Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Ilia Veniavkin

Ph.D in History of culture (Russian State University for the Humanities), co-founder of, visiting lecturer at Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences.

Ilia Veniavkin is a historian of Soviet culture, educational designer and a journalist. For 15 years he has been studying Stalinist culture and subjectivity. He wrote an ebook Master’s Inkwell. A Soviet writer inside the Great Purge and co-founded, a collaborative online archive and a research center of Soviet diaries and ego-documents. He has taught Soviet culture at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) and Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine he started writing features on people and ideas that made this war possible. For the piece on Russian political technologist Timofey Sergeitsev he received an independent journalist prize Regkollegia.

Currently is holding a research position at Russian Independent Media Archive (a joint initiative by Bard College and PEN America) and writing a book on the ideology of Putinism.