«The world is a cart careening off a mountain and hurtling with acceleration»

Interview with Breakthrough Prize win­ner Alexander Zamolodchikov about the quan­tum field the­o­ry and how it feels to be involved in a domain that is com­plete­ly impos­si­ble to imag­ine and under­stand. We also dis­cussed emi­gra­tion and how, in the midst of Perestroika, he real­ized that things would not be good in Russia.

Why do we run the T-invariant

The T-invari­ant is a media with the mis­sion to con­stant­ly remind us of time­less civ­i­liza­tion­al invari­ants, and to unite the com­mu­ni­ty of peo­ple who hold them as liv­ing values.

T-invari­ant and CISRUS launched a chron­i­cle of vio­la­tions of the rights and free­doms of sci­en­tists and teachers 
Updates: Andrey Boyarshinov, Dmitry Ivanov, Valery Golubkin, Boris Kagarlitsky, Svetlana Drugoveyko-Dolzhanskaya.
Additions: Alexander Lukanin, Alexey Vorobyov.

Dismissals, fines, stigma­ti­za­tion, crim­i­nal cas­es, tor­ture — all this awaits in Russia those who are try­ing to tell the truth, oppose war, pro­tect peace, crit­i­cize the author­i­ties or sim­ply hon­est­ly do their aca­d­e­m­ic and teach­ing work .
T-invari­ant and the CISRUS Centerwill work togeth­er to chron­i­cle the per­se­cu­tion of sci­en­tists in Russia for as long as it con­tin­ues. If you have wit­nessed or been the tar­get of aca­d­e­m­ic harass­ment, please con­tact us at [email protected].
The chron­i­cle records vio­la­tions of the rights and free­doms of sci­en­tists and teach­ersas cit­i­zens of the Russian Federation, as well as vio­la­tions of their aca­d­e­m­ic rights and free­doms by the lead­er­ship of their sci­en­tif­ic institution.
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Svetlana Drugoveyko-Dolzhanskaya

Date of inci­dent: September 29, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: the ethics com­mis­sion of St. Petersburg State University demand­ed dis­missal
Institution: St. Petersburg State University 

Summary: On September 29, 2023, a meet­ing of the St. Petersburg State University Ethics Commission was held. The Commission received an appeal from Vice-Rector for Legal Affairs Yu. V. Penov with a request to pro­vide an eth­i­cal assess­ment of the actions and behav­ior of the senior teacher of the Russian Language Department S. V. Drugoveyko-Dolzhanskaya. The com­mis­sion came to the con­clu­sion “that the actions of S. V. Drugoveyko-Dolzhanskaya are incom­pat­i­ble with the sta­tus of a uni­ver­si­ty stu­dent at St. Petersburg State University.” 

Sources: Paper, Decision of the St. Petersburg State University Ethics Commission
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Gleb Verdian

Date of the inci­dent: September 7, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: con­vic­tion for trea­son
Institution: Astrakhan State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering 

Summary: The Moscow City Court has sen­tenced 21-year-old stu­dent of the Astrakhan State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Gleb Verdiyan, to six years’ impris­on­ment in a strict penal colony for trea­son against the state (Article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). This was announced by the press ser­vice of the courts of gen­er­al juris­dic­tion in Moscow. In addi­tion to the prison term, Verdiyan was sen­tenced to a fine of 200 thou­sand rubles and a restric­tion of lib­er­ty for one year. 

Sources: Current Time, Mediazona, BBC News
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Valery Garbuzov
Date of the inci­dent: September 1, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: Dismissal
Institution: Georgy Arbatov Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN)

Summary: Russian his­to­ri­an and polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Valery Garbuzov con­firmed to TASS on September 2 that he was dis­missed from his post as direc­tor of the Institute for U.S. and Canada of RAN, at the ini­tia­tive of the founder:” Yes, yes­ter­day an order was signed to ter­mi­nate my con­tract. The rea­son as such is not stat­ed there, there is such an arti­cle of the employ­ment con­tract - at the ini­tia­tive of the founder, that’s how it is formulated.” 

Source: TASS, “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”
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Azat Miftakhov

Date of inci­dent: 25 August 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: a crim­i­nal case on jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of ter­ror­ism was ini­ti­at­ed
Institution: Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics 

Summary: A crim­i­nal case was opened against math­e­mati­cian Azat Miftakhov, who in 2021 was sen­tenced to six years in a penal colony on charges of break­ing a win­dow in a United Russia office, for jus­ti­fy­ing ter­ror­ism (Article 205.2 Part 1 of the Criminal Code). On 17 August, Rosfinmonitoring added Miftakhov to the reg­is­ter of ter­ror­ists and extrem­ists. At that time it was not offi­cial­ly report­ed under which arti­cle the math­e­mati­cian was charged. 

