Russia designates Latvia-based Free University as "undesirable"

  • 2023-03-31
  • LETA/DW/TBT Staff

MOSCOW - Russian authorities have designated the Latvian-registered nongovernmental organization Free University as "undesirable", the Russian Prosecutor General's Office informs on its website. 

The Prosecutor General's Office explains the decision by the fact that the Free University has been established by a Latvia-based Russian citizen declared in Russia a "foreign agent".  

"The teaching staff of the education institution promote activities of organizations that in the territory of the Russian Federation have been designated as extremist," the Prosecutor General's Office said without naming the organizations. 

The NGO is also accused of instilling in students "strong dislike of Russia", "at the same time forcing upon them an ultraliberal model of European democracy". 

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office indicates that the Russian Justice Ministry has been informed about the decision to add the Free University to the blacklist of undesirable organizations. 

Several teachers of Russia's Higher School of Economics (HSE), who lost their jobs due to the non-renewal of contracts, created their own educational project called the Free University. The project's authors are philosophy teachers Viktor and Yulia Gorbatov, Kirill Martynov, editor-in-chief of the Riga-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europe, and law professor Elena Lukyanova.

After the blacklisting announcement, Martynov said on Twitter that the university will carry on with its work, using security protocols.