April 03, 2023

Too Free for Russia


Too Free for Russia
The Russian Prosecutor General's office Photo bank Moscow-Live, Flickr

The Russian Prosecutor General's office has declared the Free University an "undesirable" organization. “Undesirable” organizations are prohibited from working in Russia, and administrative and criminal penalties may follow for any cooperation with such organizations.

According to the Russian Prosecutor General's press service, the teaching staff of the Free University "popularizes the activities of organizations recognized as extremist in the territory of the Russian Federation" and uses literature with an "anti-Russian character."

The press service also said that students of the university are "forming a persistent hostility to Russia” and that the organizational structure of the university includes people who "question the territorial integrity of the Russian state” and "publicly condemn the actions and decisions of the Russian authorities."

The Free University was established in 2020 by professors dismissed from leading Russian universities on political grounds. The university espouses the values of academic freedom and autonomy and offers free online courses.

Kirill Martynov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta Europe and a co-founder of the university, tweeted that the Free University will continue to work despite the new status, but will review safety protocols. "You yourself are undesirable," he replied to the Russian government.

Another co-founder of the university, professor Hasan Huseynov, said in an interview that students and teachers who are in Russia and Belarus may have to leave those countries. However, according to Meduza, most of the Free University teaching staff are already outside Russia. Many left after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Currently, there are 77 organizations on the Russian list of "undesirables.” Among them are the forum Free Russia registered in Lithuania; the American non-governmental organization Andrei Sakharov Foundation; and the popular publication Meduza. Transparency International, a respected international anti-corruption non-governmental organization headquartered in Berlin, was also recently included in the list.

 

 

 

 

You Might Also Like

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955