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Elen Budinova

Elen Budinova ©Budinova

Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät (Kuwi)
Projektmitarbeiterin in Promotion
Große Scharrnstraße 59
15230 Frankfurt (Oder)
🏠 HG 202a
☏ +49 335 5534 2437


  • Zeigeschichte mit dem Fokus auf Separatismus, Nationalismus und Irredentismus.
  • Soziale Wirklichkeiten, kollektive Identitäten, Erinnerungskulturen, herausgeforderte Zivilgesellschaften, politische und wirtschaftliche Machtkonstellationen sowie umkämpfte Grenzen in osteuropäischen Ländern, insbesondere „der“ (!?) Ukraine – Kontinuität und Wandel nach der Implosion der Sowjetunion.

Lebenslauf / Vita

  • Seit 2021: Doktorandin im Rahmen des Internationalen Promotionsstudiengangs Kulturwissenschaften sowie wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im Forschungskolleg “Europäische Zeiten / European Times – A Transregional Approach to the Societies of Central and Eastern Europe (EUTIM)“
  • 2018-2020: Programmassistentin (Forum Transregionale Studien: Prisma Ukraїna); Praktikum im Bereich Portfolio-Management (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) – Ukraine und Belarus, Landesbüro – Kyiv, Ukraine); Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft (Lehrstuhl: Entangled History of Ukraine, Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder))
  • 10/2015 – 07/2018: Magister der Internationalen Beziehungen (Master of Arts) - Studienprofil: Globale Herausforderungen, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin und Universität Potsdam.
  • 10/2011 – 06/2015: Politikwissenschaft (Bachelor of Arts), Freie Universität Berlin sowie Auslandsforschungsjahr in Moskau, Russland.
  • geboren 1992 in Sofia, Bulgarien.


The War in Donbas through the Lens of the Frozen Conflict Transformation in Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Sociohistorical Contextualization of post-Soviet Separatism across Time and Space

Following the implosion of the Soviet Union and the imprint of fifteen sovereign states in its former territory, a string of borderlands has evolved into self-proclaimed Kremlin-abetted separatist “republics” with the youngest ones tearing apart the social fabric of the Donbas region in the context of a protracted war, while one of the disputes became the first case of annexation since World War II – Crimea. This dissertation project offers a detailed sociohistorical portrayal of post-Soviet multifaceted transformations witnessed in the Donbas – an industrial border area with entangled history, strongly expressed labor culture and regional self-identification patterns that, in its peaceful past, have been marked by overall social cohesion. The dissertation will explore the Donbas’ experience of an incomplete and painful socioeconomic transition overshadowed by excessive patrimonialism, corruption, criminality and power struggles within oligarchic networks; local resonances of Kyiv’s and Moscow’s nation-building platforms; the vulnerable institutional architecture dominated by particularly emphasized Russian influence as well as the limited scope of the alternative international integrational leverage regarding the roles of NATO and the EU. Zooming into the downward spiral leading to the dystopic local present shaped by the superior polarization logic of violence, massive displacement, precarious socioeconomic modes, militarization of everyday life, comprehensive disinformation and weaponized narratives of reimagined historical myths instigating separatist aspirations, the research will problematize the catastrophic humanitarian consequences from the proliferation and hardening of physical and mental borders reinforcing social othering tendencies. In addition, the author will scrutinize reasons behind the persistent deadlock in the peace process. Furthermore, it will be elaborated on the danger of further regional destabilization and the prospects for the local breakaway areas to turn into alienated de facto states like the cases of Moldova’s and Georgia’s secessionist disputes, or to become post-Soviet outliers in respect of a successful, sustainable conflict transformation towards reintegration into a democratic, resilient and prosperous Ukraine.