The War against Ukraine and its implications for the Balkans

13.10.2022 18:30

Vortrag von Dr. Brendan Humphreys (Aleksanteri Institut, Universität Helsinki)

Donnerstag, 13. Oktober 2022, 18:30 Uhr, Seminarraum 1


The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, presents us with the largest conflict on European soil since the breakup of Yugoslavia, which entailed the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and in Kosovo. Did these conflicts of the 1990s have anything instructive to tell us about the present war - any ‘lessons’, or any possible warnings?
The lecture will outline some similarities, for example, specific practices of violence. It also points to major differences, including a much larger and more complicated internationalization of the conflict. This internationalization includes disruption of food chains, the use of gas supplies as a weapon, and the return of implicit nuclear terror.
The lecture concludes by outlining possible impacts of the Ukraine war on the Western Balkans; the stance taken by the Serbian government, potential implications for Bosnia’s federal system, and the current impasse in Kosovo.


Dr. Brendan Humphreys is a Senior Lecturer at the Aleksanteri Institute, the Finnish Center for Russian and East European studies, University of Helsinki. He is a historian who specializes in Central and Eastern Europe.
His broad research interests include; the politics of memory, the Cold War, nationalism and exceptionalism, the sociology of conflict, problems of corruption, sport and politics, and biographical studies. He is currently the Senior Researcher on the project, Yugoslav Prison Nationalism, the Politics of Punishment.
Humphreys’ recent publication include ‘The Past as a Foreign Language? History, loss, and language choice among Balkan writers’ (Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique, Helsinki, forthcoming), ‘Russia and Serbia, Between piety and Politics’ (in Conservativism and Memory Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia, Routledge, 2021), and the book Russian Modernization: a New Paradigm (Routledge, 2020). Additionally, he has published several articles on the invasion of Ukraine.