Country Programs
Russia

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Country Director: Irina Zorina
Deputy Director, European Russia: Danilo Leonardi
Deputy Director, Siberia & Far East: Larisa Deriglazova

Introduction

Building on the success of its other programs in the region, CEP began its involvement in Russia in the fall of 1994 by sending twelve lecturers to eight universities in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Ekaterinburg and Krasnodar. CEP continued to expand its Russian program during the 1999-2000 academic year, placing eight Visiting Faculty Fellows (VLs) and twenty-two Local Faculty Fellows (ESs) eight partner institutions. In the school year 2000-2001 CEP placed 10 VLs and 23 ESs.

CEP Russia's success can be measured in many ways, but the most rewarding and fulfilling is the cycle of the CEP student who goes on to postgraduate studies at Central European University or a western university and returns to a Russian institution as a CEP Local Faculty Fellow. A large contingent of students has been prepared through interactive teaching methods, comparative theoretical approaches, the Socratic method in law and participation in student conferences. In addition, equally large numbers of current CEP students now benefit from having as lecturers young professors who are former CEP students themselves. The preparation of the students is evidenced by the strong attendance and active participation of CEP students at international conferences, roundtable workshops and moot court competitions, and by the number of "Best Paper" awards earned by CEP Russia's students through the quality of their papers and presentations at conferences.

After six years of successful operation, CEP Russia now spreads across eleven time zones, from St. Petersburg in the northwest to Yuzhno-Saklalinsk in the far east. The program now focuses on four geographical regions: (1) The Northwest including the cities of Petrozavodsk and Arkhangelsk; (2) the Volga Region, Yoshkar-Ola, Yaroslavl, Tver, Samara, Saratov and Volgograd; (3) the Urals and Western Siberia; (4) Eastern Siberia and the Far East, including Ulan-Ude, Vladivostok and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. In each of these four regions, CEP Russia staff began to prepare the program during 1999-2000 to an organization that responds to the outreach and academic interests of Fellows. CEP Russia organized a competition for support for small projects amongEFFand newEFFappointees. The projects selected in 1999-2000 for support in the following year are as follows: "Environmental Education – Summer School in St. Petersburg," "Development of a students' guide to a course on Green Accounting Systems," "Edu-Action: Empowering Democracy with(in) University – Academia for Critical Thinking and Inclusion," "Textbook: Philosophy of Law," "Monograph: The Economic Nature of Leasing," and "Regional Identity at the Turn of the Millennium." Teams of Visiting Lecturers, Local Faculty Fellows and CEP Alumni increase the impact of CEP in the area by working collaboratively in outreach projects and other extra-curricular activities. By concentrating its human and material resources in this manner, CEP was able in 2000-2001 to maximize its impact across this huge county. Concentrating Fellows into teams also enables the promotion of the Teaching Development Program. This program utilizes strategies, such as teacher shadowing and team teaching to further expand the country team and the impact of CEP's activities in Russia.

Teacher-Shadowing involves the pairing of an Local Faculty Fellow with a local colleague to teach courses, and is vital to the long-term effectiveness of the Local Faculty Fellow program in that it allows non-CEP academics to experience the teaching styles and methods of their Western-trained colleagues.

Team-Teaching is the pairing of Eastern Scholars with Visiting Faculty Fellows in the same institution. As teaching is bilingual, this method enables Visiting Lecturers to reach wider audiences in provincial cities, where the local students might not be fluent in English. Local Faculty Fellows have noted that the benefits of team-teaching include teamwork, the introduction of faculty development, the sharing of techniques, and greater ease in performing outreach activities. In some cases Local Faculty Fellows have replaced Visiting Faculty Fellows in host universities.

The work of two CEP Alumni, David Greer, Visiting Faculty Fellow, and Oleg Sidorov, Eastern Scholar and Vice Dean, at the Department of Law in Mari State University, Yoshkar-Ola is an example of team teaching at its best. The team of Greer and Sidorov conducted workshops in the use of active teaching methods for the entire faculty. Participants included several young faculty members who attended David's lectures. Two of these young lecturers, Ekaterina Kisseleva and Alexei Inorodtsev, joined theEFFprogram last year and continue to impart the very methods they learned from David and Oleg to their own students.

