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Russia’s Universities are Packed with Liberals Who Want to Destroy Her

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The author is one of the most prominent economists in Russia.  He calls for a thorough change of personnel at two of the country’s most important universities – the Higher School of Economics, and the Moscow State University School of Journalism.

This article originally appeared at the Russian magazine Kultura.  It was translated by Kristina Rus at the Fort Rus website.


The other day there was an article online about the scandal with admissions to the school of journalism at Moscow State University. Grades are lowered, it is practically impossible to get a fair resolution, but the main bombshell is – applicants are tested for political loyalty. And the examiners consider trustworthy not the supporters of the current political course, but the opposite — those who adhere to explicitly oppositional views.

Personally, having once attended a School of Young Journalist at the MGU school of journalism, it was a shock to learn that it has become a pipeline for instilling hostility towards Russia under the guise of “journalistic professionalism”. While great people are teaching there, who genuinely suffer from the destruction of education during the liberal reforms and from the need to teach students the high school curricula during the first year.

I think the root of the problem in the understanding of journalistic professionalism as the a priori hostility to the government. Many of my colleagues drew attention to the fact that the MGU school of journalism, as in many other places (especially the Higher School of Economics, where the notorious Albats used to be a professor), students have been persistently hammered into their heads: if you want to be journalists, you must be in opposition. If a student suddenly notices something good done by the current government, you hear a wild outcry: “get out of the profession.” And they talk about “government” in general, but in fact refer specifically to the Russian government. 

The well-known American maxim that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion but nobody is entitled to their own facts” is completely shattered. For the sake of nurturing hatred to your own state and native country the students are taught to deny reality and to create “their own facts”.

Thus, the journalists, tomorrow’s masters of public opinion, from the start are turned into enemies of not a particular state with all of its vices, but the Russian statehood as such.

Such education once again reveals the focus of the liberal clan on a systematic destruction of Russia. Because hostility of a critically important part of the youth towards the foundation of the existence of Russian society, which is the state, simply deprives our country of the future.

The position of the liberals is based on the position of global business, which they serve. And which bet on the destruction of Russia for the sake of reducing expenses, on its demolition according to the Libya model, in order to negotiate about the access to oil not with the government and not with a state company, but with a scared mayor of an oil town, hoping for permanent residence in the United States.

I believe a drastic rehabilitation of all public universities is imperative, particularly those associated with the formation of mass consciousness. Such a rehabilitation should, in my opinion, begin with the schools of journalism of Moscow State University and the Higher School of Economics.

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DELYAGIN Mikhail Gennadievich  

Born in Moscow on  March   18, 1968

1986 – 1988 – served in the Soviet Army .

1992 – graduated cum laude from the Economic faculty of the Moscow State University named after Lomonosov.

From July 1990 till November 1993 – analyst of B.Yeltsin Group of experts; resigned voluntary. Head of Conimvest group Analytical center.

From May 1994 – chief analytic of Analytic control center of the President of RF (Heads – Y.Yasin, M.Urnov, V.Pechenev).

From October 1996 – referent of the Economy Assistant to the President of RF (S.Ignatiev).

From March 1997 – consultant for economic safety to the vice-president, Minister of internal affairs, A.Kulikov.

From June 1997 – an adviser to the first vice-premier B.Nemtsov. For publications in mass media, regarded as antigovernment propaganda, was fired one day before the default on August 17, 1998.

From October 1998 to May 1999 – an adviser to first vice-premier Y.Maslukov.

From May to July 1999 – deputy director of Secretariat of the first vice-premier N.Aksenenko.

From August 1999 – an adviser to the Chairman of Coordination Council of election block Motherland-All Russia, Y.Primakov; from January 1999 – his assistant. From March 2002 to August 2003 – assistant to the Chairman of the Government of RF, M.Kasyanov.

