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

White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
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.
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.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
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.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 

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