Sources: RTVI (Telegram chan­nel), Mediazona
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Yulia Galyamina

Date: August 25, 2023
The court declared the dis­missal illegal
Institution: RANEPA

Summary: The Koptevsky District Court of Moscow par­tial­ly sat­is­fied the claim of for­mer munic­i­pal deputy, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor Yulia Galyamina, who chal­lenged her dis­missal from the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). This is stat­ed on the court’s web­site. In Galyamina’s telegram chan­nel writes: “I was rein­stat­ed at RANEPA as an assis­tant pro­fes­sor. They col­lect­ed 115 thou­sand for ille­gal dis­missal. Of these, 10 are com­pen­sa­tion for moral dam­age (we asked for 500).” 

Sources: Telegram chan­nel of Yulia Galyamina, Mediazona, court web­site
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Boris Kagarlitsky

Date of inci­dent: July 26, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: arrest, charge of jus­ti­fy­ing ter­ror­ism, fine
Institution: Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences (Shaninka)

Summary: July 26, 2023 The Syktyvkar City Court arrest­ed soci­ol­o­gist and polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Boris Kagarlitsky (rec­og­nized as a for­eign agent in the Russian Federation in 2018) for two months on charges of calls for ter­ror­ism. On September 21, 2023, by deci­sion of the Syktyvkar court, the dead­line was extend­ed until November 24, 2023. On September 26, 2023, the Savyolovsky Court of Moscow fined Boris Kagarlitsky (includ­ed in the list of ter­ror­ists and extrem­ists) 40 thou­sand rubles for not iden­ti­fy­ing a for­eign agent in his publications. 

Sources: Gazeta.ru, TASS from September 21, 2023, TASS from September 26, 2023.
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Alina Olekhnovich, Ivan Trofimov 
Date of inci­dent: July 26, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: house arrest
Institution: Higher School of Economics 

Summary: The Basmanny District Court of Moscow placed 22-year-old Ivan Trofimov and 21-year-old Alina Olekhnovich under house arrest until September 24 in the case of par­tic­i­pa­tion in the activ­i­ties of an extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tion. Trofimova and Olekhnovich are stu­dents of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, accord­ing to the university’s web­site, both are study­ing in the field of “cin­e­ma and video art” at the Department of Contemporary Art. Propagandist Vladimir Solovyov wrote about the deten­tion of young peo­ple in his Telegram channel. 

Source: Mediazona
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Mikhail Lobanov
Date of inci­dent: July 7, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: dis­missal
Institution: Moscow State University 

Summary: On June 23, the Ministry of Justice rec­og­nized can­di­date of phys­i­cal and math­e­mat­i­cal sci­ences Mikhail Lobanov as a for­eign agent, which tech­ni­cal­ly pro­hibits him from teach­ing. Lobanov writes: “I saw a pho­to of the order dis­miss­ing me from the posi­tion of asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of mechan­ics and math­e­mat­ics at Moscow State University. The order is dat­ed July 7, issued and signed on behalf of the act­ing. Rector of Moscow State University by Vice-Rector Andrei Fedyanin.” 

Source: RBC
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Center of Historical Memory 
Date of inci­dent: July 4, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: vio­la­tion of auton­o­my
Institution: Center of Historical Memory, Perm 

Summary: On July 4, the Center for Historical Memory (suc­ces­sor to the Perm depart­ment of the human rights research orga­ni­za­tion Memorial) was fined 300 thou­sand rubles in the case of “dis­cred­it­ing” the Russian army (Article 20.3.3 Part 1 Administrative Code). Since the deci­sion was made in absen­tia, the exact rea­son for draw­ing up the pro­to­col is cur­rent­ly unknown. Presumably, the rea­son could have been the appeal of the International Memorial on February 24 last year on the Perm Memorial web­site. The same domain is now used by the Center for Historical Memory. 