In 1998 headed Institute of globalization problems (IPROG) which he created. Chairman of Presidium – scientific officer (2002-2005), since 2006 – director. Chairman of the Ideology council of “Rodina” political party (2004-2006). Member of the permanent Political conference of “Other Russia” (2006-2007) and Presidium of Kongress Russian Societies. In March, 2010 has created and has headed organizing committee on political party creation “Motheland: common sense (RZS)”.

Active II class counselor of state. Has a personal acknowledgement of RF President B.Yeltsin (Order № 70-rp dated March 11, 1997).

From 1994 participated in preparations of addresses of the President of Russia to the Federal Assembly and programs of the Government of Russia. Chief developer of the program of the Government of Russia, On measures for stabilizing social and economic situation in the country (autumn 1998), participant in negotiations with IMF and World Bank in January-April 1999.

One of the well-known Russian economists. For a long period of time was the youngest Doctor of Science, Economics (1998).Professor emeritus (2000) of Jilin university (China). Research professor, MGIMO (2003). Academician of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (2004).

Member of Council for External and Defense Policies (1999), Executive Committee of All-Russian Union of Commodity Producers (2001), Supervisory Council of Worldwide Anti-criminal Antiterrorism Forum (2001), deputy Chairman of the Russian Union of Taxpayers (2003), member of the Presidium of National Investment Council (2005), Russian society of Oxford (2011).

Author of more than 900 articles in Russia, USA, Germany, France, Finland, China, India, etc., author of 12 monographs, the most famous among them being Economy of Non-payments (1997), Ideology of Renaissance (2000), World Crisis. General theory of Globalization (2003), Russia after Putin. Is Orange-Green Revolution Inevitable in Russia? (2005), Mankind drive (2008), Mankind Crisis. Whether Russia in a non-russian distemper will survive? (2010). Head of the writing team of the book, Practice of Globalization: Games and Rules of a New Era (2000), in the co-authorship from V.Shejanovym has written the book, World inside out. As the economic crisis for Russia will end (2009)

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‘I’m alone’: How I’m finding friends in Italy during the pandemic

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Breaking into a new social circle is tough pretty much anywhere in the world once you get beyond university exchanges and gap years.

In your 30s, people are settled and busy with their own families, established friendships and demanding jobs. Throw in a new culture and language and there’s an extra challenge you have to face.

But face it you must if you’re going to make the most out of life in Italy and especially as, for me it seems, I’m in it for the long haul as I’m marrying an Italian.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re exhausted’: What it’s like planning a wedding in Italy during the pandemic

Finding your own friends and people you can call on is as important as registering with your local town hall and all the other seemingly endless bits of bureaucracy you need to do to live in Italy.

The pandemic has been a test of mental and emotional strength and my wellbeing has undoubtedly taken a hit after months of restrictions, unable to either leave the apartment or not stray very far from it.

And working from home, or ‘Smart Working‘ as the Italians dub it, has only increased my isolation further.

READ ALSO: Not just teaching: The jobs you can do in Italy without speaking Italian

Once Italy opened up again for the summer season, I was ready to get out and live again. But then I felt blocked when the realisation dawned on me: I’m alone. What friends can I call on to go out for a drink or a wander?

So, I was determined to take charge of my social life and finally take the chance to create my own support network.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’m usually outgoing and sociable – and have lived in many places around the world, normally making friends fairly easily.

But after months of being cooped up, I recognised I needed to push myself back out into the world before I became a complete grouch.

I’d got used to this new life of relative solitude, unable to travel to see friends and family, but I knew it was neither healthy nor sustainable for me.

READ ALSO: ‘I’m going crazy’: Why international residents in Europe will travel this summer despite Covid

Another problem was I had no established social life in Italy before. I arrived six months before the pandemic hit and so I’d only just about managed to get going with a job and start receiving invitations to aperitivo nights or a passeggiata.

But with various lockdowns after almost two years here, I’ve been in stasis and I have to start from square one again.

I scoured Facebook for meet-up groups around Bologna, as it’s the bigger of my two closest cities.

