Jack Leydiker is a first-year in Ezra Stiles College from Fullerton, California. His interests focus on Russia’s multifaceted role in an increasingly multipolar world, as well as the role that memory plays in governing the political trends of post-Soviet republics. He is also interested in the ways that ethnic separatist movements, for example the Sajūdis of Lithuania, utilized nationalist and populist sentiment to advocate for independence from the Soviet Union. Finally, he is a close observer of the concerning trend of democratic backsliding in Eastern Europe, primarily in Poland and Hungary.
Jack has authored two research papers that center on Eastern Europe. The first, which concerned the role that the Soviet Union’s presence in the Baltics played in the formation of Baltic nationalism and identity, was completed in his junior year of high school. The second, which concerned the Russo-Finnish Wars of 1939 and 1941, was completed during his senior year. Jack is also interested in learning more about the history of Jewish life in Podolia. Outside of class, Jack is a member of the Yale Russian Chorus and the Discussion Director of the Yale Chapter of European Horizons.