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Mikhail Belousov

Date of inci­dent: 06/​02/​2023
Type of vio­la­tion: dis­missal
Institution: St. Petersburg State University 

Summary: The man­age­ment of St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU) dis­missed Mikhail Belousov, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Institute of History, for dis­trib­ut­ing mate­ri­als “dis­cred­it­ing the con­duct of a spe­cial mil­i­tary oper­a­tion by the armed forces of the Russian Federation and insult­ing the mem­o­ry of those killed in the line of mil­i­tary duty.” The deci­sion was jus­ti­fied by the fact that crit­i­cism of the war “vio­lates the moral tra­di­tions of the uni­ver­si­ty and gen­er­al­ly accept­ed eth­i­cal standards.” 

Sources: Mediazona, Fontanka
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Alexandra Arkhipova
Date of inci­dent: May 26, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: declared as a for­eign agent
Institution: inde­pen­dent researcher 
Summary: The mes­sage from the Ministry of Justice says: “A.S. Arkhipova in coop­er­a­tion with for­eign agents took part in the pro­duc­tion of some cer­tain mate­ri­als and par­tic­i­pat­ed in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of these mate­ri­als to an unlim­it­ed num­ber of peo­ple. She dis­sem­i­nat­ed false infor­ma­tion about the activ­i­ties of gov­ern­ment bod­ies of the Russian Federation and the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. She opposed the spe­cial mil­i­tary oper­a­tion in Ukraine”. 

Sources:: Interfax, FB Ivan Kurilla, E1.
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Sergey Chernyshov
Date of inci­dent: May 26, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: recog­ni­tion by a for­eign agent, dis­missal
Institution: Novosibirsk Novocollege 

Summary: On May 26, col­lege direc­tor Sergey Chernyshov was rec­og­nized as a for­eign agent. The main rea­son is the refusal to hold “Conversations about the Important” in the col­lege. For some time he remained the direc­tor. As Chernyshov wrote in his VK, a for­eign agent can­not teach, but he can orga­nize the learn­ing process, that is, he can work as a direc­tor. But this state did not last long - on June 15, Chernyshov left the post of direc­tor of the New College. 

Sources: Siberia.Realities, VK by Sergey Chernyshov (posts on May 26 and June 15)
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Mordovian State University 

Date of inci­dent: May 22, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: forced vot­ing
Institution: Mordovia State University 

Synopsis: Rector Dmitry Glushko forced stu­dents of Mordovian State University to vote for him in the United Russia pri­maries. The demands were dis­trib­uted through the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, Irina Ginzburg. Glushko plans to become a mem­ber of the region­al parliament. 

Source: telegram chan­nel SOTA
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Natalia Podolyak
Date of inci­dent: May 11, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: dis­missal
Institution: Siberian Institute of Business, Management and Psychology 

Brief: Teacher and activist Natalia Podolyak was fired from the Siberian Institute of Business, Management and Psychology, where she ran a sports club. The moti­va­tion­al part of the order states that the dis­missal was caused by vio­la­tions of the law on coun­ter­ing extrem­ism and vio­la­tions of labor duties. Earlier, Natalia Podolyak was fined for dis­cred­it­ing the Russian army in con­nec­tion with her com­ment that the Russian mil­i­tary in Ukraine is fight­ing “on for­eign soil.” In addi­tion, in 2020 she was sen­tenced to 10 days for “insult­ing the police.” According to Podolyak, she had no dis­ci­pli­nary sanc­tions for her work. 

Sources: Radio Liberty, Natalia’s FB post Podolyak (order of dismissal)
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Sergey Abramov
Date of inci­dent: April 12, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: arrest
Institution: A. K. Ailamazyan Program Systems Institute of RAS 

Summary: Corresponding mem­ber of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergei Abramov was arrest­ed under the arti­cle on financ­ing extrem­ism (Part 1 of Article 282.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). By a res­o­lu­tion of the Pereslavsky District Court of the Yaroslavl Region dat­ed April 12, 2023, a pre­ven­tive mea­sure was cho­sen against him in the form of house arrest for a peri­od until June 10, 2023. House arrest was extend­ed until August 10. On this charge, Abramov faces up to 5 years in prison in accor­dance with Part 1 of Art. 282.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. 

More details in T-invari­ant
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Valery Zvegintsev, Anatoly Maslov, Alexander Shiplyuk 
Date of inci­dent: April 7, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: arrest
Institution: Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences 

Summary: On April 7, Valery Zvegintsev, Doctor of Technical Sciences, founder of the lab­o­ra­to­ry “Aerogasdynamics of High Velocities” of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was arrest­ed. Earlier, two more employ­ees of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Anatoly Maslov and Alexander Shiplyuk were arrest­ed. All of them became sus­pects in a crim­i­nal case on “high trea­son” (Article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). 

