I want to express my gratitude first and foremost to my Research Group on the Russian Environment (http://blogs.helsinki.fi/tynkkynen) at the University of Helsinki. Although my PhD students and post-docs have not per se contributed to my book, their work in keeping our research projects on track and allowing me to focus on this book whenever necessary has been very important. One exception is my research assistant Elena Gorbacheva – now a PhD student – who has tirelessly helped me with many practicalities during the process and also compiled the index. The text has been language checked by Jackie Kosonen.
The second tier of colleagues to whom I am grateful are the Aleksanterians, my co-workers at the Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies, Aleksanteri Institute, which is part of the University of Helsinki. Special thanks go to Professor Markku Kivinen for being my mentor and critiquing my work. Since I was not the ideal team worker within the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies (2012–17), and thus did not contribute much to the so-called Finnish paradigm in Russian Studies pursued by Professor Kivinen, I felt the need to elaborate on my own approach in this book. Naturally, this work would not have been possible without the generous funding provided by the Academy of Finland for my research projects (285959, 299258, 314472, 319078) and researchers, and the far-sightedness to provide profiling funding for the University of Helsinki to establish the tenure-track position in Russian Environmental Studies, which I have held since 2018.
The third and substantially most important, group of people are those gathered around me by Professor Margarita Balmaceda at Seton Hall University, who is also a Harvard University Davis Center associate. She was my co-worker during her Marie Curie fellowship at the Aleksanteri Institute, and has been my mentor since 2010. I owe her a lot in terms of both international networking and the theoretical approach I have developed over the years. The work of the Study Group ‘Energy Materiality: Infrastructure, Spatiality and Power’ – Per Högselius, Corey Johnson, Heiko Pleines, Doug Rogers – which is led by Professor Balmaceda and meets biannually in Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, a residential Institute for Advanced Studies in Delmenhorst, Germany, is of paramount importance. Without you guys, this book would have been ‘all over the place’ and thus lacking the needed focus.
Finally, I want to express my deepest gratitude to two very special people in my life: my former wife and colleague Nina Tynkkynen and my dear friend Kaja Normet. Thank you for your love and support!