PIR Center, Moscow, Russia
My internship at the PIR Center, a Moscow-based nongovernmental organization that specializes in international security, control and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, provided me with the real experience of working in a Russian think tank. I was charged with the translation of articles from Russian into English and vice versa, writing articles and memos, transcription of audio recordings and arrangement of website content. In addition, I took an active part in organization of a seminar “Information and cybersecurity at peaceful nuclear facilities – threat assessment and an identification of ways to overcome them” and a series of Trialogue club expert meetings. Preparation for those events involved sending individual invitations, making confirmation calls to all the participants, making handouts, etc. Fellow MIIS students and I were also assisting with holding the events: we were meeting participants and guests, setting up equipment for presentations and distributing handouts.
During the time spent in Moscow I also had a chance to do a research on the topic of my Master’s dissertation and the other topic assigned to me by the PIR Center’s staff. I had access to numerous Moscow’s public libraries and archives and – what is more important – to PIR-Center’s special library containing a sufficient number of books on the subject of my research. I had an exceptional chance to meet and interview four prominent Russian nonproliferation experts – Roland Timerbaev, Evgeni Buzhinski, Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhametov and Yuri Nazarkin. Information provided by these experts will be included in the text of my Master’s dissertation.
I believe that time spent in Moscow during my internship helped me to shape my understanding of what working at a Russian think tank is like. I collected information for my Master’s dissertation and my research project. I can now share my experience of having an internship at PIR Center with everybody from the MIIS community who would be willing to learn about it.