More about this case wrote by T-invariant
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Pavel Kolosnitsyn
Date of inci­dent: April 6, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: fine
Institution: Novgorod University 

Synopsis: In January, police drew up an admin­is­tra­tive report against archae­ol­o­gist Pavel Kolosnitsyn from Novgorod University for his com­ment on a post about mobi­liza­tion, in which he assessed Russia’s loss­es in Ukraine. On February 21, the court fined Kolosnitsyn 30 thou­sand rubles. for abuse of free­dom of the media (part 9 of arti­cle 13.15 of the Administrative Code). The sci­en­tist said he would appeal the deci­sion. On April 6, the Novgorod District Court left the court deci­sion unchanged. Earlier, Kolosnitsyn said that a denun­ci­a­tion against him was writ­ten by an acquain­tance from anoth­er city.
Source: North.Realities
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Free University
Date of inci­dent: March 31, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: per­se­cu­tion, vio­la­tion of auton­o­my
Institution: Free University 

Summary: In 2021, the orga­niz­ers reg­is­tered the Free University NGO in Latvia. On March 31, 2023, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation rec­og­nized the activ­i­ty of the edu­ca­tion­al project as “unde­sir­able”. Russian laws make it pos­si­ble to bring cit­i­zens to admin­is­tra­tive and then crim­i­nal lia­bil­i­ty for any “par­tic­i­pa­tion in the activ­i­ties” of such organizations. 

Sources: T -invari­ant, Free University
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Oleg Orlov
Date of inci­dent: March 21, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: accu­sa­tion of repeat­ed dis­cred­it­ing of the Russian Army
Institution: Memorial. Human Rights Center 
Summary: As Interfax report­ed on March 21: “A crim­i­nal case has been opened against for­mer board mem­ber of the liq­ui­dat­ed International Memorial Society (con­vict­ed as a for­eign agent in the Russian Federation) Oleg Orlov for re-dis­cred­it­ing the Russian Armed Forces”. The case was ini­ti­at­ed under Article 280.3 Part 1 (on the repeat­ed dis­cred­it­ing). The max­i­mum pun­ish­ment pro­vid­ed for this crime is impris­on­ment for a term of up to three years. A pro­hi­bi­tion of depar­ture was cho­sen as a pre­ven­tive action. 

Sources:: Interfax, FB Center Memorial.
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Moscow Aviation Institute 
Date of inci­dent: March 20, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: coer­cion to sign a sum­mons to the mil­i­tary enlist­ment office to receive a diplo­ma
Institution: Moscow Aviation Institute 

Brief: Students of the Moscow Aviation Institute who grad­u­at­ed from the spe­cial­ist’s pro­grams report­ed that they are being refused diplo­mas until they sign the sum­mons to the mil­i­tary reg­is­tra­tion and enlist­ment office. One of the stu­dents said that along with the diplo­ma, it is required to sign a sum­mons in the office where diplo­mas are issued, and he sits as a mil­i­tary com­mis­sar. This takes place in the branch of the insti­tute on the Taganskaya metro sta­tion.
Source: Radio Liberty, RBC
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Penza State University 
Date of inci­dent: March 16, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: coer­cion to sign a sum­mons to the mil­i­tary enlist­ment office to receive a diplo­ma
Institution: Penza State University 

Summary: In March 2023, Andrey Surkov, mil­i­tary com­mis­sar of the Penza Region, announced that Penza State University grad­u­ates will receive sub­poe­nas along with their diplo­mas to be reg­is­tered in their mil­i­tary spe­cial­ty.. An agree­ment has been reached only with this uni­ver­si­ty. Surkov said that the call for mil­i­tary train­ing is over - there are more than 140 peo­ple. At the same time, Surkov said that the fol­low­ing agen­das would be annulled.
Source: telegram chan­nel Idel.Realii
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Viktor Novogorsky
Date of inci­dent: March 15, 2023
Violation type: expul­sion
Institution: Mari State University 

Summary: Third-year stu­dent Viktor Novogorsky was expelled from the Mari State University. Failure was cit­ed as the offi­cial rea­son. However, the Mari Ushem orga­ni­za­tion believes that the stu­dent was expelled due to his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the activ­i­ties of this orga­ni­za­tion, aimed at rais­ing the self-aware­ness of the Mari people. 

