Building Blocks of Integration 2023: Pavel Ivanov

During this year’s Integration Awards ceremony, the Building Blocks of Integration 2023 award was given to Pavel Ivanov, media expert and journalist at Radio Kuku and Radio 4. Pavel has been hosting and editing the show called Kirillitsas Eesti (‘Estonia in Cyrillic’) on Radio Kuku for almost 15 years. The show has become one of the few media platforms where people who speak Estonian and Russian as their mother tongue can meet, discussing social issues from the perspective of the non-Estonian speaking population. Pavel is also involved in work focused at detecting and refuting hostile information and disinformation in the Estonian media space.

Read more about Pavel and his activities in the interview below.

Lõimumise raudvara 2023: Pavel Ivanov


Why have you decided to contribute to the field of integration and why do you find this work important?

I didn’t start doing it on purpose. Over the years, I have found the thoughts of non-Estonian speaking people personally educational and a societal need has also arisen to understand these people, especially over the last few years.

How have you personally contributed in this area and where have you felt that you have truly succeeded?

I receive feedback that Estonian-speaking listeners try to acknowledge, understand, and compare the things we talk about in the show with their own thoughts.

What do you see as the major challenges in the field of integration?

Harmonising the value scale.

What is the significance of this year’s award for you? What kind of strength will it give you for the future?

It is a pleasant and unexpected acknowledgement! It gives me courage to be even more open and straightforward.

Who were the people who have helped and inspired you in your work this year and in general?

I would say I am rather inspired by life itself. The events, contexts, and comments of people provide food for thought.

How do you evaluate your work today and how do you intend to proceed in the future?

This requires serious contemplation. Currently, I plan to proceed with what I am already doing.

Things do not always go according to plan. What kind of recommendations would you give to other people for such moments? How to stay inspired in the face of difficulties?

You have to be honest. And honest also in the sense of laying all your cards on the table. Honesty always comes at a price.

Next year will be dedicated to cultural diversity. What does cultural diversity mean to you personally and where is it expressed in Estonia?

I would urge Russian-language journalism in Estonia to pay more attention to the Russian-language cultural and social life in Estonia. And the Estonian-language media should consider if the above-mentioned is relevant to the Estonian-language society or not. Is cultural diversity a richness we share?