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Olesya Tkacheva

Former George F. Kennan Fellow


    June 12, 2023 — September 12, 2023

    Professional affiliation

    Associate Professor, Department of International Affairs and Center for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy, Brussels School of Governance, VUB

    Wilson Center Projects

    How Feasible is Another Wave of Mobilization in Russia and Who Will Bear its Costs? 

    Full Biography

    Dr. Olesya Tkacheva has ten years of trans-Atlantic professional experience on Eurasia and Europe with a particular focus on cyber and information warfare, democratic resilience, and Russian military strategy. Since 2017 she has been a faculty at the Brussels School of Governance in Belgium and published on cyber escalation, Russian foreign policy and disinformation by leveraging experimental, big data, and computational text methodologies. Her current research focuses on civil-military relations and military mobilization in Russia.

    Prior to moving to Brussels, she was a political scientist at the RAND Corporation where she published and advised senior policymakers on security challenges emanating from new technologies and she also contributed to the drafting of NATO’s Framework for the Future of Alliance Operations 2030. She was also a country director at the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she directly contributed to the development and implementation of the U.S. policy to counter Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and received a team achievement award from the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

    Dr. Tkacheva started her professional career as a post-doctoral fellow at the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies, University of Rochester. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and is a winner of a Fulbright Fellowship to Russia and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

    Major Publications


    “The effect of Disinformation about COVID-19 on Consumer Confidence: Insights from a Survey Experiment,” Journal of Experimental and Behavioral Economics, 2023 (with Pieter Balcaen, Caroline Buts, Cind Du Bois),

    “NATO as a Norm Entrepreneur on Cyber Engagement in a Third-Party Conflict,” European Cybersecurity Journal, 2022 (with Martin Libicki),

    “Digital media and perceptions of the United States among the Russian elite, 2004–2016,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 2019,


    Internet Freedom and Political Space, RAND, 2013 (with  Lowell H. Schwartz, Martin C. Libicki, Julie E. Taylor, Jeffrey Martini, Caroline Baxter),