Dani Belo

Assistant Professor of International Relations

Degrees:Ph.D. (The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University)
Office:Webster University, USA

Dr. Dani Belo is a teacher and scholar of international relations specializing in conflict management and security. He is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Webster University in St. Louis, MO, USA, and a Fellow and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Ottawa, Canada. His research focuses on gray-zone conflicts, non-state actors in hybrid warfare, transatlantic security, grand strategy of middle powers, the evolution of NATO–Russia relations, ethnic conflicts, and nationalism in the post-Soviet region.

Panel 5: Displacement in Eurasia: Beyond Ukrainians

Stranded Communities: Russians outside of Russia in the Wake of the Ukraine Crisis


The onset of conflict in Ukraine in February 2022 and the alienation of Moscow from Europe compel Russia to reevaluate its policy toward ‘compatriots.’ The socio-economic linkages that Moscow forged with its diaspora communities in Ukraine and the Baltic region were severed by what many in the policy community called a new ‘Iron Curtain.’ Consequently, communities with strong cultural, political, and economic ties with Russia found themselves in isolation from their ‘homeland.’ Traditionally, diaspora groups have also served as a platform for Moscow’s exercise of soft power in Ukraine, Latvia, and Estonia. The rift between Moscow and Europe not only compels Russia to re-evaluate its doctrine on ‘compatriots,’ but the tools, tactics, and organizations used to maintain these strategic cross-border linkages. This paper examines the impact of Russia’s isolation on ‘stranded’ ethnic communities and the range of policy options that Moscow can choose to sustain its relationship with its diaspora.