Drю Elena Zhirukhina holds a PhD from the University of St Andrews. Prior to joining the OSCE Academy she had been a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of St Andrews, a Lecturer at the Academy of Public Administration in Kazakhstan, and a Researcher at the Institute of International Relations in Prague. She had lectured and presented her work at the Webster Vienna Private University, the University of Oxford, Columbia University, and the University of St Andrews.

Elena has a subject matter expertise in countering terrorism, transnational organized crime, border management; technology and a hands-on experience in open-source intelligence, data management with geographical focus on Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. She is a strong advocate of evidence-based and data-informed policy making. Elena had been a holder of fellowships and scholarships funded by the European Commission (Marie Curie Fellowship and Erasmus+), the Council of Europe, the Swiss Government, and worked on joint research projects funded by the Russian and Norwegian Governments.

Selected publications:
Kristin Haugevik, Benjamin Tallis, Morten S. Andersen, Mark Galeotti, Jakub Godzimirski, Jan Mazac, Øyvind Svendsen, Elena Zhirukhina (2020) Common Fears, Common Opportunities? Czechia and Norway in the changing international context, Prague: IIR, NUPI. Available at:

Zhirukhina, E. (2019) Foreign Fighters from Central Asia: Between Renunciation and Repatriation, Milan: ISPI. Available at: https://www.ispionline.it/en/pubblicazione/foreign-fighters-central-asia-between-renunciation-and-repatriation-24072

Zhirukhina, E. (2019). In-between domestic terrorism, al-Qaeda, and ISIS, or how Russia sees prospects of security cooperation with the EU. In: R. Fawn, ed., Managing Security Threats along the EU's Eastern Flanks, Palgrave Macmillan, https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-26937-1_9.

Zhirukhina, E. (2018). Positive incentives to stop insurgency? Russian conciliatory tactics in the North Caucasus. In C. Owen, S. Juraev, D.Lewis, N. Megoran and J. Heathershaw, eds., Interrogating Illiberal Peace in Eurasia: Critical Perspectives on Peace and Conflict. London: Rowman and Littlefield International.

Zhirukhina, E. (2018). Protecting the State: Russian Repressive Tactics in the North Caucasus. Nationalities Papers, Volume 46 (3), pp. 374-399.

Zhirukhina, E. (2017) Security Concerns for the EU: To What Extent is the Caucasian Emirate Reaching Out? In S. Vesterbye, R. Fawn (eds.) Threats to Stability in Wider Europe. Expert and Academic Analysis. [online] Brussels: ENC. Available at: http://www.encouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Threats-to-Stability-in-Wider-Europe-ENC-v1.01.pdf