That’s another problem you might face if you move to Italy. For whatever reason, by accident or design, you might live in the countryside, which narrows your options even further.

So you have to accept you’ll need to put a bit of extra effort in to see new faces and make connections.

Turns out there are plenty of online groups for meeting new people in my nearest city and, after months of suspended activities, it seems people are coming out their shell again to mingle and enjoy Italy once more.

Friends wanted for frolicking in sunflowers. Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash

I clicked ‘going’ on a Facebook event I found for women in Bologna, called ‘Girl Gone International’. That’s it, once I’ve committed I don’t back out so it was my own insurance to force myself to make the 40-minute journey after work.

We met in the park in the centre of the city for a chat. It was really informal, relaxed and everyone was curious about each other.

The usual social dynamics of new people all together for the first time came into play and I did my usual fretting of whether I spoke too much, asked others too many questions or revealed too much too soon.

Everyone there was intelligent, had interesting jobs and stories of how they’d ended up in Bologna. I found out new restaurant recommendations from long-term residents and tips for hiking spots.

These are the gems you miss out on if you stay in your own bubble.

A few weeks passed in between and I wasn’t very proactive in asking people if they wanted to meet up. Between work, planning a wedding and buying a house, the spirit was willing, but the flesh was too hot and tired.

Another opportunity cropped up though, and I was back in the city on a Friday night, meeting more of the group and getting to know them better over a glass of wine and a plate of Italian bread snacks called taralli.

Turns out I just might have found people I have lots in common with. They love the outdoors, trying new food and do litter clean-ups.

Plastic-hating, nature-loving foodies? Jackpot.

Sometimes, just knowing there are people who are keen to meet up is all you need.

Making true friends takes investment and I expect it’ll be a while yet before I have that person in my life I can call anytime and be fully myself with. Politeness is tiring, after all.

But for now, I’m a little less alone and a bit more me. And after a fairly rocky start to my life in Italy, having something to look forward to, at last, is enough.



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Nadine Lott told ex-partner who later killed her not to ‘threaten’ her, court hears

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Nadine Lott told her former partner not to “threaten” her two weeks before he killed her, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The jury in the trial of Daniel Murtagh was given transcripts on Tuesday of WhatsApp messages between the accused and his ex-girlfriend in the days and weeks leading up to her death.

In them, the accused asks her if she is “seeing someone from Dublin”. In reply, Ms Lott tells him she is not seeing anyone. Mr Murtagh asks her if there was a “Dublin lad” in her “place” and she tells him to “leave it out”.

She tells him that “nothing is ever going to happen between us again, I want to make that clear.”

In another text from December 5th the accused said: “Nadine I worry about ye, not in love, just don’t slip”.

She replied: “Don’t threaten me either”.

Evidence has previously been given that Mr Murtagh told a motorist that he had “killed my wife because she was with my friend”, just hours after he assaulted her.

John Begley testified last week that he saw a car in a ditch as he was travelling over Bookies Bridge in Laragh on the morning of December 14th and then came across the accused man standing at the side of the road.

“Daniel said to me ‘you don’t know what I’ve done”. I said what did you do. He said ‘I killed my wife’. I didn’t think anything of it. He said it a second time and said he hoped she was not dead. He said ‘she was with my friend’,” said Mr Begley.

Mr Murtagh (34), of Melrose Grove, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his 30-year-old ex-partner Ms Lott at her apartment in St Mary’s Court, Arklow, Co Wicklow on December 17th, 2019.

The jury has heard that Ms Lott suffered “severe blunt force trauma” and stab injuries at the hands of her former partner “in a sustained and violent attack” in her Arklow home.

They have heard evidence that the injuries to Ms Lott were so serious that she never regained consciousness and died three days later in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.

An intensive care nurse at the hospital has told the jury that Ms Lott was “completely unrecognisable” and that she had never seen anybody so badly injured. A paramedic who attended to Ms Lott at her home told the jury that the call will “haunt” him for the rest of his career and was one of the most “horrendous scenes” he had ever walked into. The garda who telephoned ambulance control informed them that Ms Lott had been “beaten to a pulp”.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and a jury of seven men and five women.

