Nicolai N. Petro

University of Rhode Island

Nicolai N. Petro is a professor of comparative and international politics at the University of Rhode Island. From July 2013 to July 2014, he was a Fulbright Research Scholar affiliated with I. L. Mechnikov National University in Odessa, Ukraine.

In 1989 and 1990, Petro served as an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. While in this role, he served as special assistant for policy in the office of Soviet Union affairs in the U.S. Department of State, and as temporary political attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. In addition, Petro has monitored local elections in central Russia, Belarus, and Latvia and in 2001-2002, he served as staff consultant to the municipal research and training center Dialog, and advisor to the mayor of the Russian city of Novgorod the Great.

Petro has received two Fulbright awards (one to Russia and one to Ukraine); a Thornton D. Hooper International Affairs Fellowship at the Foreign Policy Research Institute; and research awards from the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington, D.C., and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Petro's articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Times, and many other American and Russian publications. He has authored or co-authored eight books, including Crafting Democracy: How Novgorod has Coped with Rapid Social Change, The Rebirth of Russian Democracy: An Interpretation of Political Culture, and Russian Foreign Policy: From Empire to Nation-State, co-authored with Alvin Z. Rubinstein.

Featured Work

AUG 29, 2016 Podcast

Update from Ukraine

Dr. Petro discusses the violence in Crimea, and Ukraine's economic and political stalemate. For long-term stability, Ukraine has to reconcile with Russia, he says. "There's ...

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. CREDIT: <a href="">Julia Berezovska/Press office NBU</a> <a href="">(CC)</a>

JUN 8, 2016 Podcast

Ukraine Update

David Speedie discusses with Dr. Nicolai Petro the situation in Ukraine--political, economic, and the growing civil conflict between East and West--two years into the Poroshenko ...

FEB 24, 2016 Podcast

Update on Ukraine

David Speedie discusses the situation in Ukraine with Nicolai Petro, including the political crisis for the governing party in Kiev, the situation in Eastern Ukraine, ...

CREDIT: <a href="">Shutterstock</a>

NOV 9, 2015 Podcast

The Putin Worldview, Russia in Syria, and the Ukraine Elections

Professor Nicolai Petro was one of a few American experts to attend the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference in Moscow on Russia's foreign policy ...

"Bronze Horseman" (monument to Peter the Great) in Saint Petersburg, Russia. CREDIT: <a href="">Shutterstock</a>

SEP 14, 2015 Podcast

Russia's Soft Power: A Matter for Church and State

If other countries wish to understand Russia, they need to have a grasp of her values, which provide the moral framework for her policies and ...

CREDIT: <a href="" target="_blank">Shutterstock</a>

AUG 19, 2015 Article

Bringing Ukraine Back Into Focus: How to End the New Cold War and Provide Effective Political Assistance to Ukraine

Peacemaking efforts in Ukraine have failed because two crises must be addressed simultaneously. The first is the crisis within Ukraine over whether it should be ...

JUL 14, 2015 Podcast

Eighteen Months On: Post-Maidan Ukraine

Professor Nicolai Petro was a Fulbright scholar in Odessa, southern Ukraine, for a year in the aftermath of the Maidan revolution. In Odessa once again, ...

The Flag of Russia and the Ministry of Defence flag. CREDIT: <a href="" _blank>Alan Wilson</a> (<a href="" _blank>CC</a>)

APR 30, 2015 Article

How to get from Soviet Studies to Russian Studies

The end of major government funding for Russian studies offers a chance to start studying Russia properly, argues Nicolai Petro, and that's something which is ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends anniversary of Kievan Rus in Kiev, Ukraine.<br>CREDIT: <a href= "">Slavko Sereda via Shutterstock</a>

MAR 23, 2015 Article

Russia's Orthodox Soft Power

Russia's values are often overlooked, or treated simplistically as the antithesis of Western values. We should understand that the close relationship between the Orthodox Church ...

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. CREDIT: <a href="">Julia Berezovska/Press office NBU</a> <a href="">(CC)</a>

MAY 30, 2014 Podcast

Ukraine Update: The Presidential Elections and Beyond

David Speedie discusses the election of new Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko with University of Rhode Island's Nicolai Petro and University of Kent's Richard Sakwa, both ...