Source: Idel.Realities
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Konstantin Miroshnikov
Date of inci­dent: March 15, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: dis­missal
Institution: Moscow International University 

Synopsis: Konstantin Miroshnikov, teacher of the Introduction to Journalism course and for­mer employ­ee of Echo of Moscow radio sta­tion, was dis­missed by agree­ment of the par­ties from Moscow International University. The dis­missal was the result of denun­ci­a­tions. According to the author of one of the denun­ci­a­tions, Miroshnikov gave stu­dents a report on the top­ic “A jour­nal­ist and his activ­i­ties.” When grad­ing, the opin­ions of the teacher and the stu­dent regard­ing the text about the VGTRK employ­ee dif­fered, a denun­ci­a­tion was writ­ten against the teacher, and Konstantin Miroshnikov was fired. 

Source: Radio Liberty
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Nikita Menshov
Date of inci­dent: March 11, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: arrest
Institution: Ural State Law University 

Summary: Freshman Nikita Menshov has become a new defen­dant in a crim­i­nal case of high trea­son. On March 11, at 5:35 am, Menshov was detained in Vladikavkaz by a patrol of the police depart­ment No. 2 of the Zaterechny dis­trict for 15 days for “obscene lan­guage.” But on March 25, he was not released. On May 11, TASS, cit­ing the secret ser­vice, claimed that Menshov was sus­pect­ed of try­ing to go over to the side of the ene­my. The agency calls it an “attempt” to com­mit treason. 

Source: BBC Russian
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SOVA Center
Date of inci­dent: March 10, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: vio­la­tion of auton­o­my
Institution: Information and Analytical SOVA Center 

Brief: On March 10, the Ministry of Justice filed a law­suit to liq­ui­date Information and Analysis SOVA Center. The law­suit was filed as a result of an unsched­uled inspec­tion that took place in the orga­ni­za­tion from January 9 to February 4. “Violations” the depart­ment con­sid­ered the par­tic­i­pa­tion of SOVA in events out­side of Moscow - sem­i­nars and round tables in the Russian regions, as well as online con­fer­ences of the OSCE. All these “vio­la­tions” were con­firmed by employ­ees of the Ministry of Justice with screen­shots from SOVA web­site. The orga­ni­za­tion is cur­rent­ly appeal­ing this decision. 

Source: OVD-Info /​a>
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Elena Kabakova
Date of inci­dent: March 7, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: fine
Institution: Pyatigorsk State University 

Summary: The court fined Elena Kabakova, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at Pyatigorsk State University, 30,000 rubles under an arti­cle about dis­cred­it­ing the army because of her paci­fist state­ments in a con­ver­sa­tion with stu­dents.
Source: Caucasian Knot
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Students of St. Petersburg State Agrarian University 
Date of inci­dent: January 26, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: threat of expul­sion
Institution: College of St. Petersburg State Agrarian University “Tourism”

Summary: St. Petersburg State Agrarian University col­lege stu­dents Ekaterina and Anastasia were sum­moned to the dean’s office because they sub­scribed to the Smart Voting pro­jec­t’s mail­ing list. They are threat­ened with expul­sion, but the man­age­ment claims that this is due to poor aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance, although the record­ing of the con­ver­sa­tion does not cor­re­spond to this. Both stu­dents claim that they signed up for the mail­ing list before the sum­mer of 2021, that is, before the Smart Voting project was rec­og­nized as extrem­ist.
Source: Fontanka
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Artem Izgagin
Date of inci­dent: January 1, 2023
Type of vio­la­tion: fine
Institution: Pervouralsk Metallurgical College 

Summary: On January 11, Artem Izgagin, a math­e­mat­ics teacher from the Pervouralsk Metallurgical College, was con­vict­ed of dis­cred­it­ing the Russian army. The court imposed a fine of 40 thou­sand rubles. After the start of the spe­cial oper­a­tion, he post­ed sev­er­al posts on social net­works, in which the court saw “dis­cred­it­ing the army.” State Duma deputy Alexander Khinshtein demand­ed that the teacher be fired for his pub­li­ca­tions.
Sources: E1.ru
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Ilya Inishev
Date of inci­dent: December 27, 2022
Type of vio­la­tion: Dismissal
Institution: Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow 

Summary: On December 27, 2022, the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow fired Ilya Inishev, who has been a pro­fes­sor at the Higher School of Economics since 2010, where he head­ed the mas­ter’s pro­gram in Cultural Studies.
Sources: Insider SibReal Doxa Code of Conduct for HSE University Staff
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«At first I thought it was a fake» — sci­en­tists on reli­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism of the Institute of General Genetics director 

