The Eureast Platform hosts three knowledge centres that foster the study and research of countries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. These centres' primary goal is to improve academic and societal understanding of their focus area.

Knowledge centre Viae Caspiae

Measuring about 371,000 square kilometers and situated on the interface of Eastern Europe, the northern and southern Caucasus and Central Asia, the Caspian Sea is globally the largest fully-landlocked waterbody. Viae Caspiae wants to offer a framework for multidisciplinary and cross-faculty study of the Caspian Sea, its littoral region and basin, and its overall position in the wider regions and polities that surround it. It will not only be approached as a maritime space and -system in se but also in terms of the role an impact of the (vicinity of) the landlocked sea on the societies and cultures of the Caspian littoral.

By doing so, Viae Caspiae want to examine a sub-region of the wider area through the lens of one of its major physical-geographic features − the presence of a sea – rather than through a cluster of countries and polities. Its purpose is to go beyond the cliché of the Caspian being merely as an oil-producing region and passive subject of abstract geopolitics. Though not exhaustive, topics that are most of interest are: social history; cultural identities; current social-grassroots dynamics; ecology and environment; extractive industries and their social-societal impact; post-oil extraction scenarios and -perspectives and economic diversification.

Given its focus on an ‘inland sea’ paradigm and the interconnectedness between the Caspian and Aral Sea regions, the centre is also open to topics related to the Aral area.


Bruno De Cordier Bruno De Cordier is Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University (Universiteit Gent). He teaches Humanitarian Policy there and has previously been an international relief worker for various relief organisations for almost ten years, the bulk in deployment in areas of the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union and especially Central Asia. De Cordier also has a course in the social history of Central Asia and the world of the steppe, which extents ultimately to the Pontic-Caspian steppe in eastern Europe. He is particularly interested in the extents and ways in which past histories continue to be reflected in present realities and identities, and in ways is which history can inspire ways to deal with the turbulent present and -future. Some of De Cordier’s latest feats is the co-authoring and editing of the ‘The European handbook of Central Asian studies: history, politics, societies’ which was published in autumn 2021 with ibidem Verlag and of "Photographing Central Asia - from the periphery of the Russian empire to global presence", which was published in summer 2022 with De Gruyter.
Nick Krekelbergh Nick Krekelbergh is a teaching assistant and PhD researcher at the Department of Environment at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of Ghent University (Universiteit Gent). He is currently employed at the research groups of Soil Fertility & Nutrient Management and Soil Degradation & Conservation. As a teaching assistant, he’s been active in subjects such as Soil Science, Soil Erosion, Nutrient Management, Biogeochemical Cycles, Soil Degradation and Land Evaluation. His PhD research focuses on the detection, dynamics and distribution of microplastics in soil. He supervised several bachelor papers and master theses in this field of research, investigating the detection of microparticles and the migration of microplastics between different ecosystem compartments and towards the groundwater table. In 2002 he graduated in archaeology with a master's thesis on Bronze Age burial mound structures in the West Flemish landscape. Furthermore, Nick has over 15 years of experience in archaeological research, both in Flanders and the Netherlands. He has gained experience with archaeological excavations as well as with large-scale prospective landscape soil research. In 2019, he graduated as Master of Science in Geography. His master thesis research focused on soil erosion and soil mapping in agricultural basins in Nord-Pas-de-Calais (France). He has a specific interest in the region covered by the Eureast Platform, and the Caspian Basin in particular, from an environmental and physical geographical point of view.
Karolina Kluczewska

Karolina Kluczewska is a FWO postdoctoral researcher at the Ghent Institute for International and European Studies (GIES), and a research associate at the Institute of Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus Studies at the University of St Andrews (UK). Her current research explores evolving understanding of welfare in Poland and Tajikistan. She received her PhD degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, where she defended her PhD thesis on development aid in Tajikistan. In recent years, she held research and teaching positions at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Marburg and University of Giessen (Germany), Tajik National University (Tajikistan), Tomsk State University (Russia) and University Sorbonne Paris Nord (France). Karolina also has practical experience in the development sector in Tajikistan, where she worked for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA)-Tajikistan. She is a member of an academic network ‘Local Ordering and Peace’ based at the University of Hamburg, which largely focuses on post-Soviet Eurasia.

