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CSRC Members

CSRC unites a broad range of highly experienced area specialists and subject matter experts. The profiles below cover a selection of our core members, presented in alphabetical order; for enquiries about accessing the broader CSRC network for specific areas of interest, please contact us using the link above.

Valeriy Akimenko


Valeriy Akimenko joined CSRC after a 25-year career with the BBC Monitoring Service (BBCM), collecting open source information for government and commercial customers initially on Ukraine in the years after independence, and subsequently on Russia. His specialist subject is developments in Russian military affairs.

His work has ranged from specialist Russian military media environment guides and comprehensive general overviews on the structure and capabilities of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, to more narrowly focused products on specific Russian military subjects; for example Russia's space programme and militarisation of the Arctic, nuclear weapons and submarine fleet, to the conflict in east Ukraine and Russia's Syria deployment.

Areas of expertise

  • Russian military capabilities
  • Ukrainian military capabilities


  • Russian (native)
  • Ukrainian (native)
  • French, German (working knowledge)

Mathieu Boulegue


Mathieu is a Research Fellow at the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. His research focus is on Russian foreign policy, defence and military affairs as well as on security issues in Eurasia, post-Soviet conflicts, and NATO-Russia relations. Before joining Chatham House, Mathieu was a partner at the risk management and strategic research consultancy AESMA, where he worked as director of Eurasian affairs for various business interests and government institutions.

Having trained as a policy and security analyst in the field of post-Soviet affairs, Mathieu regularly publishes articles and papers on Eurasian security and foreign policy questions. He is also a frequent invited speaker at conferences and events around the world as well as a commentator in international media on Former Soviet Union issues.

He graduated from Sciences Po Toulouse in France and King's College London (M.A. International Conflict Studies).

Areas of expertise

  • Russian foreign and domestic policy
  • Post-Soviet affairs and security in Eurasia
  • Russian military-industrial complex and defence industry
  • NATO-Russia relationship
  • Ukraine
  • Arctic security


  • French (fluent)
  • Russian (fluent)
  • German (working knowledge)

Mohammed El-Katiri

Alex Michael

Mohammed El-Katiri, PhD, is a Senior Research Analyst at CSRC. He holds more than 15 years of experience in covering political and economic security in the Middle East and North Africa, with special interest in defence and strategic communication, economic security in North Africa and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, as well as North African relations with the European Union, and security policies around the Mediterranean. He has published widely on economic, political, security and legal issues in the MENA, including Euro-Mediterranean security relations, national legal reform, political and foreign policy dynamics in the Gulf and North Africa.

Mohammed is currently serving as Advisor to the UAE Ministry of Defence, having previously worked for the UK Defence Academy, Eurasia Group, and The Hague Institute for Global Justice. He completed his PhD in international trade at the University of Exeter, UK, with previous studies in Fez, Seville and Madrid.

Areas of expertise

  • Economic and political development of the Gulf and North Africa
  • Energy security and food security
  • Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • International trade relations
  • Euro-Mediterranean Relations
  • Arab media


  • Arabic (native)
  • French (fluent)
  • Spanish (fluent)

Pasi Eronen


Pasi Eronen is an international security analyst, consultant, and adviser. He has focused in his research and analysis work on non-conventional adversarial strategies which fall below the threshold of conventional war, also known as hybrid influencing and warfare. His additional fields of expertise include cyber security, information warfare and influence operations.

Pasi's policy work, insights and comments have been featured by a number of national and international media outlets, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Bloomberg. He also has wide public speaking experience.

Besides research, Pasi's professional career includes working for the Finnish defense establishment and governmental organizations dedicated to comprehensive security and countering hybrid threats, advising a Finnish cyber security start-up, and serving in crisis management missions both with the EU and NATO. Pasi earned a master's degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University, USA, and a master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Joensuu, Finland.

Areas of expertise

  • Hybrid influence and warfare
  • Cyber security and defense


  • Finnish (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • Swedish (satisfactory / limited professional fluency)
  • Japanese (basic)

Stefan Forss


Dr. Stefan Forss is a senior scientist and highly experienced defense researcher. Professor Forss initially joined the Finnish Technical Research Centre (VTT), where he eventually became Chief Scientist. In 2005, he moved to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Policy and Research Unit, attached to the National Defence University, where he advised on arms control and the security policy implications of new weapons and weapon systems.

After retirement from government service in 2012, he has continued to publish on defense and security topics, including a series of high-profile reports on the implications for the Nordic States of a newly resurgent Russia. His title of Professor was awarded by the President of Finland in May 2014 in recognition of a distinguished career spanning four decades. Professor Forss holds a Ph.D. in physics from Helsinki University.

Areas of expertise

  • Nordic defence issues
  • Nuclear and conventional missile systems
  • Arms control


  • Swedish
  • Finnish
  • English

Keir Giles

Keir Giles

Keir Giles spent the early 1990s in business in the former USSR, including co-founding the first company providing Western pilots with the opportunity to fly Soviet military aircraft. With the BBC Monitoring Service (BBCM), he reported on political and economic affairs in the former Soviet Union for UK government customers. As well as BBC broadcast experience, Keir wrote for several years as a Russia correspondent for UK aviation journals. Other professional experience in Russia included a period with Ernst & Young analysing and reporting on intricate and constantly shifting Russian tax law.

Keir joined Conflict Studies Research Centre at the UK Defence Academy (subsequently Advanced Research and Assessment Group (ARAG) and Research and Assessment Branch (R&AB)) While there he wrote and briefed for UK and overseas government and academic customers on Russian military, defence and security issues, Russia's relations with NATO and with its neighbours in Northern Europe, and human factors affecting decision-making in Russia. On the closure of the Defence Academy's Russia-focused research programmes in 2010, Keir brought key team members into the private sector to establish a new, independent CSRC. He now directs and coordinates CSRC's research and publications programmes.

