Andres Tennus

University of Tartu Ukraine Centre

University of Tartu Ukraine Centre (UTUC) was established in 2023 in the midst of the Russo-Ukrainian war with the aim to facilitate support to Ukraine by the University of Tartu (UT) and its partners. UTUC aspires to be the focal point that attracts expertise, connects stakeholders, and consolidates the efforts of the UT and its partners to raise awareness about Ukraine and to help the Ukrainian nation in building a secure, democratic and prosperous future.


To support Ukraine’s reconstruction, development, and European integration as well as to provide accurate knowledge about Ukraine and Ukrainians in Estonia and globally via applied and academic research, training and teaching, policy analysis and advice, and strategic communication.

Ukraine development support:

Presently, Ukraine needs enormous international aid to withstand and win the war, perform post-war reconstruction, implement EU integration reforms, and ensure sustainable development. Estonia is already facilitating Ukraine’s advance on this path. UTUC strengthens and enhances University of Tartu’s Ukraine support activities, especially by promoting practical training for Ukrainian professionals in different fields.

Applied and academic research:

Whereas the available studies on Ukraine and Ukrainians lag behind the dramatic developments and are rather dispersed across disciplines, the centre endeavours to ensure an empirical, coherent, and comprehensive multi-disciplinary perspective with a focus on contemporary society complemented with historical background and a forward-looking perspective on Ukrainian studies.

Training and teaching:

UTUC intends to partner with other departments to co-develop training programs for professionals in Ukraine. Moreover, the centre offers its flagship UT-wide course “Ukraine: A Nation at the Frontier”. This elective course aims to introduce Ukraine from different perspectives and examine how various developments in Ukrainian history and politics affect contemporary Ukrainians and their neighbours.

Policy and advice:

UTUC is willing to provide policy analysis with actionable recommendations for the Estonian government, European Union institutions, international organizations, and other stakeholders. Such policy analysis aspires to enhance targeted and efficient assistance to Ukraine, support of sectoral reforms, aid to Ukrainian refugees, as well as to ensure the restoration of territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine that will bring back peace and prosperity to the continent.

Strategic communication:

UTUC is committed to raising awareness on Ukraine-related topics on the web and in social media. The centre also disseminates information via its in-person and online events including public lectures and expert roundtables. The obtained findings are designed to be presented at meetings with Estonian and European decision-makers for informed policy action for the benefit of Ukraine, Estonia, and Europe.

Current Ukraine-related projects

  • "Countering Disinformation and Increasing Media Literacy among Russian-speaking Communities in Estonia" (Public affairs grant, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, 2022-2023)
  • "Public Communication Campaigns in the Ukrainian Hybrid Response to Russia’s Invasion" (MFA grant, funded by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2023-2024)
  • "Supporting Ukraine through citizen engagement at Baltic Universities” (Erasmus+ grant, funded by the European Union, 2023-2024).
  • "E-democracy and innovative Governance in Dnipro Region: cooperation models and resilience of the society" (ESTDEV grant, funded by the Estonian Centre for International Development, 2023-2024).
  • “Between Resilience and Democracy: Wartime Political Transformations in Ukraine” (MSCA4Ukraine grant, funded by the European Union, 2023-2025)

Recent Ukraine-related academic publications:

Khutkyy, Dmytro, Matveieva, Olga, and Diana Mirza-Grisco. 2023. “Voting in online surveys on open government policies in Moldova and Ukraine.” Internet Policy Review 12(2).

Khutkyy, Dmytro. 2022. “The Diffusion of Electronic Voting for Participatory Budgeting Projects: Evidence from Ukraine.” pp. 117-120. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Joint Conference on Electronic Voting E-Vote-ID 2022. Edited by R. Krimmer et al. Tartu, Estonia: University of Tartu Press.

Recent Ukraine-related policy publications:

Salzburg Global Seminar. 2023. “Ukraine Civil Society Forum. Recommendations on Displaced Persons.” Retrieved June 30, 2023.

Salzburg Global Seminar. 2022. “The Salzburg Statement of Ukrainian Civil Society.” Retrieved August 1, 2022.

Recent Ukraine-related media appearances:

Khutkyy, Dmytro. 2022. “Ukraine’s Wild Card.” European Digital Development Alliance, March 15, 2022. 

Hutkõi, Dmõtro. 2022. Ukraina on selle sõja jokker.” Postimees, March 15, 2022. (in Estonian)

Current Ukraine-focused courses

Ukraine: A Nation at the Frontier (6 ECTS) SHRG.00.039

History of Ukraine (Since the 19th Century) (4 ECTS) HVAJ.06.029

Ukrainian for Beginners (on the Basis of English), Level 0 > A1.1 (6 ECTS) HVLC.05.077

Other Ukraine-related initiatives at UT:

UT information regarding the war against Ukraine

UT Scholarship Fund for Ukrainian Students

NGO Ukraina Maja

Skytte Institute faculty involved in Ukraine-related projects:

Head of the Centre:
Dr. Dmytro Khutkyy, Research Fellow in Digital Governance

Prof. Piret Ehin, Professor of Comparative Politics
Dr. Heiko Pääbo, Lecturer in Politics of Baltic Sea Region Countries
Rainer Saks, Member of Executive Board of CyberExer Technologies

Dr. Catherine Gibson,
Lecturer in East European and Eurasian studies

Dr. Oleksii Kolesnykov
, Research Fellow in Political Science.

Invitation for cooperation:

We are open for collaboration for the cause of supporting Ukraine. You are welcome to contact us via email

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