November 14, 2023

"Undesirable" Books, Undesired Problems


"Undesirable" Books, Undesired Problems
The European University of St. Petersburg. Skat Media, Twitter.

On November 11, Mediazona reported that authorities drew up protocols on the European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) after finding books in the library from "undesirable organizations." Any cooperation with such an institution or reposting of its materials can result in fines and criminal prosecution.

The European University at St. Petersburg is an elite private graduate institution founded in 1994. In May, Rosobrnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Education and Sciences, began an investigation on "extremism" at EUSP. Department employees inspected articles by professors and requested papers, dissertations, and personal profiles. The main disciplines targeted were anthropology, history, sociology, and political science.

After the inspection, authorities drew up "undesirable organization" protocols against the university. According to Rotonda, the trigger for these charges were books in the library that were published with the help of the Kennan Institute from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Open Society Foundation. Both organizations were declared "undesirable organizations" by Russia. The volumes were on ancient Chinese philosophers, St. Peterburg museums, and globalization. The university claims the books were in the library prior to Russia's ban on these organizations.

There is as yet no date for a trial.  

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