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Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus

Crisis Group Role

As Crisis Group’s Russia & North Caucasus Project Director, Ekaterina supervises the organisation’s activities and advocacy efforts in the region.

Professional Background

Before joining Crisis Group, she served as Supervisor of Programs for the Memorial Human Rights Center Executive in Republics of Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria and as Head of the Office for the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Grozny and Chechen Republic from 2007 to 2008. Prior to that, she was a Researcher and Programs Supervisor for the Republic of Ingushetia, Chechen Republic and Republic of North Ossetia based in the region between 2003-2008.

Between 2008-2011 Sokirianskaia has supervised Memorial research and programs in the Republics of Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. Ekaterina holds a Ph.D. in political science from Central European University and has taught courses as Assistant Professor at Chechen State University in Grozny. She is the author of numerous publications, public lectures and successful short documentaries on  conflict, human rights, jihadism, terrorism and security in the North Caucasus and Russia. Between 2011-2014 Ekaterina was a member of the Expert Council with the Ombudsman of the Russian Federation and a Board Member of International Memorial.

In The News

21 Apr 2017
This society [in Chechnya and the mostly Muslim areas of the Caucasus region] is highly homophobic. Homosexuality is condemned. It is believed Islam considers it a great sin. The new York Times

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
1 Apr 2017
[There were] numerous, numerous signals [about detentions and violence toward gay men in Chechnya]. It came from too many sources not to be true. The New York Times

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
9 Feb 2017
[Local barons in Russia's republics often] consolidate their positions in ministries, place their friends and relations in important posts and use various corrupt practices to siphon off resources. Open Democracy

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
6 Feb 2017
Fighting on the side of Assad is something that Chechens are reluctant to do as a whole. The Independent

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
1 Feb 2017
The Russian government understands very well the condition of the Syrian army and their capacity to really govern in [the Sunni areas]. They need to maintain what they have already gained. The Wall Street Journal

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
16 Jan 2017
[Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic] knows very well that if there is no Putin in the Kremlin, there will be no Kadyrov in Grozny. Open Democracy

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus

Latest Updates

Vladimir Putin Has One Reliable Set of Allies: Russia’s Iron Ladies

The president’s useful anti-feminists legitimise a slide towards a patriarchal society – and offer no political challenge to his macho leadership.

Originally published in The Guardian

The Struggle with Islamic State that Turkey Hoped to Avoid

In this Q&A, Crisis Group tapped the views of its Project Director and Analyst in Turkey, Nigar Göksel and Berkay Mandıracı, as well as its Russia and the North Caucasus Project Director, Ekaterina Sokirianskaia.

Women in the North Caucasus Conflicts: An Under-reported Plight

Women in the Russian republic of Chechnya have never been under such pressure as they are today. Yet not much has been written about their role, their place in society, and their rights in Chechnya and in other North Caucasus conflicts.