Political analysts join exodus from Russia as top think tank closes

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace warned of Russia’s growing “international isolation” in a statement about the closure of its Moscow center by the Russian Justice Ministry on April 8.

Writing on social media on Monday, Carnegie mentioned they “regretted” the Russian government’s decision, but promised that their staff would continue their research.

The Russian government shut down the think tank after claiming to have “discovered violations of Russian law”, but did not provide further details.

Carnegie Moscow Center director Dmitry Trenin declined to comment on the closure on Tuesday, calling it a “sensitive topic.” Andrei Kolesnikov, one of Carnegie’s top analysts, told the Moscow Times that he was staying in Russia and had no plans to leave any time soon.

Meanwhile, Andrei Movchan, a nonresident Carnegie scholar and economist, said no one from central Moscow had contacted him about the think tank’s demise.

Carnegie’s disappearance is just one of a series of shutdowns affecting international organizations in Russia, as global tensions continue to rise following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

This change prompted a wave of political scientists to leave Russia.

Ekaterina Schulmann, a famous Russian political scientist and prominent public figure, announced last week that she would be living in Berlin for a year as a Robert Bosch Foundation Scholar.

Schulmann’s process of being accepted as a fellow was expedited due to “all sorts of extraordinary circumstances”, she mentioned on April 12, during his weekly YouTube show, Status.

“Otherwise, the correspondence would have lasted another year.”

A few days later, on April 15, Schulmann was branded a “foreign agent” by the Russian government, a legal term with connotations of Soviet-era espionage.

Political scientist Alyona Vandysheva, who has teamed up with anti-corruption organization Transparency International and previously taught law and anti-corruption at Russia’s renowned Higher School of Economics (HSE), has also left the country. .

Vandysheva said she “didn’t feel safe” in Russia and decided to move to Georgia.

“I was afraid that my work for Transparency would lead to some kind of repressive measures against me,” she said. Told The St. Petersburg newspaper Rotonda on March 29.

Russian journalist, sociologist and Carnegie contributor Konstantin Gaaze also left Russia.

“I’m glad I’m gone, I’m glad I saved my sanity,” he said. mentioned on an episode of Kavachai (“Coffee-tea” in Ukrainian and Russian), a podcast hosted by Ukrainian and Russian journalists about the war in Ukraine.

Echoing security concerns, renowned social scientist and public speaker Grigory Yudin declined to comment on his plans to leave Russia saying, “only [Russia’s Federal Security Service, the] The FSB asks such questions.

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