Category Archives: Education

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Dismissal of American vice rector in Nizhny Novgorod causes controversy

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – July 3, 2015) The dismissal of an American lecturer from a leading position at a Russian university following an “incriminating” report on television sparked talk of an increase in the harassment of foreigners. Russian lawmakers are planning to introduce a “patriotic stop list” – a list of foreign funds […]

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NEWSLINK Foreign Affairs/Charles King: The Decline of International Studies; Why Flying Blind Is Dangerous

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

The end of the United States’ premier federal program for Russian studies saved taxpayers only $3.3 million—the cost of two Tomahawk cruise missiles or about half a day’s sea time for an aircraft carrier strike group. The development was part of a broader trend: the scaling back of a long-term national commitment to education and research focused on international affairs. […]

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Poll: Russian Parents Hope to Raise Doctors, Not Priests

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 2, 2015) Despite the fact that a significant majority of the population identifies as Orthodox Christian, fewer than 1 percent of Russians wish to see their children or grandchildren grow up to be priests, according a survey conducted by independent pollster the Levada Center. Similar polls conducted by the Levada Center over the past […]

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‘Russia is the Motherland of Crimea’ – What Crimean Schoolchildren Think

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – YALTA, Crimea – April 30, 2015) “Who do you think is responsible for the war in eastern Ukraine?” asked Masha, a 17-year old student at School No. 12 in Yalta, Crimea. I paused. “Russia.” A gasp went around the classroom. Masha looked at me as if I was mad. “No way,” she […]

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[CALL FOR PAPERS: State of War: Human Condition and Social Orders:] The Russian Sociological Review

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Subject: The Russian Sociological Review Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:47:05 -0500 From: Nail Farkhatdinov (farkhatdinov@gmail.com) The Russian Sociological Review (sociologica.hse.ru/en), an international peer-reviewed academic journal published by the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (www.hse.ru), invites contributions from philosophy, social sciences and cognate fields for the special issue entitled State of War: Human Condition and Social Orders. […]

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Few in the Russian Intelligentsia Oppose Putin Even if They Don’t Support Him, Kirillova says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 7, 2015) Many members of the Russian intelligentsia do not support Vladimir Putin and his repression at home and aggression abroad, but a significant and surprising number of them do, the result of a complex combination of their experiences over the last generation and Putin’s actions as well, according to Kseniya […]

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NEWSLINK Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies: On Russian Visas for Researchers

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

For non-Russian passport holders required to obtain a visa to conduct research in Russia, the safest visa choice appears to be the Common Humanitarian visa type, backed by an invitation from a Russian academic organization, and specifying “scientific-technical” purposes of the visit, rather than a tourist or business visa. You can obtain a multi-entry humanitarian visa as well, at least […]

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Uproar in Murmansk as Teachers’ Salaries Withheld Amid Economic Crisis

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 26, 2015) Teachers’ salaries have been withheld en masse in Murmansk as Russia’s economic crisis bears down on the regional budget, news site FlashNord reported Wednesday. The Murmansk branch of Russia’s national teachers’ union filed a complaint with regional governor Marina Kovtun, claiming that a large number of employees of Murmansk’s […]

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In Memoriam: Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, 1951-2015

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

Subject: In Memoriam: Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, 1951-2015 Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2015 From: The Harriman Institute <harrimanevents@gmail.com> Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy 1951-2015 The Harriman Institute is profoundly saddened to announce the passing of our friend and colleague Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, who has been a cherished member of the Harriman Institute, Columbia University, and Barnard College communities since she enrolled as a […]

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Paul Grenier: “A Conservative Russia? This Means War! (The Tragedy of American Ideology)”

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

Subject: A Conservative Russia? This Means War! (The Tragedy of American Ideology) Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 From: Paul Grenier <psgrenier@gmail.com> A Conservative Russia? This Means War! (The Tragedy of American Ideology) By Paul R. Grenier Paul Grenier is an essayist and translator who writes regularly on political-philosophical issues. After advanced study in Russian affairs, international relations and geography at […]

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NEWSLINK: Bwog: Barnard Professor Catharine Nepomnyashchy Has Passed Away

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

Dear Members of the Barnard Community, It is with tremendous sadness and a very heavy heart that I write to inform you of the death of Catharine Nepomnyashchy, a much beloved member of our faculty for twenty-eight years. Cathy died Saturdaymorning in her home after a courageous battle with lung cancer. She is survived by a beautiful and loving daughter, […]

