ABOUT US

The Swedish Center for Russian Studies was established in 2016 focusing on providing insights and perspective on the developments in Russia, the Baltic region and Eastern Europe.

We believe that there is an inherent risk of misconstruing Russian decision-making when taking a traditional Western perspective. Our work is thus based on a continuous data-driven analysis of Russian values, interests and internal dynamics. By taking a Russian perspective, using Russian values and views, SCRS provides original analyses on a strategic level tailored to our clients’ needs. 

Data driven understanding of Russian values forms the basis for our three focus areas

VALUES

INFORMATION & DOMESTIC POLICY

Media & IT

EXTERNAL INFLUENCE
Security Policy

ECONOMY

Energy & Sanctions

INFORMATION & DOMESTIC POLICY

As it forms the foundation for both economic policy and the ability to exert external influence, it is necessary to understand the internal dynamics of Russian leadership and to what extent they have the support of the Russian people. Is president Putin ruling Russia from a position of strength? What can be learned from what, who and how, shapes the leadership's train of thought.

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We focus on both the economic thinking and the actors as it is fundamentally different in Russia compared to the West. There are other dynamics and factors shaping the way in which Russian economic actors aim to affect the West, in particular the State Alignment of the nominally private enterprises in Russia.

As the driving force for all of our work, we constantly strive to understand Russian thinking. In doing so we follow values surveys, opinion institutes in Russia and the West, study Russian strategies, domestic debates, journalistic accounts and the underlying philosophers that have formed and continue to direct Russian thinking

ECONOMY

From a western perspective, the way Russia affects the West or other parts of the world is the paramount issue. In contrast to the quite scattered approaches of most western societies, the Russian leadership is often able to unify various parts of the Russian society - from government agencies to private companies and even cultural and religious institutions - into a fairly uniform team of actors, securing an efficient Russian impact in other countries.

EXTERNAL INFLUENCE

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VALUES

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The symbols of SCRS

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The "Onion" is inspired by the Trinity tower of the Saint Basil's Cathedral and the surrounding crescent is influenced by the eastern tradition.

 

Saint Basil’s Cathedral was constructed in 1555 to 1561. The cathedral unites ten churches or chapels. It was designed by the architects Postnik Yakovlev and Ivan Barma, during the reign of Russia’s first Tsar, Ivan the Terrible.

 

The full name of the cathedral in Russian is Собо́р Покрова́ Пресвято́й Богоро́дицы, что на Рву (Cathedral of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is on the Moat), but it is commonly referred to as собо́р Васи́лия Блаже́нного (Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed) or Покровский собор (The Intercession Cathedral). Saint Vasily is known in English as Saint Basil.

 

Each of the ten churches represents an important event or concept in Orthodox Christianity. The main church is dedicated to Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. Of the other nine churches, seven are dedicated to important people within Christianity, while two are dedicated to Christian events: The Lord’s entry into Jerusalem and Holy Trinity. Most of the people were monks or bishops and were active far before Russia existed, in the Middle East. Only three of them were Russian; Saint Barlaam of Khutsyn, Alexander of Svir and Saint Basil the Blessed. All of those three only have minor churches named after them. But Saint Basil has not only given name to the smallest church, number 10 below, but also the entire Cathedral.

 

The cathedral is connected to the birth of the Russian Empire and the final victory over the Khanate of Kazan, which was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1552. That is Russia’s relations eastward. The statue in front of the cathedral, however, is connected to the war against Poland-Lithuania and Russia’s relations westward.

CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY

SAINT BASIL'S CATHEDRAL, MOSCOW

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Church of the Holy Trinity

 

The Church of the Holy Trinity is dedicated to the divine Christian trinity: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is believed that Saint Basil’s Cathedral is built on the site of an ancient Trinity Church. The church is one of the four large churches of the cathedral. The spiral of the vault of the dome is laid with small-sized bricks, as a symbol of eternity. 

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​​Church of Three Patriarchs of Constantinople

 

The Three Patriarchs of Constantinople are the saints Alexander, John and Paul. They are regarded as the three most prominent patriarchs in Russian orthodoxy. Saint Alexander was born in 255 AD, he was appointed representative of Patriarch Metrophanes at the first Ecumenical Synod at Nicea (325). After the death of Metrophanes, Alexander was elected Patriarch. Saint Paul was Patriarch of Constantinople from 686 to 693. The Quinisext Council convened in 691 under his leadership. Saint John was born in Trebizond in the 11th century. He was regarded as one of the leading Byzantine intellectuals of his day and a leader of legal studies. He became a monk, and then was made Ecumenical Patriarch. His organizational and charity work have served as examples for his successors in the patriarchal throne.

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Bell Tower/Campanile

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Saint Basil the Blessed Church

 

Saint Basil the Blessed, also known as “Basil, fool for Christ”, “Basil, the wonderworker of Moscow” and “Blessed Basil of Moscow”. Fool for Christ (Yurodivy) is a concept in Russian for a category of saints, giving up all their worldly possessions and often deliberately challenging society’s conventions with a religious purpose. Basil was born to serfs in 1468 in Moscow. He was at young age an apprentice shoemaker but devoted his life to helping the poor. He rebuked Ivan the Terrible for not paying enough attention to the church. He died in 1552 or 1557. He is buried St Basil’s Cathedral. Basil was canonized in 1588.

