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Academia in Revolt in St. Petersburg

Much has been written about the closure of European University of St. Petersburg last month, one the region’s largest independent academic institutions. Local authorities shut down the facilities absurdly citing fire risks, but students and activists complained that the reason for the shutdown was that the university has received a grant from the EU to study the Russian elections. Even though the university directors called off the elections study after harsh criticism directly from Vladimir Putin (he apparently accused them of foreign meddling – but when I searched Kremlin.ru for that term, I came up with 17 results), the university was shuttered, prompting a strong reaction from the academic community. Today RFE/RL has an interesting feature on the protest actions of the EUSP students to raise awareness of the situation and prompt the government to re-open the school. The students and professors have aggressively taken to the blogosphere, and are holding rather creative public actions, such as the one displayed in the video below.