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Porträtt av Iuliia Prudnyk

“Here I develop my analytical skills”

Iuliia Prudnyk from the Ukraine is reading war studies at the Swedish Defence University. Her course involves analysing wars and conflicts from multiple different perspectives. Her dream is to work in national security in her home country.

Multidisciplinary perspective on wars

– The way that wars and conflicts function is changing. Coming from the Ukraine, I’ve had the opportunity to witness the development of a conflict from its initial phase. So I find exploring the phenomenon of war and analysing the complex processes related to war especially interesting. We study war from a multidisciplinary perspective in war studies. This allows us to explore the military, political, philosophical and social dimensions of war, says Iuliia.

Internship in Stockholm led to the Swedish Defence University

– I’ve previously studied international law in the Ukraine and came to Sweden for an internship at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI. While I was there, I took an in-depth look at the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, and I felt the need for a deeper theoretical understanding of conflicts and war. Given that there are not that many universities or colleges worldwide that offer war studies, my discovery that it was possible to read the subject in Stockholm felt like a happy coincidence.

How does studying in Sweden compare to studying in the Ukraine?

– It’s very different, but in a positive way. There’s a mutual respect between students and teachers in Sweden. You’re encouraged to critically examine academic theories and develop your ability to learn independently. In the Ukraine, students tend to be afraid of their teachers and it’s regarded as shameful to hold the ‘wrong’ opinion. There’s a more inclusive environment here in Sweden that empowers you to express your opinion freely.

Why would you recommend the war studies programme?

– If you’re interested in defence issues, I can highly recommend war studies. You develop your analytical skills and you gain a deeper understanding of the highly complex phenomenon of war.

What is studying at the Swedish Defence University like?

– I personally enjoy the creative form of studies with role-playing scenarios and all the academic events in which students can get involved.

Which field do you hope to work in when you complete your studies?

– I want to contribute to society by working as a government analyst. I’d like to get international experience, either here in Sweden or in some other country. In the longer term, I want to do some good for my country and work with security issues in the Ukraine.

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