Alona Shestopalova is the first ICDS Tallinn Scholarship grant holder and joined ICDS in September 2021 as a visiting fellow. The main goal of the Tallinn Scholarship is to develop cooperation between ICDS and research institutions in CIS countries, Georgia and Ukraine and enhance the current knowledge and theoretical approaches by applying the experience and know-how of the specific scholar.
Alona is an Eastern Ukrainian researcher based in Germany. Currently, she writes a dissertation about the Russian soft power at the University of Hamburg. In particular, Alona works with the purposeful information influence on the structure of international relations performed by Russian state-controlled TV channels in the course of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
Before beginning her PhD studies in Political Communication, Alona graduated from the Political Science department of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and worked as a freelance journalist for Ukrainian outlets. She also worked on the topics of identity and memory conflicts, role of emotions in politics, hate speech, etc. She is the associate member of the German-Ukrainian Academic Society (DUAG) and the co-organizer of the pilot ‘Ukrainian Academic Accelerator’ aiming to reinforce Ukrainian higher education in the fields of Journalism, Media, and Communication.