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Putin’s Attacks on Science, Rooted in His Fear of the Educated, Destroying Russia’s Future, Koch Says

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – January 20, 2014) Vladimir Putin “understands that the threat to his regime is to be found among the thinking and educated” and thus has been taking steps to “destroy higher education” in Russia and cut the financing of science, according to Moscow commentator Alfred Koch. Such actions may buy Putin some short term protection, […]

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Russian 7th graders struggle to count and solve math problems, says study

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Fedorov – January 9, 2015) RBTH spoke to experts about the results of the National Study of Education Quality (NIKO), recently carried out in Russia. They illustrated the roots of the problems the country is experiencing with mathematics at school and explained why it is not worth relying on the international PISA assessments. Russia’s first […]

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Educating Russians abroad

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Polina Nikolskaya – January 7, 2015) Polina Nikolskaya is a correspondent at Kommersant Vlast. She has previously worked at Gazeta.ru and Lenta.ru. In 2014, the Russian government launched the ‘Global Education’ programme of postgraduate education abroad. But the reaction in Russia has been obstructive and hostile. In October 2014, Russia withdrew from the American Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) […]

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Teaching orthodoxy in Russian schools

Russian-Orthodox-Cathedral-Moscow

(opendemocracy.net – Natalya Yakovleva – December 4, 2014) Natalya Yakovleva is a journalist in Novosibirsk. She writes for the Literary Gazette and the Teachers’ Gazette. Orthodox ideology is being rushed into the Russian school curriculum – in the interests of nationalism. It all happened very fast. In the middle of 2009 Dmitry Medvedev, the then president of Russia, said ‘Let […]

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Moscow Times: Life After Putin: Teaching Future Russia

Skolkovo File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – December 11, 2014) The professional future is bright in Russia, where space geologists and airship constructors will be among the most in-demand professionals by the 2020s, according to an atlas of Russia’s future job market recently published by Skolkovo’s Moscow School of Management. But whether Russia will be churning out droves of […]

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Justice Ministry Adds Moscow School to List of ‘Foreign Agents’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 11, 2014) Russia’s Justice Ministry has added a Moscow school to the federal register of “foreign agents,” a move that the school’s founders decried as “baseless,” and vowed to fight in court. The Moscow School of Civic Education has become the 18th nongovernmental organization to wind up on the controversial list, which sees nonprofit […]

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Moscow Times: Prestigious Ranking Has Moscow State University in 5th Place

Moscow State University file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 4, 2014) Lomonosov Moscow State University has ranked in the top five of the 2015 BRICS and Emerging Economies university rankings published this week by Times Higher Education, an esteemed UK-based magazine. The university, or MSU, climbed five places from last year to rank fifth in this year’s list, which includes only institutions in […]

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Russia to Rethink Study Abroad Program as East-West Relations Sour

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 13, 2014) The government is revising a program that allows graduates to study abroad at the state’s expense and could limit it to nations and universities that are deemed friendly to Russia, the education minister said, amid worsening relations with the West. “We are now carefully reviewing the list of universities […]

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Can the liberal arts model thrive in Russia?

Moscow State University file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Christopher A. Stroop, special to RBTH – November 6, 2014) Christopher A. Stroop (Stanford University, Ph.D.) is a senior lecturer at RANEPA and editor of its English-language journal, State, Religion and Church: srch.ranepa.ru. When Christopher A. Stroop began teaching at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in Moscow, he […]

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The tricks of the trade: Helping students understand the Russian language

Russian Folk Singers file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Fedorov, RBTH – November 5, 2014) RBTH has surveyed the best Russian language teachers abroad about how they teach their students the language. They compare nouns to cats, infinitives to flour and even take their students to the bathhouse to drink mead – all in order for the Russian language not to […]

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In a ‘political divorce’ education exchanges are hurt

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Pavel Koshkin, RBTH – November 4, 2014) Can Moscow and Washington reset the educational and cultural collaboration to minimize negative implications of their confrontation? As an innocent bystander to the diplomatic differences between the U.S. and Russia, educational exchanges are facing major cutbacks or have been canceled as pawns in the growing game […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia to Develop School Exchange Programs With Europe, Asia: Education Ministry

Eurasia Map

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is set to develop exchange programs for schoolchildren with countries in Europe and Asia, Deputy Minister of Education Veniamin Kaganov said on Friday. “We have sufficient [student] exchange with many countries. Agreements on cooperation in the educational field are signed with over 70 countries across the world. Quite a few international exchange programs […]