Knowledge centre Ukraine-plus

The Eureast Platform Knowledge Centre 'Ukraine and Eastern Europe' (‘Ukraine-plus’) is an interdisciplinary centre for consolidating, advancing, and disseminating knowledge about Ukraine and other Eastern European countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Moldova). The centre's mission is to strengthen the voices of Ukraine and Eastern Europe in academic debates by organizing research conferences and seminars, building partnerships with local and international institutions and centres, and providing expertise on the region. It aims to serve as a knowledge centre by:
  • promoting the understanding that Ukraine and Eastern Europe is not a "buffer zone", but a fundamental part of the wider European and international community;
  • providing a platform for the voices and narratives from the region, thereby challenging the colonial ‘russocentric’ approach, dominant in the studies of Ukraine and other countries of Eastern Europe;
  • serving as an in-house information centre offering academic advice for students and researchers at Ghent University who study issues related to Ukraine and Eastern Europe;
  • promoting the study of and research on Eastern Europe and advancing academic and societal knowledge about the region: its histories, societies, political and economic systems, languages, literatures, and cultures.


Aleksey (Oleksiy) Yudin's

Aleksey (Oleksiy) Yudin's area of specialization is Slavic ethnolinguistics. His work combines linguistic anthropology, ethno-semiotics, folklore studies, and the study of Slavic traditional religion and magic. He is particularly interested in onomastics, or the study of proper names, in the context of East Slavic magical folklore such as magic charms and Christmas carols.
Prof. Yudin is an expert in Slavic linguistic axiology, which is the study of value systems and language, as well as semantics and conceptual and discourse analysis, in addition to ethnolinguistics.
Membership on the editorial boards of periodicals including "Bulletin of the Orthodox St. Tikhon University," "Folklorica," and "Etnolingwistyka" acknowledges Prof. Yudin's contributions to the study of Slavic ethnolinguistics. He also serves on the International Congress of Slavists' Presidency of the Ethnolinguistic Commission.

Alina Cherviatsova

Alina Cherviatsova is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow (research project ‘To Destroy or to Preserve? Monuments, Law and Democracy in Europe’), Human Rights Center, Programme for studies on human rights in context, Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University. She is a coordinator of the Jean Monnet Module “On-line Ghent University Academy for Ukrainian Lecturers: EU Law and Policy” (2022-25).
Dr. Cherviatsova has been awarded research fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Max Planck Institute of European Legal History, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law, the University of Turin, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Toronto. She is an alumna of Max Planck Society, US State Department International Exchange Program, and the Swedish Institute.

Before joining Ghent University in May 2021, she was Associate professor of the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, teaching international law, comparative public law, constitutional law of Ukraine, and human rights. She was Vice Dean for International Cooperation, Faculty of Law, an (co)author of applications and coordinator of 3 Jean Monnet Modules at the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (2014-17, 2018-2021, 2019-2021). She was a co-founder of the Journal of Law of the V. N. Karazin National University and Secretary of its editorial board.

Dmytro Panchuk Dmytro Panchuk is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Public Governance and Management, Ghent University. In 2017, he defended his PhD in Political Science at the Centre for EU Studies, Ghent University, under the auspices of Erasmus Mundus Action 2 (EuroEast). He earned his Bachelor’s in Philology (English language and literature) from the National University of Ostroh Academy (Ukraine) in 2009 and a Master of Public Administration from Kansas State University (USA) in 2011. In 2012-2013, Dmytro taught introductory courses in Economics, Political Science, and Professional English (Law, PR) at Ostroh Academy. In 2017-2020, after his PhD programme with Ghent University, Dmytro worked as consultant on Ukraine-related research and advocacy projects with the Alliance of Democracy/Rasmussen Global and the Ukrainian World Congress Mission to International Organizations in Brussels.
Katsiaryna Lozka

Katsiaryna Lozka is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Ghent Institute for International and European Studies (GIES). Katsiaryna’s doctoral research focuses on necropolitical violence and resistance in Belarus and Ukraine. She was a research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Belarus Observatory, a visiting researcher at the University of Tartu, and a research fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US. Katsiaryna holds an MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges and a Master's degree in European Studies from Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia). Her interests include politics in Belarus and Ukraine, necro/biopolitics, political violence and resistance, emotions in IR, and visual analysis.