A.M. Kudryavtsev, cor­re­spond­ing mem­ber of the RAS, direc­tor of the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics of the RAS, made a bla­tant­ly fun­da­men­tal­ist pre­sen­ta­tion at a the­o­log­i­cal con­fer­ence. He claimed that muta­tions are caused by sins, that human lifes­pans are short­en­ing because bib­li­cal char­ac­ters lived for hun­dreds of years, and that Russia is forced to war because peo­ple in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries have mul­ti­plied too much. «At first I thought it was a fake,» write with­out col­lu­sion in response to the obscu­ran­tism Acad. Alexei Khokhlov and bioin­for­mati­cian Alexander Panchin. There is also a response from the head of the RAS Commission against Pseudoscience, Acad. Eugene Alexandrov.

Victor Vakhshtayn con­tin­ues the dia­logue with Mikhail Sokolov 

Responding to Mikhail Sokolov’s points, Viktor Vakhshtayn con­tin­ues his dis­cus­sion of the obsta­cles that arise in trans­fer­ring the results of soci­o­log­i­cal research obtained in one soci­ety to another.

Sociologist Mikhail Sokolov responds to an inter­view with Victor Vakhshtayn 

Mikhail Sokolov has post­ed detailed remarks fol­low­ing an inter­view with Victor Vakhshtayn pub­lished by T-invar­i­ant. Spoiler alert: «Russian social sci­en­tists … do not need to aban­don Russian mate­r­i­al in the past by eras­ing it along with the part of their lives ded­i­cat­ed to col­lect­ing it. If you under­stand how the men­tal maps of the social sci­ences are arranged, … you can, hope­ful­ly, avoid such sacrifices.»

Countries import­ing Russian fake dissertations 

Prof. Andrei Rostovtsev list­ed the coun­tries whose cit­i­zens, accord­ing to Dissernet, active­ly use the oppor­tu­ni­ty to receive aca­d­e­m­ic degrees in Russia for fal­si­fied dis­ser­ta­tions. China is in first place, fol­lowed by most Third World coun­tries, and there are even some European coun­tries on the list. And for instance, Tajikistan suc­cess­ful­ly sells Russian-lan­guage forg­eries to Iranians. 

Ukrainian sci­en­tists call for boy­cott of Russian science 

The Nature web-site reports about an open let­ter of Ukrainian sci­en­tists with an appeal to the world sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty to boy­cott Russian sci­ence. The Russian sci­en­tif­ic dias­po­ra is dis­cussing the top­ic in the RASA group.

Where is arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence tak­ing us? 

How should we per­ceive the new gen­er­a­tion of AI sys­tems, what to expect of them, and how will they change us? Scott Aaronson, an AI secu­ri­ty spe­cial­ist, talked about this in an inter­view to Sergei Nemalevich, a sci­ence jour­nal­ist of Radio Liberty. It’s a good start­ing point for those who have not yet real­ized how seri­ous things are. 

Masks: proven inef­fec­tive­ness or unproven effectiveness? 

According to the new Cochrane meta-ana­ly­­sis, the effec­tive­ness of masks against the spread of res­pi­ra­to­ry infec­tions has not yet been proven. However, they assess the reli­a­bil­i­ty of this con­clu­sion is low because the avail­able research is incon­clu­sive. Science jour­nal­ist Ira Yakutenko explained in detail why this is the case. We can argue there until the prop­er research arrives.

The RAS is wind­ing down the fight against pseudoscience 

Machine trans­la­tion

The oth­er day it turned out, accord­ing to the Club of Academicians “July 1”, that in December 2022 the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences decid­ed «to trans­fer the func­tions of the RAS Commission on Combating Pseudoscience and the RAS Commission on Counteraction to Falsification of Scientific Research to the Expert Council of the RAS». The lead­ers of the com­mis­sions were not even informed about this. In 2018, the RAS Commission on Combating Pseudoscience was split into two, severe­ly lim­it­ing the right to pub­lic state­ments (only with the approval of the Presidium of the RAS). Now it is going to the point where the prob­lems of pseu­do­science and fal­si­fi­ca­tion will no longer be con­sid­ered inde­pen­dent­ly. Academics hope to chal­lenge this deci­sion at the General Assembly of the RAS in May.