Foto av Mikhail Nakonechnyi

Mikhail Nakonechnyi

  • PL 42 (Unioninkatu 33)




Forskningsoutput per år

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Personlig profil


Area of expertise

Comparative history of penal medicine, the GULAG, the Russian imperial prisons, mortality statistics in prisons.

My principal responsibility as a member of the GULAGECHOES team is to elucidate the historical dimension of the project research questions, particularly unexplored ethnic facets of the Soviet GULAG (1930-1955). Using historical quantitative and qualitative methods, I attempt to understand if Soviet system of judicial incarceration was indeed ‘ethnically blind’ (as it is widely believed in the contemporary scholarship). I also explore how the ‘ethnicity’ was construed and constructed in the unique Soviet penological context, building upon contributions of both historians (such as Terry Martin) and penal sociologists (such as Gresham Sykes and David Garland).

In my research I aspire to mitigate the usual drawback of the GULAG studies – the overconcentration on a single bureaucracy (namely the NKVD-MVD, Ministry of the Internal Affairs). Therefore, I intend to look at how questions of ethnicity and ethnic relations were interpreted not only by the NKVD-MVD itself, but also by the two principle GULAG competitors: The Procuracy (Department of oversight over places of confinement) and The Ministry of Justice (Directorate of camp courts). As my working hypothesize claims, the bureaucratic contradictions and tensions around ‘ethnic questions’ between and within these three agencies could generate a lot of valuable material, useful for the goals of the project (e.g. procuratorial investigations of the mass uprisings among so-called ‘national contingents’ in early 1950s etc.).

Professional experience

2015-2016: Associate Researcher on the Carceral Archipelago Project (Role: specialist on the Russian and Soviet penitentiary systems), Funded by the European Research Council, School of History, University of Leicester.

2019-present: Postdoctoral Researcher, GULAGECHOES, Funded by the European Research Council, Aleksanteri Institute, Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Helsinki.



“They won’t survive for long”: Soviet officials on medical release procedure” In Rethinking the Gulag: Sources, Identities, Legacies, ed. Alan Barenberg and Emily D. Johnson (volume under contract with Indiana University Press, anticipated publication in 2020).


Smertnost' v lesnyh lagerjah GULAGa v 1937—1938 gg. v sravnitel'nom mirovom kontekste//Trudy instituta Rossijskoj istorii RAN. Vol.12.M.2014. PP.289-317.

Mortality rates of GULAG timber camps during 1937-1938 crisis in comparative international context// Arhivele Totalitarismului (Academia Romana). XXIII/2015 Issue No: 3-4. PP.24-44.



‘Archival counterrevolution’: why are GULAG regional archives so important? (

‘The forgotten success of penal transportation reform in late Imperial Russia: the lowering of prisoner mortality in the transfer system (1885-1915)’


Selected conference presentations

July 2013: Hoover Institution Workshop on Totalitarian Regimes, Stanford University (USA).

October 2014: Colloquium on the History of Eastern Europe, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany).

September 2015: The Carceral Archipelago: Transnational Circulations in Global Perspective conference, School of History, University of Leicester (UK).

November 2015: ASEEES, Philadelphia (USA).

April 2017: BASEES, University of Cambridge (UK).

November 2017: ASEEES, Chicago (USA).

December 2017: 2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography, University of Birmingham (UK).

February 2018: The Carceral Archipelago: end of project conference, School of History, University of Leicester (UK).

April 2018: European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), Queen’s University, (Northern Ireland, UK).

January 2019: Oxford History and Social Science Workshop, University of Oxford (UK).

April 2019: BASEES, University of Cambridge (UK).

Invited speaker

May 2019: Seminar in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology (Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine), University of Oxford.

June 2019: Oxford-Charles University Graduate Workshop in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology - Creative Cities: Knowledge of Nature and Networks of Science, University of Oxford.

Impact activities

Invited expert and interviewee in the War Factories Documentary, episode 8 “Russia” (2019, Yesterday channel, UKTV, BBC Studios).

Language proficiency

English: near native speaking, reading, and very good writing.



Area of expertise

Comparative history of penal medicine, the GULAG, the Russian imperial prisons, mortality statistics in prisons, ethnic relations in penal systems

Utbildning / akademisk kvalifikation

History, Specialist, Pskov State University

1 jul 20031 jun 2008

Tilldelningsdatum: 1 jun 2008

History, DPhil in history, Oxford

1 okt 2016 → …


  • 6160 Övriga humanistiska vetenskaper
  • 5201 Politisk historia
  • 5202 Ekonomisk- och socialhistoria

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete

Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.
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