Areas of expertise

  • Security of Russia's neighbours
  • Nordic, Baltic and Arctic security issues
  • Russian military capability, intentions and doctrine


  • Russian (fluent)
  • French (working knowledge)

Kim Hartmann


Kim Hartmann is a senior consultant and researcher in the fields of cyber, network and software security, and supports CSRC projects on cyber and information security by providing underpinning technical knowledge. Her fields of excellence are cyber security risk assessment for embedded systems (especially UAVs), IT forensics, privacy protection and secure software development. She majored in computer science and mathematics and holds a university graduation degree with the grade "excellent".

Kim is a "digital native". She began using computers at the age of 5 and programmed at the age of 10, and began her research career with the development of a mathematical model for the assessment of computer network security levels. Since then, she has been involved in various projects centred around cyber security, mathematical modelling and risk assessment.

Her specific research interests are the utilisation of technology in cyber conflicts, cyber power and attack vectors as well as countermeasures. As a senior consultant she assists clients from private, military and governmental organisations with the analysis of cyber incidents and the assessment and integration of security aspects in existing technologies.

Areas of expertise

  • Cyber Conflict
  • Cyber Security Risk Assessment
  • Privacy and Data Protection
  • Embedded Systems
  • Secure Software Development


  • German (native)
  • Swedish (fluent)
  • Norwegian (fluent)
  • English (fluent)
  • Spanish (basic)
  • Russian (basic)

Shima Keene

Alex Michael

Dr Shima D. Keene is a British academic and practitioner specialising in defense and security. As well as serving as a Director of CSRC, she is a visiting lecturer at the BPP Law School, London, and the Centre for Development Studies, Cambridge University. Dr. Keene is also a deployable civilian expert for the United Kingdom (UK) Government's Stabilisation Group specialising in security and justice.

Shima is a former senior research fellow and advisor at the Advanced Research and Assessment Group, Defence Academy of the UK, and special advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). Dr. Keene holds a Ph.D. in international criminal law, an M.Phil. in defence and security studies, and graduated with honors in business studies.

Areas of expertise

  • Counter-terrorism and Threat Finance
  • Counter insurgency
  • Counter narcotics
  • Maritime Piracy
  • Economic and Cyber Crime


  • Japanese (Native - spoken only)
  • French (limited)

Andrew Monaghan


Dr Andrew Monaghan is the Director of Research on Russia and Northern European Defence and Security at the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre at Pembroke College. He is a Senior Associate of Pembroke College and an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham. Additionally, he is Commissioning Editor of the NATO Defence College's Russian Studies series.

He has previously held positions as Senior Research Fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House (2013-April 2017) and leading the Russia related research in the Research Division of the NDC (2006-2012). In this role, he was also the NDC's senior researcher on energy security matters. Additionally, he was Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the INSS in the National Defence University, Washington, D.C. from 2016-2017. From 2005 to 2009, he was a Senior Research Associate of the Advanced Research and Assessment Group (ARAG) at the Defence Academy of the UK, during which time he pursued research in Russian foreign policy and energy security matters.

He has also served as an expert witness to several parliamentary committees including the UK's National Security Strategy Committee, the House of Commons Defence and Foreign Affairs Select Committees, and NATO's Parliamentary Assembly.

He is widely published, and is the author of the books Power in Modern Russia: Strategy and Mobilisation, (MUP, 2017), and The New Politics of Russia - Interpreting Change (MUP, 2016). He received his PhD in Russian foreign policy (Russian perspectives of Russia-EU security relations) from the Department of War Studies, King's College, from where he also obtained an MA in War Studies. Additionally, he has written the book The Elements of Impact: Making Your Point in Public Speaking and Writing (2015), published by CSRC, and he regularly conducts seminars and workshops on these themes, in the UK and USA.

Areas of expertise

  • Russian foreign and domestic politics
  • Russian military thought


  • Russian (fluent)
  • French

Steve Tatham


Dr Steve Tatham is a globally acknowledged expert in Strategic Communication, Information Operations and Target Audience Analysis. He served for nearly 30 years in the UK Armed Forces and saw operational service in Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result of his experiences he has written two books. 'Losing Arab Hearts and Minds' studied the relationship between western military forces and Arab audiences in 2003. 'Behavioural Conflict', co-authored with Generals Andrew Mackay and Stanley McChrystal, and from which all author's profits are donated to Help For Heroes, has become a core text for military Strategic Communication and information operations.

Areas of expertise

  • Strategic Communication
  • Information Operations
  • Target Audience Analysis
  • GCC and Middle East Politics


  • Arabic (level: "pidgin")
  • French (level: "schoolboy")

Andreas Turunen


Andreas Turunen is a Research Associate at CSRC specialising in strategic analysis of Russian defence and contemporary security issues. He curates the geolocation illustrator of Russia's military activity. His academic background stems from Aberystwyth University, international relations, and security studies. Andreas is also a Springer author (cyber power) on information warfare network theory.

Andreas' main skills and areas of responsibility are open-source analytics, hybrid warfare, and interpretation of phenomena associated with Russia's strategic framework. In addition to his work with CSRC, Andreas has given expert commentary for the media on topics related to Russian security and he lectures about the topics of his expertise.


Areas of expertise

  • Russian defence and security
  • Open-source analytics
  • Hybrid warfare
  • Strategic Communication


  • Finnish (Native)
  • English (Academic)
  • Swedish (Full professional)
  • Russian (Moderate working proficiency)