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‘Same-Sex Adoption’ Killed U.S.-Russian FLEX Exchange Program

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 2, 2014) David Petrosyan had hoped his 15-year-old sister would spend a year studying at a U.S. high school, something he had done years earlier that had a lasting impact on his ambitious academic pursuits. “For me, doing a FLEX program proved that I can achieve something with my brain alone. It was […]

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Russia cancels participation in U.S. education program after Russian student stayed in U.S. – children’s rights commissioner

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Interfax – October 1, 2014) Russia has withdrawn from the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) education program with the U.S. as the latter has violated its obligations on returning Russian schoolchildren home after they studied there, says Russian presidential commissioner on children’s rights Pavel Astakhov. “One of the reasons is the gross violation by the host party (the U.S.) of its […]

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What the FSB is doing in Russian universities

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(opendemocracy.net – ALEKSANDR CHORNYKH – September 2, 2014) Aleksandr Chornykh writes for the Russian newspaper Kommersant. He specialises on education in Russia, and is one of the leading experts in his field. In Soviet times, the KGB kept a close watch on intellectuals – they might turn out to be dissidents. Today, the FSB still skulks on university corridors… In the Soviet […]

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INTERVIEW: Andrei Sharonov – sweating the chernovniki

Skolkovo File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 17 2014) Summer has finally come to Moscow and the main hall in the Red October chocolate factory that sits on the River Moskva across from the Kremlin is buzzing with young workers flapping about in flip-flops or hunkered over computers writing code. This is ground zero for […]

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Licenses of 77 Russian Universities Stripped Since January

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – May 14, 2014) Since January, 77 universities have become casualties to ramped-up scrutiny of Russia’s higher-education sector, according to the Federal Inspection Service for Education and Science. Fortunately for students, those attending schools that have lost their licenses will be offered the opportunity to continue their studies at different institutions, the education […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Teaching Moscow’s schoolchildren the value of kindness

File Photo of Boy in Wheelchair Being Dragged Along Stairs

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Fefelova, special to RBTH – April 30, 2014) For the past 10 years, schools in Moscow having been providing their pupils with “kindness lessons”. The classes are run by specialists and provide children with a valuable opportunity to communicate with people with disabilities and develop an understanding of their needs. For the […]

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U.S. Education NGO American Councils Ordered to Cease Operations

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – April 11, 2014) The Justice Ministry has ordered the Russian branch of American Councils, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that administers student exchanges and other educational programs, to cease its operations indefinitely, in what appears to be part of an ongoing crackdown on NGOs funded by the U.S. and other foreign governments. American […]

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Human Rights Watchdog Defends Professor Sacked Over Ukraine Article

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – April 11, 2014) The Kremlin’s human rights panel has denounced as illegal the dismissal of a philosophy professor from Russia’s top university for aspiring diplomats for writing an article criticizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine and likening it to Germany in 1938. The presidential human rights council said in a statement on its […]

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Heroin Addicts and School Students Among Those Facing Challenges of Crimea Transformation

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 27, 2014) A week after President Vladimir Putin declared Crimea a new region of Russia, the peninsula has begun its Russian makeover. Ukrainian flags have been replaced by Russian tricolors on government buildings, military installations and public property. The ruble is now being used in daily transactions. Crimean residents are applying […]

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Large investors, alumni of Russian universities to enjoy easier naturalization – newspaper

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) – The Federal Migration Service and the Economic Development Ministry have drawn up a law, which facilitates naturalization of foreign citizens, Kommersant wrote on Wednesday. The simpler naturalization procedure will be primarily granted to businessmen who invest at least ten million rubles in Russia and foreign alumni of Russian colleges and universities who work in Russia […]

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First-Ever School Shooting Prompts Debate on Security

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov and Matthew Bodner – February 4, 2014) A 10th-grade student killed a geography teacher and a police officer and took children hostage at a Moscow school on Monday in Russia’s first-ever school shooting, triggering a debate on security at educational institutions and over the right to bear arms. The incident was widely compared […]

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Excerpts from transcript of [Putin] meeting with National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI) students

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

(Kremlin.ru – January 22, 2014) PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, everyone, The main reason for this meeting is to congratulate you on the upcoming holiday. As one would write in official documents, I want to congratulate you and in your person all of Russia’s students. I wish you the very best in your studies and your future careers. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with designers of a new concept for a school textbook on Russian history