Peter Van Elsuwege

Peter Van Elsuwege is professor of EU law and Jean Monnet Chair at Ghent University, where he is co-director of the Ghent European Law Institute (GELI). He is also visiting professor at the College of Europe (Natolin Campus) and board member of the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER) at the Asser Institute in The Hague. His research activities essentially focus on the law of EU external relations and EU citizenship. Specific attention is devoted to the legal framework of the relations between the European Union and its East European neighbours. He has published extensively on the legal framework of EU-Ukraine relations and was the supervisor of a PhD thesis (defended by Guillaume Van der Loo) on ‘The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. A New Legal Instrument for EU Integration Without Membership). He also provided several training sessions for Ukrainian civil servants with respect to the process of legal approximation between the EU and Ukraine. Peter Van Elsuwege closely works together with Prof. Roman Petrov, Jean Monnet Chair in EU law at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla. They have several joint publications, focusing on various aspects of EU-Ukraine relations, and co-organised several workshops and conferences on these topics. Finally, professor Van Elsuwege is promotor of the UGent_Academy4UA, a Jean Monnet module devoted to the development of teaching and research in the field of EU law in Ukraine.

Knowledge centre CERISE

CERISE (Centre for Russian, International Socio-Political and Economic Studies) was founded in 2001. The knowledge centre’s mission is to critically study and reflect on Russia – its culture, international relations, socio-political system and economy, both today and in the past – and to disseminate those results to academia, policymakers and the wider public, in order to improve our understanding of this strategically important country. Also, and especially today, with Russia waging war against its neighbor country Ukraine, a better insight into Russia is no less than crucial.

Since its start, the multidisciplinary knowledge centre has brought together scholars from different faculties and disciplines. Also, it has welcomed academics focusing on other regions than the Russian Federation and has hosted talks by and meetings with policy makers, journalists and people in the cultural field. The knowledge centre will continue to pursue its mission and to apply its critical, multidisciplinary and inclusive approach under the wings of the Eureast Platform and in close collaboration with the Platform’s other knowledge centres.


Ben Dhooge Ben Dhooge is Associate Professor of Russian literature at Ghent University’s Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, where he currently he is program chair of the study program in East European Languages and Cultures. Ben Dhooge’s research focuses on early twentieth-century (modernist) Russian literature, both Soviet and émigré. Central in his research are experiments with language, discourse on language and cultural identity. His focus on cultural identity has led him to develop an online, multidisciplinary MA course ‘Russia between east and west’, focusing on an issue which has induced many heated discussions in Russia in the past and which continues to (co)determine Russia’s (cultural) politics until today: is Russia a ‘Western’, ‘Eastern’ or a self-contained culture and civilization? Currently, he is the co-director of Ghent University’s Eureast Platform, together with professor Fabienne Bossuyt.
Koen Schoors Koen Schoors is a Belgian economist and Full Professor at the Department of Economics of Ghent University’s under Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. In the past, he also taught at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven), at the Vlerick Business School and at the Higher School of Economics at Moscow. He is ranked in the top 10% of the IDEAS top of economists worldwide. His main field of research is the banking and finance sector, business financing and direct foreign investments, with a particular focus on Russia. Furthermore, he is an expert on economic recessions, a subject he often holds public talks on. Professor Schoors appears on a regular basis in the media as commentator on socio-economic events, recently on the economic sanctions on Russia.
Peter Van Elsuwege