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Five unwritten rules that explain life in Austria

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Adjusting to life in a new country takes time – even more so when navigating unwritten rules of how to act in social and professional situations.

But learning how to live like a local in Austria will not only make it a more pleasant experience, it will also show that you fit in and respect the rules.

To help you further understand Austrian culture, here are five unwritten rules that explain life in Austria.

Always say hello – at least in the countryside

Austrians have a reputation for being direct in their communication, but politeness is also highly valued. 

A prime example is the unwritten rule of saying hello to people – even if you don’t know them.

This applies more in the countryside than in the cities but it’s worth being aware of to avoid making a social faux pas.

According to a Kurier article, failure to greet others will even have you labelled as unfriendly, arrogant or badly educated.

READ MORE: Nine things you might be surprised are actually Austrian

So, if someone is walking towards you, you walk into a bakery (for example) or you see neighbours on the street, then a greeting is expected.

It could be a simple nod of the head, but in most cases it will be “Servus”, “Griaß di” or even “Hallo”.

But don’t try it in a city like Vienna. Saying hello to strangers will just result in funny looks.

Saying hello to someone will show them that you come in peace. Photo by Tom Leishman from Pexels

Always bring food or drink to a social gathering

If invited to a barbecue or dinner party at someone’s house, always take a drink or something to contribute to the meal.

For example, if your host is cooking, offer to bring a salad or a dessert.

If they are taking care of the food then offer to bring a nice bottle of wine or a selection of beers.

If you’re going to a gathering, always bring something – especially if someone tells you it’s not necessary. Photo by Nicole Herrero on Unsplash

And if they are hosting a barbecue, always take your own meat and expect a wide selection of salads and bread that other guests will also bring and share with everyone else.

Not only is this polite, but it will stop other people from talking about you because you violated the unwritten rule.

Don’t expect polite queues at ski lift stations

While Austrian society can be polite in many ways, queueing at ski lift stations in the Alps is a different story.

In fact, it’s a free-for-all and it’s something that both tourists and international residents in Austria have experienced.

REVEALED: What do Austrians think about foreigners?

An Austrian in Tyrol, who asked to remain anonymous, summed it up when he told The Local: “Don’t be civilised and politely queue up at the ski lifts – just push in.”

So, when going skiing in Austria, leave your manners at home, be prepared for others to cut in front of you and get ready to push to the front of the queue.

For a country that loves order and predictability, Austria sure doesn’t know how to queue. Photo by Mael BALLAND on Unsplash

Lateness is not appreciated

People in Austria are generally punctual, like to be on time and expect others to do the same – just like in neighbouring countries Germany and Switzerland.

The unwritten rule applies to both work and social situations, including going out to dinner at a restaurant.

READER QUESTION: Is it legal to drink in public in Austria?

This means if you’re running late it’s polite to call the host and let them know. Likewise if you have a reservation at a restaurant.

However, there is still a limit on how much lateness can be tolerated, with 15 minutes typically the maximum delay before people become annoyed.

Always carry cash

Cash is king in Austria. 

What can I get for this many? Always carry cash in Austria. Photo by Christian Dubovan on Unsplash

It always has been and it probably always will be, with a pre-pandemic study showing that 83 per cent of Austrians preferred paying with cash.

Customers can even expect a grumpy roll of the eyes when trying to pay with cash in some places because it’s so deeply ingrained in the culture.

READ MORE: Why is cash so important to Austrians?

This attitude towards cash is perfectly reflected in the Austrian saying “Nur Bares ist Wahres” (only cash is true) and there are three reasons for this – freedom, anonymity and control. 

Austrians like to have the freedom of not relying on a bank, the anonymity to spend money on whatever they like and control over spending.

For international residents from card-favouring countries like the UK, Ireland and most of Scandinavia, the best way to deal with this is to just get used to carrying cash.



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