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Church of Saint Cyprian and Justina

 

Cyprian was a pagan magician, converted to Christianity in Antioch by Justina of Antioch. On September 26th in 304 A.D. during the persecution of Diocletian (Roman Emperor 284-304 A.D.), suffered Nicomedia (modern Izmit in Turkey). Both of them are now saints, both according to Catholics and Orthodox.

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Church of Saint Gregory of Armenia

 

Saint Gregory the Iluminator (257-331) became the first head of the Armenian Church. He managed to convert Tiridates III, the king of Armenia to Christianity in 301, thereby making Armenia the first country to become Christian.

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Church of the Velikoretsky image of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker

 

The Velikoretsky image is an icon of Saint Nicholas. The icon was discovered in 1383 on the banks of the Velikaya river by a peasant. The icon was said to cure people from illness. It was taken to Moscow in 1555 on the orders of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Saint Nicholas (270-343) was a Greek bishop in the city of Myra (present Demre in Turkey). Due to his many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as the Wonderworker.

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Church of Alexander of Svir

 

Alexander of Svir (1448–1533) was born as Amos in the Republic of Novgorod. He became a monk at age 19 in the Valaam Monastery. In 1506, he was appointed head of the Trinity Monastery (later renamed Alexander Svirsky Monastery). On the saint’s memorial day, August 30, in 1552 one of the most important battles of the Kazan campaign took place: the defeat of the cavalry of Tsarevich Yapanchi on the Arsk field.

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Church of Protecting Veil of the Most Holy Mother of God

 

The main church of the Cathedral. Built in honor of the protection or intersession of the Theotokos/Mother of God/Mary the Virgin. The protection of the Most Holy Mother of God is a holiday in the Orthodox church celebrated on 1st October in Russia. 

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Church of Saint Barlaam of Khutsyn

 

Saint Barlaam/Varlaam of Khutyn/Khutynsky was a hermit from a wealthy family in Novgorod. After his parents died, he gave all his wealth to the poor. He gained many followers and founded a monastery, the Khutyn Monastery of Savior’s Transfiguration. He died on 6 November 1192. The monastery still stands in the village of Khutyn, 10 km northeast of Novgorod. Varlaam is famous for healing the Grand Prince Vasily of Ryazan (1448-1483) when the prince was visiting Novgorod.

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Church of the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem

 

To commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem a few days before the last supper. Celebrated on Palm Sunday, a week before Easter Sunday. 

The SCRS skyline is meant to unify some of the most prominent and symbolic Swedish and Russian buildings.

 

In the middle of the skyline, we find Saint Basil’s cathedral. To the left there are Swedish buildings and to the right there are Russian buildings. The Skyline starts and ends with a bridge. To the left we find Älvsborgsbron, a classical bridge in Göteborg, the western part of Sweden. Top the right we find the Russky Bridge, a quite newly built bridge in Vladivostok, the easter part of Russia. The rest of the Swedish and Russian buildings represent the entire countries, not just the capitals, and constitute a blend of historic and modern buildings.

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ÄLVSBORG BRIDGE

GÖTEBORG

(107/45m)

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GÖTAVERKEN

GÖTEBORG

(94m)

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THE SAILORS TOWER

GÖTEBORG

(62m)

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OSCAR FREDRIK

CHURCH

GÖTEBORG

(60m)

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TURNING TORSO

MALMÖ

(190m)

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OSTANKINO TOWER

The Ostankino tower started being constructed in order to replace an existing TV tower elsewhere in the city. The tower was finished in 1967 and remains in use to this day and was once the tallest structure in the world (1967-1974) with a height of 540 meters.

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CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOR

The cathedral was constructed from the mid-1800s and was finished in 1880 and had a capacity of 10.000 people and was about 100 meters in height. The cathedral was however destroyed by Stalin in 1931 in order to construct a palace of the Soviets on the site, but the area was later turned into a swimming pool. In 2000, the cathedral was reconsecrated through private donations.

ST. BASIL'S CATHEDRAL

MOSCOW

(65m)

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SPASSKAYA TOWER

MOSCOW

(71m)

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OSTANKINO TOWER

MOSCOW

(540m)

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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF RUSSIA

MOSCOW

(172m)

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CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST 

THE SAVIOR

MOSCOW

(172m)

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RUSSKY BRIDGE

VLADIVOSTOK

(321/70m)

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THE ROYAL PALACE

STOCKHOLM

(32m)

LAKHTA CENTER

ST. PETERSBURG

(462m)

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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF RUSSIA

Main building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is part of the seven so-called Stalin skyscrapers, all designed and constructed in similar ways in Soviet art-deco. The construction of all of the buildings were initiated in 1948 on the 800th anniversary of the city of Moscow. The MID-building was finished by 1953 and is 27 stories and 172 meters with about 2000 rooms, offices and the like. 

