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We will be donating ALL proceeds from this class to our partners in the region to help  mitigate the suffering and assist where we can. Subscribe for more info.

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Understanding Post-Soviet Space

Learn about the historical development and civil peace-building challenges of the Former USSR.


  • The history of the formation of the Former USSR.

  • How the USSR developed through the years.

  • What were the causes of the USSR’s collapse.

  • How different countries formed and why they are so different from each other.

  • Current events that are shaping the future of Post-Soviet countries and the rest of the world.

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Andre Kamenshikov

Andre Kamenshikov


Andre Kamenshikov is a civil society activist in the field of peacebuilding, with both a US and Russian background. He graduated Moscow State University majoring in sociology in 1991 as well as studied various subjects in Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin and undertook courses in human rights and other relevant topics. He is the representative of a US-based NGO Nonviolence International and the regional coordinator of an international civil society network - the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in the Eastern Europe region. He has over 28 years of experience as a civil peacebuilding activist in conflict areas of the ex-USSR and was a founder of a few civil society organizations in those countries. For 22 years he was based in Russia, till the political climate forced him to move to Kyiv, Ukraine, where he continues working with the local civil society sector on enhancing its capacities to contribute to peace and democratic development of the country.  He is an author of a number of publications about the role of civil society in post-soviet conflicts, including “International experience of civilian peacebuilding in the post-soviet space” (2016), the “Strategic framework for the development of civil peacebuilding activities in Ukraine” (2017).

The course will include personal stories and personal points of view on the past and present situations of the Post-Soviet states.

In this course, we focus especially on explaining how different ethnic, cultural,

and national groups affected the

collapse of the former USSR.

From more authoritarian countries like Turkmenistan that can be compared to North Korea to countries like Estonia introducing a new form of digital democracy and where political and civil rights are widely respected, we will explore different drivers that have influenced the development of new countries and why they took such different paths from each other. Finally, we will discuss the challenges of rising authoritarianism in Belarus and Russia, current events in and around Ukraine, and why these developments are so important not only for future of these countries, but how they might affect the rest of the world.

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This course is prepared by Nonviolence International New York, a global innovative organization with an emphasis on advocacy, education, and communication. It conducts and produces important research on a growing number of issues, including peace, disarmament, and American politics, as well as operates an extensive internship program within the United Nations. 

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