Khrystyna Holynska

Photo of Khrystyna Holynska
Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


MBA+MBAI in business administration, artificial intelligence and data analytics, Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv, Ukraine; Ph.D. in political science, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine; M.A. in political science, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine


Khrystyna Holynska is a Ph.D. student in the Research, Analysis, and Design stream at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at RAND. She is concurrently a visiting professor in the Public Policy and Governance Department, Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine. Her research interests include foreign, defense, security policy, Russia, and Eastern Europe, as well as civil service and education policy.

Holynska has a Ph.D. in political science from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and an M.B.A.+M.B.A.I. (business and management in artificial intelligence and data analysis) from the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE). Prior to joining Pardee RAND, she headed the defense and security policy research startup KSE StratBase and was an assistant professor of public policy and governance at KSE. Holynska was also a strategic analyst at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, where she focused on Russia's coercive behavior, nonproliferation, the future of NATO, geodynamics, and Africa’s stability. 

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Kyiv School of Economics, Visiting Professor;

Selected Publications

Stephan De Spiegeleire, Karlijn Jans , Mischa Sibbel , Khrystyna Holynska & Deborah Lassche, "Implementing defence policy: a benchmark-“lite”," Defense & Security Analysis , 35(1), 2019

Stephan De Spiegeleire, Khrystyna Holynska, Yar Batoh, Tim Sweijs , Reimagining Deterrence: Towards Strategic (Dis)Suasion Design , Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, 2020

Yar Batoh and Khrystyna Holynska, "Assessing International Support of Ukraine Regardnig Crimea," UA: Ukraine Analytica , 1(23), 2021

De Spiegeleire, Stephan, Yar Batoh, Daria Goriacheva, Glib Voloskyi, Khrystyna Holynska, Anastasiia Vozovych, Bohdan Baliuk, et al. , (Russian) Deterrence, we hardly know ye, , 2021

Khrystyna Holynska, Yar Batoh, Yevhen Sapolovych, Daria Goriacheva, Stephan De Spiegeleire, A Decade of Russian Cross-Domain Coercion Towards Ukraine: Letting the Data Speak, FREE Network Policy Brief, 2020

Stephan De Spiegeleire, Khrystyna Holynska, and Yevhen Sapolovych, Taking Russian Assertiveness Seriously: Letting the Data Speak, PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo, 2020


Russian; Ukrainian


  • Building cranes and power lines connecting high-tension electricity pylons next to a construction site in Kyiv, Ukraine, July 10, 2020, photo by Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

    Rebuilding Ukraine

    By leveraging better investment conditions and reforms and broad international support, Ukraine could carry out a well-executed reconstruction program once the fighting ends. It might repair much of the war damage and help Ukraine move into the ranks of faster-growing European economies.

    Apr 18, 2022 United Press International

  • mage grab from handout footage released by the Russia Ministry of Defense allegedly shows Russian soldiers holding weapons allegedly taken from the Ukrainian army weapon depot in the Kherson region, Ukraine, March 16, 2022, photo by EyePress News via Reuters

    Russia's Problems with Military Professionalization

    Even if Russia manages to take control of the territory of Ukraine, the Russian military's underlying problems with professionalization may handicap these occupiers in their efforts to maintain control over that country for the long-term.

    Mar 21, 2022 Breaking Defense

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky chairs an urgent meeting with leadership of the government, and representatives of the defense and economic sectors, in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022, photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters

    Continuity of Government in Ukraine

    On February 23 Russia launched a war on Ukraine. Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky and its parliament might accelerate steps to ensure the continuity of government, a need made more urgent because of the risk that Kyiv could soon fall.

    Feb 25, 2022 The Hill

  • Ukrainian Armed Forces during tactical military exercises at a shooting range in the Kherson region, Ukraine, January 19, 2022, p

    Two Choices in Ukraine

    Facing existential risk, Ukraine may consider unprecedented steps. Urgent measures might help it protect against a Russian invasion. And if the immediate threat were to ebb, Ukraine might use the time gained to prepare for potential future threats.

    Jan 31, 2022 The Hill