Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager’s essay published in the Wilson Center’s Russia File

Along with coauthor Anya Free, Associate Professor Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager has published the paper “Alexander Nevsky of Russia, Reanimated and Repurposed” in the Wilson Center’s Russia File, a blog of the Kennan Institute.


“In September 2022, Alexander Beglov, the governor of St. Petersburg, visited the war-ravaged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, currently occupied by Putin’s Russia. Previously, Vladimir Putin had tasked Beglov, as well as the whole city of St. Petersburg, with taking charge of Mariupol’s rebuilding and restoration. In the devastated city, which stands as a gruesome symbol of Russian brutality, Beglov unveiled a newly erected statue to Alexander Nevsky, a prince of medieval Rus’ and a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“What does a thirteenth-century prince, famous for defeating German and Swedish invaders in northern Russian lands, have to do with the war-torn Ukrainian city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov? His uninvited commemoration in Ukraine is not just a statue, it is an ideological statement.”