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – January 16, 2014) Vladimir Putin met with designers of a new concept for teaching Russian history. Taking part in the meeting were State Duma Speaker and Chairman of the Russian Historical Society Sergei Naryshkin, Presidential Aide Andrei Fursenko, Education Minister Dmitry Livanov, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and representatives of the academic, education and expert communities. —– Speech at […]

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Interfax: Putin explains need to purge history textbooks of “ideological junk”

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, January 16, 2014) The need to design a single Russian history textbook has arisen because there are many teaching aids containing “ideological junk”, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “The most important thing was that, under the system of certification of, let us say, teaching materials that went to schools, there occurred things that were absolutely unacceptable not […]

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Putin Says State History Textbooks Will Not Impose Ideology

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – January 17, 2014) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday defended planned standardized history textbooks, lashing out at some current teaching materials that he said criticize the Soviet Union’s role in World War II. The state textbooks, proposed by Putin last year, are expected to replace many alternative editions that exist now and will […]

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Translation challenges the brightest minds

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Phoebe Taplin, special to RBTH – January 14, 2014) Top translators of Tolstoy and Pelevin talk to RBTH about misunderstandings, cultural differences and how not to get lost in translation.   Each year scores of books are translated from Russian to English. This year has seen publications in a range of genres, from […]

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Education for $1 billion

Moscow State University

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – January 12, 2014) An influx of foreign students will help boost the level of Russian universities. Despite Russian universities’ low international rankings, many foreigners continue to enroll in the country’s institutes. This year, the government has allocated more than $1 billion to raise the prestige of getting a Russian […]

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Moscow State University ranked Top 10 in BRICS countries

Moscow State University

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anastasia Maltseva, special to RBTH – January 9, 2014) Russian universities have a good reputation in the developing world, even though they are falling behind their Chinese competitors. Experts say this is because historically, Russian universities have always prioritized education over research. Russian universities rank in the top 10 among the so-called BRICS […]

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Teachers, parents concerned Russia’s state exam harming classroom learning

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – December 19, 2013) The quality of secondary education is an issue widely debated by the Russian public, as parents are increasingly concerned by falling teaching standards. The most objective measurement of schoolchildren’s academic performance is the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). It tests 15-year-old schoolchildren every three years. […]

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With Exit of Soviet-Trained, Russia Faces ‘Total De-Professionalization,’ Gontmakher Says

Moscow State University

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 26, 2013) With the retirement or death of “the last generations who received technical education in the USSR,” the Russian Federation now  faces an increasingly severe shortage of qualified workers and “the total de-professionalization of the workforce,”  according to Yevgeny Gontmakher. And that, far more than many other problems the Kremlin […]

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Moscow State University Rector Denies Massive Staff Cuts

Moscow State University

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Goryachev – November 15, 2013) The head of Moscow State University on Thursday vigorously denied an allegation by a group of academics that Russia’s leading institution of higher education is planning mass dismissals, calling the accusation “completely false information.” A group of employees from Moscow State University, or MGU, has begun collecting signatures in […]

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Academics Urge Putin to Stop Staff Cuts at Moscow State University

Moscow State University

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 14, 2013) A group of academics from Moscow State University has begun collecting signatures in support of an open letter it wrote asking President Vladimir Putin to halt mass dismissals at Russia’s leading university. The letter, published on the University Solidarity website, says that the university’s administration has not received budget funds to raise […]

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Young Russians in Northwest Overwhelmingly Say They’re Europeans and Don’t Want to be Part of Putin’s Eurasian Union

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 11, 2013) More than two-thirds of university students in northwestern Russia identify as Europeans, nearly half would like to live in a Unified Europe, and only about one in six want to become part of the Eurasian Union, a pattern that suggests Vladimir Putin’s efforts to archaize the country will fail […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian History Gets State-Approved Outline

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) ­ A state commission Wednesday issued a draft outline for a line of unified history textbooks to be published in Russia on the Kremlin’s order. The draft will be filed Thursday with President Vladimir Putin, who ordered its creation last February, said a spokesman for the Russian Historical Society. A state tender will then be […]

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Interfax: Unified history textbook concept endorsed, forwarded to president

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – A concept of a unified history textbook was endorsed at an expanded meeting of the Russian History Society and forwarded to the president for consideration on Wednesday. “Completing the work on the concept and forwarding it to the president in line with his instructions, we are completing only the first stage of the work, and […]

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