Peter Van Elsuwege is professor of EU law and Jean Monnet Chair at Ghent University, where he is co-director of the Ghent European Law Institute (GELI). He is also visiting professor at the College of Europe (Natolin Campus) and board member of the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER) at the Asser Institute in The Hague. His research activities essentially focus on the law of EU external relations and EU citizenship. Specific attention is devoted to the legal framework of the relations between the European Union and its East European neighbours. He is, amongst others, the author of From Soviet Republics to EU Member States. A Legal and Political Assessment of the Baltic States’ Accession to the EU (Brill, 2008) and the editor (together with R. Petrov) of the books Legislative Approximation and Application of EU Law in the Eastern Neighbourhood of the European Union: Towards a Common Regulatory Space? (Routledge, 2014), Post-Soviet Constitutions and Challenges of Regional Integration (Routledge, 2018) and (with F. Bossuyt) Principled Pragmatism in Practice: The EU’s Policy towards Russia after Crimea (Brill, 2021). In addition, he published extensively in leading law journals such as Common Market Law Review, European Law Review, European Constitutional Law Review and others.

Anna Namestnikov

Anna Namestnikov is a teaching and research assistant in the Russian section of the department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication (Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent University) where she is affiliated to the research group TRACE. She obtained a master of arts in Eastern European Languages and Cultures (Russian and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) in 2019-2020 (Ghent University). As of October 2021, she has been working on a PhD on the translation of foreign literature in Russian émigré journals (1919-1939).

Tom Eeckhout

Tom Eeckhout is a FWO postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Economics.
From 2017 until 2023 he was a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Department of Economics at Ghent University.
During his PhD he explored the use of trace data in measuring corruption, social mobility and human capital using evidence from Russia.
More broadly his research covers topics in institutional economics and economic history and analyses large micro-level datasets.

Michel De Dobbeleer

Michel De Dobbeleer (PhD East European Languages and Cultures, UGent, 2012) is a Slavist (Russian, Bulgarian, Old Church Slavic), Classicist and Italianist, whose PhD dissertation dealt with medieval Russian historiography. Among his other ‘Russian’ fields of (post-doc) expertise are Russian classicist epic poetry, Mikhail Bakhtin’s chronotope concept, Western histories of Russian literature, comics adaptations of Russian literary classics, reception of Flemish literature in Russia, and cultural connections between East and South Slavs. In academia (UGent & KU Leuven) he has taught, a.o., (overview) courses on Russian literature and history, on premodern Slavic language, literature and art history, and on East-Central European literatures and cultures. At KU Leuven, he also led translation workshops (Russian to Dutch). Outside academia he has been preparing and teaching introductory Russian language and history courses in Flemish secondary schools and adult education.

 Gaëtan Regniers

Gaëtan Regniers is an FWO Fundamental Research Fellow at the department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication (Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent University) where he is affiliated to the TRACE research group. He obtained an MA in History (major in Late Modern History) and an MA in Eastern European Languages and Cultures (Russian and Polish) from Ghent University and holds a teacher's degree. As of November 2020 he is preparing a PhD on Dutch newspaper translations of Russian Literature under the supervision of Piet Van Poucke and Marianne Van Remoortel.

News database Integrum

Integrum provides access to the largest digital archive of the sources of information of Russia, Ukraine and other post-Soviet states. It consists of more than 500 million documents in more than 15,000 databases, with 40,000 new documents being added daily, in addition to thousands of full-text newspapers, magazines, archives of news wires, business databases, encyclopedias and dictionaries.

The  Eureast Platform has acquired Integrum Profi. Access can be obtained via any Ghent University IP address on the Integrum website

Ghent University staff and students can contact to obtain the login & password. The login will be active till the end of May 2023. This is not a personalized password and access is not restricted to one individual, users may share passwords. However please note that when another user logs in the first one is automatically blocked.

Joint PhD

One of the aims of the Eureast Platform is to stimulate joint PhD’s between Ghent University and -partners in the Platform's focus regions. A joint PhD (joint doctorate, co-tutelle doctorate) is a doctoral degree awarded by two (or more) different institutions, who share the responsibilities of supervising, coordination and examining a researcher’s work towards a PhD degree.

More info:

You can find more information online about a joint PhD at Ghent University, or you can contact .