic clubs in Russia (available on

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article entitled "The Ukrainian Crisis and its Impact on Transforming Russian Nationalism Landscape" in Ukraine and Russia: People, Politics, Propaganda and Perspectives

Professor Cory Welt was quoted by the Voice of America on the implications of Ukraine’s Minsk II cease-fire agreement.

» Read more news

» Read the latest issue of our newsletter

facebook icon Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter