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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New Way of Teaching History to Be Finalized by Next Month

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – October 24, 2013)  Government officials, lawmakers and education officials will finalize changes to the way history is taught in schools by Nov. 1, State Duma Deputy Speaker Lyudmila Shvetsova said Wednesday outside a roundtable discussing new state textbooks. New textbooks teaching children of various age groups a consensus opinion about historical events […]

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Study Says Education System Disappoints Market Needs

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 22, 2013) The Russian education system is increasingly unable to meet the demands of the country’s labor market and shows little ability to fill vacancies in high-skill industries, according to a study released Tuesday. The second annual Hays Global Skills Index, published by global recruitment company Hays in association with Oxford […]

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Russians ‘Most Well Educated’ in the World

OECD Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 18, 2013) Russian are the most well educated people in the world, a report by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development said. Russia topped the rankings followed by Canada and Japan. Israel and the United States rounded up the top five. The ranking factored in the percentage of adults in a country who […]

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TRANSCRIPT continued: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (partial transcript continued)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) TELEVISION PRESENTER KSENIYA SOBCHAK: Mr President, the first post-Soviet generation grew up during your time in power. This generation has shown that it is prepared to invest time in politics. We see that these people ­ largely urban university graduates, middle or high income ­ are willing to work as volunteers and election […]

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NEW BOOK: Strategic Cooperation: Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 Subject: New book: Strategic Cooperation:  Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy From: Michael Slobodchikoff <mslobodchikoff@troy.edu> Michael O. Slobodchikoff Lecturer of Political Science Troy University Troy, AL TITLE: Strategic Cooperation:  Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy AUTHOR: Michael O. Slobodchikoff PUBLISHER: Lexington Books (2013) ABSTRACT: Power inequalities and mistrust have characterized many interstate relationships. Yet most […]

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EVENT & CALL FOR PAPERS: ASN 2014 Convention Call for Papers

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

From: Dominique Arel <darel@uottawa.ca> Subject: ASN 2014 Convention Call for Papers Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 Call for Papers 19th Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) International Affairs Building, Columbia University, NY Sponsored by the Harriman Institute 24-26 April 2014 www.nationalities.org ***Proposal deadline: 24 October 2013*** [Please note that the deadline is earlier than […]

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Will new standards improve Russian education?

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alina Lobzina, special to RBTH – September 18, 2013) During the Cold War, American students were told to study hard to compete with their Soviet counterparts. How does Russian education stack up today? Svetlana Levkovets, a 49-year-old teacher from St. Petersburg, has grown accustomed to competing with mobile phones in the classroom. Levkovets […]

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Is Russian as difficult to learn as they say?

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexandra Kulikova, special to RBTH – September 17, 2013) Renowned polyglot, interpreter, psycholinguist and TV host Dmitry Petrov talks about the incentives for learning the Russian language. RBTH: What is the role of psychology in foreign language learning? Dmitry Petrov (D.P.): Learning a new language is about both psychology and mathematics. A range […]

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Valdai Club opens 10th session

Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Paul Duvernet, special to RBTH – September 17, 2013) Intellectuals, politicians and journalists gathered in central Russia for four days of discussion about the country’s future. The 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club opened Sept. 16 with a collective inquiry into the competition between identities at the international and regional levels. The […]

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10th Annual Valdai Club Meeting Opens

Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(RIA Novosti – September 16, 2013) Today, beginning at 9:15 a.m. Moscow time (5:15 a.m. GMT), RIA Novosti is broadcasting live from the opening of the 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a discussion forum where high-level Russian officials have been meeting with foreign political scientists since 2004. A recording of the event will be posted after the broadcast […]

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Eighteen Russian Universities Placed in Top World Rankings

Moscow State University

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 10, 2013) ­ Eighteen Russian universities made the list of the best 800 educational institutions in the world this year, according to the tenth annual World University Rankings compiled by QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Moscow State University remained in the top 200 despite moving back four spots compared with last year, from 116 to 120. In […]

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From no child left behind to every man for himself

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – Natalia Savitskaya, special to RBTH – rbth.ru – September 2, 2013) During the Soviet era, teachers and scientists were revered and their dedication to their work reflected their status. Now that today’s students aspire to careers in business or entrepreneurship, are educational standards slipping? In the Soviet Union, no child left behind was the rule, […]

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Why American students still go to Russia

Moscow State University

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Pavel Koshkin, RBTH – September 5, 2013) Video “What drives Americans to go to Russia?” here: http://rbth.ru/multimedia/video/2013/09/05/what_drives_americans_to_go_to_russia_29539.html Despite another decline in U.S.-Russian relations, interest in Russia among American students is steadily growing. This indicates that exchange programs remain a powerful tool for rooting out the Cold War mentality. Although U.S.-Russian relations are not […]

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Stalin Won’t Be Called a ‘Bloody Butcher’ in New Standardized History Texts

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 6, 2013) The October Revolution will be considered a “process” and the term “bloody butcher” won’t be applied to Soviet leader Josef Stalin or his henchmen. Russian historians are on their way to creating a single standard for how history is taught to schoolchildren. Historians from the Russian Academy of Sciences reached several agreements […]

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Reminder: Call for Nominations Klebnikov Fellowship Program [by September 15]

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

Subject: Reminder: Call for Nominations Klebnikov Fellowship Program From: The Paul Klebnikov Fellowship at the Harriman Institute <lch2111@columbia.edu> Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 15:06:20 +0000 Columbia/Harriman Institute Dear Friends and Colleagues, We write to ask for your help in identifying extraordinary candidates for the Harriman Institute’s Paul Klebnikov Russian Civil Society Fellowship for the 2013/14 academic year (much gratitude to […]

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State-Funded Study Abroad Program Delayed, Report Says

Moscow State University

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 20, 2013) The Kremlin has held back a proposed program to give financial support to the most talented Russian students undertaking postgraduate degrees in top foreign universities, because there is no guarantee that the economy will benefit from the outlay, a news report said Tuesday. The program was aimed at raising the standard of […]

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Russians Flocking to Britain’s Boarding Schools

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Des Brown – August 12, 2013) Come September, more than 2000 schoolchildren across Russia will be packing their luggage and decamping to the houses of the most traditional of British institutions – the boarding school –  entering a world of prep and pastoral care, a world of Mr. Chips, the Eton Boating Song and Harry […]

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Vice Rector Follows Guriev Out of New Economic School

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 31, 2013) A renowned economist is following in the footsteps of Sergei Guriev by leaving the New Economic School in Moscow. Konstantin Sonin, vice rector and director for undergraduate studies, has accepted a position with Moscow’s Higher School of Economics amid differences with the leadership that has taken the helm of the New Economic […]

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Foreign Language Skills Valued by Russians, Poll Says

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 24, 2013) Nearly 60 percent of the Russians speak at least one foreign language, while almost half would like to learn one, a poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation found. Fifty-seven percent of the poll’s participants said they know a foreign language with English the most common at 38 percent of respondents. German […]

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Call for Nominations: Klebnikov Fellowship Program

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

Subject: Call for Nominations Klebnikov Fellowship Program From: The Paul Klebnikov Fellowship at the Harriman Institute <lch2111@columbia.edu> Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 Columbia  University Harriman Institute Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies Dear Friends and Colleagues, We write to ask for your help in identifying extraordinary candidates for the Harriman Institute’s Paul Klebnikov Russian Civil Society Fellowship for the 2013/14 […]

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U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program [Grants Available; application deadline Aug. 12, 2013]

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

From: “US-Russia Dialogue, Moscow” <US-RussiaDialogue@state.gov> Subject: US-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2013 U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program To help foster greater contacts between Americans and Russians, the State Department is announcing the U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program, which will provide small grants to support collaboration, including meetings, virtual interactions, exchanges, and internships, between American and Russian organizations.   Applications from […]

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Facilitating Learning Russian

Russian Folk Singers file photo

Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2013 Subject: Facilitating Learning Russian From: Ron Pope <ron42.pope@gmail.com> The current (July 29) issue of Time magazine has an article entitled “The Power of the Bilingual Brain” that presents a powerful case for encouraging every child with a connection to Russia — the children of emigres and adopted Russians – -to learn what could have been […]

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Universities ignore economy’s demands; Russian institutions produce too many lawyers and economists, not enough IT specialists

Moscow State University

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lyudmila Nazdracheva, special to RBTH – July 22, 2013) Almost 6 percent of Russian university graduates register at the unemployment office immediately after graduating. Lawyers lead the way in this area. There is also an excess of economists, real estate agents, travel managers, civil engineers, bankers, teachers and psychologists. Russian universities are still […]

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Bureaucrats must not teach historians how textbooks should be written – Naryshkin

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

(Interfax – KAZAN, July 16, 2013) Historians and history teachers, not bureaucrats, should decide how Russian history should be taught to Russian students, said Sergei Naryshkin, the Russian State Duma’s speaker and president of the Russian Historical Society. “Experts in history have wisely asked the Russian Historical Society to provide guidelines for teaching history as a subject, which will be […]

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Russia puts spending on guns ahead schools

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG – July 9, 2013) The Russian government has just approved the next three-year budget that runs to 2016 that has cut spending on education and health in favour of boosting it on reequipping the armed forces. Relations between Russia and the west are probably at their lowest ebb since the fall of […]

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FLEX Students Return Energized and Inspired for Change

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – June 28, 2013) Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series. For Ivan Chesnokov’s 18th birthday, his mother and stepfather redecorated his room in floor-to-ceiling posters of a fluttering American flag and the Manhattan skyline. On the wall, they hung a clock whose design was inspired by the Red Hot Chili […]

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Skolkovo Reality Becoming Less Virtual

Skolkovo File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Guennadi Moukine – June 20, 2013) Hovercraft, bionic arms, space tourism and nuclear laptop batteries may all be products of the future to be created and brought to market by Skolkovo, the business education and technology center taking shape on the outskirts of Moscow. Despite a bumpy start that has included typical Russian corruption scandals, […]

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Guriev’s Exile Is a Huge Loss for Russia

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm, opinion page editor of The Moscow Times – June 14, 2013) When the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum opens next week, a traditional fixture of the event will be conspicuously absent: renowned economist Sergei Guriev. During the forum, Russian officials will undoubtedly repeat the usual lines about the country’s untapped potential, its attractiveness […]

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Dvorkovich Sees Possibility of Guriev Return

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – June 13, 2013) Self-exiled economist Sergei Guriev met with the Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich on Wednesday in Paris ­ his first informal get together with a senior Russian official since he left the country last month, fearing pressure from law enforcement agencies. Guriev, who headed the liberal New Economic School until […]

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