icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
Brussels

Crisis Group Role

As Crisis Group’s Program Director for Europe and Central Asia, Olga Oliker leads the organisation’s research, analysis, policy prescription and advocacy in and about Russia, Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Oliker’s own research interests center on the foreign and security policies of Russia, Ukraine, and the Central Asian and Caucasian successor states to the Soviet Union, domestic politics in these countries, U.S. policy towards the region, and nuclear weapon strategy and arms control.

Professional Background

Prior to joining Crisis Group, Oliker directed the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and held various research and management roles at the RAND Corporation, including as Director of the Center for Russia and Eurasia. Early in her career, she served at the U.S. Department of Defense. Oliker holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.P.P. from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. from Emory University.

Languages

  • Russian
  • English

Select Publications

Oliker is the author of numerous articles, monographs, and reports, with recent publications in Foreign Affairs, Survival, and other journals. She has also published commentary in print and online with The New York Times, The Hill, The Chicago Tribune, War on the Rocks, CNN, U.S. News and World Report, and The National Interest, among others.

In The News

7 Jan 2022
For Russia, if things do settle down [in Kazakhstan], it will be a substantial win, demonstrating how critical it remains, and also tethering Kazakhstan to it that much more. Reuters

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
1 Sep 2021
For the Ukrainians, especially in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, they want a clear statement of support from the United States. VOA

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
28 Jul 2021
Ukraine doesn’t have a lot of equal relationships. This is the danger of being a weaker country in the international system. RFE/RL

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
13 Apr 2021
If you want to say you’re going to defend Ukraine, say you’re going to defend Ukraine, [NATO] membership or no membership. Foreign Policy

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
2 Oct 2020
Sanctions send a signal to Belarus and the international community of EU states’ frustration with a fraudulent election. Bloomberg

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
27 Jul 2020
At some point there are things that require somebody to set a leadership agenda. [OSCE] can’t do all of that without somebody in charge. Financial Times

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia

Latest Updates

What Just Happened in Kazakhstan?

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Nurseit Niyazbekov, professor of international relations at Almaty’s KIMEP University, about the wave of protests that swept across Kazakhstan, why they happened and their implications for the future.

Could Citizens’ Assemblies Save Democracy?

This week on War & Peace, Olya Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Brett Hennig, president and founder of the Sortition Foundation, about how randomly selected citizens’ assemblies could revolutionise democratic governance and facilitate peacemaking in conflict zones.

Podcast / Europe & Central Asia

What Does Belarus’s President Lukashenka Want?

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Belarusian expert Yauheni Preiherman about the outlook for Belarus's President Aleksandr Lukashenka after his crackdowns on dissidents, EU sanctions, and a recent standoff with European countries over refugees trapped on the Belarus-Poland border.

Podcast

New Ways to Think About Nuclear Weapons

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and guest co-host Ali Vaez are joined by Emma Belcher, President of Ploughshares Fund, to talk about the extent to which nuclear policy debates have changed and ask whether we can break the deadlock by rethinking our approach to nuclear threats.

Will Russia Invade Ukraine?

This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood is joined by Crisis Group experts Olga Oliker and Oleg Ignatov to look at what Russia hopes to achieve with its build-up of troops on the Ukrainian border.