Online Talk on December 12: International Media Coverage on Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plants during the War

The final Online Talk of 2023 sees Mika Perkiömäki discuss the ecological narratives in international media coverage on Ukrainian nuclear power plants during the Russian war.

It’s soon time for this year’s final edition of Online Talks on Russian Media, the collaborative initiative by TaRC and the Russian Media Lab (University of Helsinki)!

On Tuesday 12 December, we will hear from one of our own, Mika Perkiömäki, who will give a presentation on the international media coverage of the Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The presentation is based on an ongoing research project.

As the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history, Chornobyl has been a contested space, subjected to, for example, geopolitical narratives. The ecological core of the legacy of Chornobyl is often subordinate to these narratives.

Since February 2022, when the Russian army invaded and occupied Chornobyl, and soon after Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, events have been widely followed in international media. They have aroused widespread anxiety about a major nuclear disaster on an unprecedented scale. Russia has weaponized Ukrainian nuclear power plants in a new way, against the Geneva Conventions, which forbid making peaceful nuclear production plants the object of attack.

The aim of this research project is to investigate if the prevailing narratives of this media coverage are primarily ecological or if they continue the previous geopolitical battle. What are we actually afraid of when we are afraid of a nuclear disaster caused by the Russian army?

Speaker bio:

Mika Perkiömäki, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Languages Unit of Tampere University and a visiting researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki. His field of expertise is environmental humanities in connection to Russian media, literature, and culture. He has worked on ecocritical research of Russian literature of the Soviet period as well as environmental and climate discourses in contemporary Russian media. Perkiömäki is a member of TaRC.

Event info:

Mika’s Online talk will be held on Zoom on Tuesday 12 December, from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time, GMT +2). It will be moderated by Dr Katja Lehtisaari (Tampere University).

If you wish to participate and receive emails with updates about future Online Talks, please leave your contact information here by noon on Monday 11 December. If you have already subscribed to the Online Talks mailing list, you don’t need to register again! You will receive further information via email.