Tanya Kotelnykova

Tanya Kotelnykova's picture
MA Student

Tanya Kotelnykova is currently pursuing an MA in Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies at Yale University. She holds an M.A. in Human Rights from Columbia University and a B.A. in Law from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Tanya’s journey began when she was displaced from her home in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 due to the Donbas occupation. In 2022, she was in Kyiv during the city’s encirclement by Russian forces and witnessed the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Tanya is the founder of Brave Generation, a non-profit organization based in NYC, dedicated to uniting and empowering young Ukrainians for post-war reconstruction. She founded Brave Generation with just $10 in October 2022, shortly after arriving in NYC with a scholarship intended for displaced students. Today, Brave Generation has connected 153 young Ukrainians with Columbia University students. Out of the 44 young Ukrainians who applied to U.S. colleges in 2023, an impressive 37 have been awarded scholarships at institutions such as Columbia, Harvard, Bard College, LSE, and others. These scholarships have provided them with the opportunity to pursue their education away from the war zone. Additionally, the organization has provided essential psychological support to 103 youth affected by war, covered TOEFL exam expenses for 60 individuals, and offered English test preparation to 36 students, empowering more young people to apply to universities for the upcoming fall semester.

Additionally, Tanya serves as a project coordinator at the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, where her role involves enhancing democracy promotion workshops, and the Nemtsov forum as well as overseeing the management of the scholarships related to Ukrainian students. Also, Tanya manages the “Ideas for Russia” project, exploring Russia in the era of non-transparency and isolation.




1st Year, European & Russian Studies
Fields of Interest: 
Fields of Interest: Russian and Eastern Europe Thematic Focus: Russia's propaganda, the Donbas war, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the right to self-determination, and secession in the 21st century. Tanya`s current research involves studying Russian propaganda in schools in the occupied territories of Donbas since 2014, as well as the Russian indoctrination of young people.