Law of the Week: Law on ‘undesirable organisations’ – Bard College is now the 34th such organisation.

Week-ending 25 June 2021

This week Bard College in the United States was declared an ‘undesirable’ organisation under Russian law. On 21 June 2021 the Prosecutor General’s Office stated Bard College was a threat to Russia’s ‘constitutional order and security’ and added the institution to the list of ‘undesirable foreign organisations’. On the list maintained by the Ministry of Justice there are now 34 foreign organisations that have been designated as ‘undesirable under the law on ‘undesirable foreign organisations.’


The Moscow Times, 22 June 2021: Russia has declared Bard College an “undesirable” organization in a move that risks significant jail time for anyone affiliated with the U.S. liberal arts college.  The Prosecutor General’s Office accused the institution Monday of “threatening Russia’s constitutional order and security.” Once blacklisted, any “undesirable” organization must cease all activities in Russia or anyone affiliated with it could face fines or imprisonment for up to six years. Russia’s prosecutor’s office said it forwarded the materials to the Justice Ministry to blacklist Bard College as the 35th “undesirable” organization in the country. Bard College, located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, has not yet commented on the designation.

RFE/RL, 23 June 2021: “This is very bad news,” wrote historian and instructor at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences Daniil Kotsyubinsky when he learned that the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office had moved to name his faculty’s U.S. partner, Bard College, an “undesirable” foreign organization. “It is nothing more than self-defeating state paranoia. It is inexplicable….,” he continued. “The men in epaulets are sewing themselves new badges and stripes any way they can while educated youths once again receive from our superpower a hairy fist in their ‘servile snouts.’”

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