Vadim Malinovsky: Hi, I'm Vadim Malinovsky. I am a historian from Russia, currently based in Serbia.
What sparked your interest in studying Eastern European history?
Vadim Malinovsky: I had graduated from Moscow State University, where we had a department of Western and Southwestern Slavs, and I took a course there. I was so fascinated that I went to the Balkans. I did several travels and I fell in love with Serbia.
What are some of the notable historic moments in Russia's history?
The problem is that Stalin's repressions, are not the most tragic part of the Russian history. We should not forget about the Civil War in the first part of the 20th century. We should not forget about the fall of the USSR–that for some families was a very dramatic event. And when we think about the current war, and now it is June 2022, Russia is waging war with Ukraine. That will be another historical trauma. And practically Russians didn't really analyze any of them. I do think that it is a problem and historians in the future will have lots of things to do.
What led you to focus your Ph.D. thesis on Russian policy?
Vadim Malinovsky: When I was 16, I spent a summer in Toronto Canada, learning English in a language school, and my classmates were so-called "Germans from Russia." It is the ethnicity that appeared in Russia in the 18th century. They were terribly repressed during the World War II – repressed by Stalin. And actually, when I entered my university, I decided to write a very small work dedicated to the Germans from Russia, and I continued doing it. And actually, I'm working on my PhD thesis–very slowly, by the way–about Stalin's national policy.
What is your favorite Context Course to teach?
It's a good question. I have more than 40 conversations on Context Learning and I really like those that are dedicated to certain geographical areas, cities, and regions. Of course I love, let's say travelogues, like the course about the Trans Siberian Railway or the Rivers of Russia. I will never forget my conversations dedicated to the Hermitage Museum and to the Winter Palace as this place is my favorite probably on the planet.
Which of Russia's past political leaders is your favorite to study?
In Russia we don't have a political leader who is beloved by the vast majority of Russians. We don't print our political leaders on our bank notes. I would say that my favorite one is Nikita Khrushchev. The one who was ruling the country in 1950s after Joseph Stalin. And he started this process of de-Stalin-ization and the end of the personality cult of Joseph Stalin. And I do think that, hopefully soon, we will need this experience one more time.