Monday, May 15, 2023

Ethnic Russians Create Student Groups in Universities and Some of These are Racist

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 10 – Non-Russian students in the higher educational institutions of the Russian Federation have a long history of creating their own student groups to help their co-ethnics adapt to conditions outside their home republics, and most of them do just that and enjoy the support of university administrators.

            Ethnic Russian students do not have a similar history, but in recent years, ever more of them are creating parallel organizations less to help students find their way than to promote interest in Russian identity. But some of them have had openly nationalist and even racist agendas and so many have received only cautious support or none at all from administrators.

            This is not a topic that has attracted much attention, but now the Nazaccent site, which covers ethnic news in Russia, has run an article about how various higher educational institutions  in Moscow have dealt with these Russian groups, with some actively supporting and others opposing them (

            Tatyana Bernyukevich, a professor at the Moscow State Construction University who is an expert on these groups according to the portal, offers a comment that suggests both why these groups may be a problem and why university administrators are anything but enthusiastic about them.

            She says that “there was a time when some of the guys from these ‘Russian societies’ talked about ‘the white race’ and other alarming things.” According to her, most were able to overcome such temptations. But “university administrations certainly are wary of such communities” as “there have been various tragic cases” involving foreigners.

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