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RUSSKY BRIDGE

The bridge connects the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok with the island Russky, just south of the city. Construction of the bridge was finished by 2012 in preparation for the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Community Summit that took place on Russky Island. 

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LAKHTA CENTER

An office building built by the state-owned gas company Gazprom with construction starting in 2012 in St. Petersburg. It was finished in 2019 and is the tallest building in Europe.

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SPASSKAYA TOWER

The Spasskaya tower is part of the Kremlin and was constructed in 1491 by an Italian architect and part of the Kremlin’s defense system. It used to serve as the main entrance for royal, diplomatic and religious processions and visits.

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ST. BASIL'S CATHEDRAL

The cathedral was constructed between 1554 – 1560 by the Tsar Ivan IV, colloquially known as Ivan the Terrible known for his brutal rule of Russia, to commemorate his victories against the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan. The cathedral is named for a Russian holy fool, which is buried in the cathedral. 

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STOCKHOLM GLOBE ARENA

STOCKHOLM

(85m)

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SCHANTZ HOUSE AND SEYFRIDTZ HOUSE

STOCKHOLM

(20m)

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KAKNÄS TOWER

STOCKHOLM

(155m)

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ROSENBAD

STOCKHOLM

(31m)

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STOCKHOLM CITY HALL

STOCKHOLM

(106m)

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THE ALEXANDER COLUMN

ST. PETERSBURG

(47.5m)

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THE WINTER PALACE

ST. PETERSBURG

(30m)

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WINTER PALACE

The building served as the residence of the Tsar and Tsarina of Russia for 150 years until the 1917 revolution. The palace was built in the Baroque style in mid-18th century Russian art. 

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ALEXANDER COLUMN

The column was finished by 1834 and was to commemorate Tsar Alexander I’s victory over Napoleon in 1812. The column is located on the Palace Square in St. Petersburg.

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STOCKHOLM CITY HALL

The Stockholm City Hall is the building of the Municipal Council for the City of Stockholm. The monumental tower on the southeast corner reaches 106 metres and is crowned by the Three Crowns, an old national symbol for Sweden. The building was inaugurated on 23 June 1923, exactly 400 years after Gustav Vasa's arrival in Stockholm. It is the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet and is one of Stockholm's major tourist attractions.

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ROSENBAD

The Swedish Prime Minister is located at Rosenbad. It is also the home of Statsrådsberedningen (the Prime Minister’s Offices) and parts of the Ministry of Justice. The tallest tower is 31 meters from the ground.

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KAKNÄS TOWER

The Kaknäs tower is a telecommunications tower located at Ladugårdsgärdet in Stockholm. The tower is a major hub of Swedish television, radio and satellite broadcasts. It was finished in 1967 at the height of 155 metres or 170 metres with the top antenna included. For a few years Kaknästornet was the tallest building in the Nordic countries.

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STOCKHOLM GLOBE ARENA

The Stockholm Globe arena is the largest hemispherical building on Earth and took two and a half years to build. Shaped like a large white ball, it has a diameter of 110 metres and an inner height of 85 metres. The volume of the building is 605,000 cubic metres and it has a seating capacity of 16,000 spectators for shows and concerts.

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SCHANTZ HOUSE AND SEYFRIDTZ HOUSE

The Schantzka and Seyfridtzska Houses are typical of the Old Town in Stockholm. The Schantzska House was built in 1650. The Seyfridtzska House was built in the 1520’s and renovated in the 1650’s. They are 20 and 17 meters tall from the ground towards Stortorget.

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THE ROYAL PALACE

The Royal Palace is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch. The Royal Palace is one of the larges palaces in Europe and was mainly built during the eighteenth century in the Italian Baroque style, on the spot where the “Tre Kronor” castle burned down in 1697.

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TURNING TORSO

Turning Torso is a neo-futurist residential skyscraper in Sweden and the tallest building in Scandinavia. Located in Malmö on the Swedish side of the Öresund strait. It is regarded as the first twisted skyscraper in the world and reaches a height of 190 metres.

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OSCAR FREDRIK CHURCH

Oscar Fredrik Church was drawn by Helgo Zetterwall and completed in Gothenburg in 1893. It represents the neo-Gothic style, but the influence is not the Nordic gothic style but rather the style one can find in the large cathedrals down in continental Europe. The church and the parish got its name from king Oscar II.

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ÄLVSBORG BRIDGE

The Älvsborg Bridge is a suspension bridge over Göta älv in Gothenburg, which connects the north and the south part of the city. It was built in 1966 and designed by Sven Olof Asplund. The total length of the bridge is 933 metres and distance between the towers is 417 metres, while the clearance below the bridge is 45 metres. The pylons are 107 metres tall making the bridge one of Gothenburg's most prominent landmarks.

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GÖTAVERKEN

Crane 47 was the largest of the cranes at Götaverken in Göteborg. It’s tallest point is 94 meters above the ground as most.

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THE SAILORS TOWER

The Sailor’s Tower was erected in 1933 to commemorate sailors who died in conjunction with World War I. At a height of 49 metres above sea level and topped with the statue Woman by the Sea, the Sailor’s Tower stands beside the Maritime Museum and Aquarium and provides a fantastic view over Gothenburg.