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Bard College becomes first college to be banned from Russia

In June, Bard College landed on Russia's list of "undesirable" organizations, ultimately ending Bard's affiliation with St. Petersburg State University as any work there would be illegal.

News 12 Staff

Aug 9, 2021, 9:24 PM

Updated 1,069 days ago

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A Hudson Valley liberal arts college has become the first college or university to be banned from Russia.
In June, Bard College landed on Russia's list of "undesirable" organizations, ultimately ending Bard's affiliation with St. Petersburg State University as any work there would be illegal.
That announcement came as a surprise, and while those with the college still haven't received a reason as to why, they have two beliefs.
"We think it's no coincidence that our name was added to the list just after the Biden/Putin summit, and immediately after, the U.S. had imposed additional sanctions on Russia...A second reason is that there's internal politics within Russia, with their elections in September, and I think there's a lot of posturing. And being anti-American is a very good posture to take," says Jonathan Becker, vice president of academic affairs at Bard College.
Becker helped shape the overseas program since its inception more than two decades ago.
"The idea that we are meant to no longer work with each other, let alone communicate with each other, is really devastating for those of us who have put so much effort into this program," he says.
Some news outlets are speculating that Russia's move comes after George Soros gifted $500 million to the college earlier this year.
Soros is considered controversial in Russia.


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