Outreach Activities: National and Regional CEP projects

"The CEP events are always a great opportunity for exchanging news, views, opinions, experience, and you come back full of fresh ideas. A university professor must have this sort of exposure to remain a professional. And CEP assistance with teaching materials, book donations, designing new syllabi, etc., is simply invaluable...Not to forget that our students benefit from this generous support, and that is the most important thing."–Sergei Dobrynin, Buryat State University, Local Faculty Fellow Alumnus

Outreach activities and regional and national events are highlights of every CEP program in the region, and CEP Russia Fellows are major innovators of dynamic outreach projects in the former soviet state. In addition to classroom duties, CEP Fellows and staff work closely with their Russian colleagues, helping to promote important scholarship and exchange opportunities, while encouraging the acceptance of democratic ideas. CEP Fellows in Russia are actively involved in joint activities with their counterparts in Belarus, and are instrumental in coordinating such annual events as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Regional Student Conference. Other projects coordinated and implemented by CEP Fellows include East-East exchanges, Moot Court competition, Career Forums, curriculum revision, library development projects, faculty seminars, and workshops focusing on teaching methodologies used in western universities, and the establishment of a CEP web site at Yaroslavl State University.(Please visit CEP Russia's website)

The 6th CEP Commonwealth of Independent States Student Debates, "New Leadership: The Institution of the Presidency in Post-Soviet Countries," was held in Tomsk in March 2000 and hosted Russian students as well as students from six countries in the region. Owing to the presidential elections held in Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, the Debate Forum held particular relevance. The students debated and discussed issues related to the institution of the presidency, its dependence on national culture and political traditions, its place within the system of government, and its influence on democracy and economic reforms. A collection of the best student papers from the event has been published.

The 7th. CEP Commonwealth of Independent States Student Conference: "Between the Global and the Local: Russia and the Newly Independent States in a Changing World" will be held in Nizhny Novgorod in March 2001.

Participation by CEP Russia students in Moot Court Competitions The first Telders Moot Court Competition was organized in 1977 on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Telders International Law Students Debating Society at Leiden University in the Netherlands. The competition took place at the Peace Palace in The Hague and students from the universities of Bonn, Cologne, Strasbourg and Leiden participated. Due to its success, the Competition is now held annually with a growing number of participants and has become one of the most prestigious and important competitions of its kind with universities from twenty-two countries participating in 2000.

The in-country round of the Telders International Moot Court Competition was held in Yoshkar-Ola in February, 2000, with two CEP and two non-CEP teams competing. The Mari State University team, coached by Local Faculty Fellow Katia Kisseleva, went on to participate in the international round in Leiden. The team took 10th place out of 25 countries participating. This was the best performance ever in this competition of any Russian team.

CEP Russia students also participated in the Central and Eastern Europe Moot Court Competition held in Ljubljana, Slovenia at the end of April, 2000. Visiting Lecturers Betty Eberle (Omsk State) and Michele Caldera (Nizhni Novgorod) and Local Faculty Fellows Katia Kisseleva and Lena Limanova coached these teams.

Michael Deaver, Visiting Faculty Fellow in International Relations at Omsk State University, organized UN Security Council Simulations at universities in Omsk, Yekaterinburg, and Tomsk. Eastern Scholar alumnus Sergei Pushkarev (Ural State University), and Local Faculty Fellow Alla Kassianova (Tomsk State) assisted him. As in the previous year, these simulations introduced students to human rights issues and the United Nations decision making process, while exposing them to methods of interactive learning.

Other activities involving CEP Fellows and students during academic year 1999-2000 include participation in CEP-sponsored student conferences in Bishkek, Minsk, Tartu, Tbilisi, Bucharest, Sofia, Tashkent, and Budapest.

St. Petersburg Law Project: For the 1999-2000 academic year, the Law Faculty at St. Petersburg State University and CEP established a Western-style Masters Degree program in law (LL.M.). The two-year LL.M. program consists of two main components: an LL.M. in Public International Law and European Union Law taught bilingually in the Law Faculty and a Russian Magistratura Degree taught in Russian. Selection of students for the LL.M will start the second semester of the current school year 2000-2001, and the first batch of LL.M students will be in residence in St. Petersburg in September 2001.CEP's partner institution, the Law Faculty at St. Petersburg, a prestigious national law school, will attract candidates for the program from across the CIS who are interested in improving their qualifications in international law and in the legal system of the European Union, and who wish to expand their skills in English for the practice of law. The curriculum prepares graduates to pursue careers in the CIS with an international and European Union dimension.

The collaborative work of CEP Russia and the Law Faculty in the preparation of the LL.M. program enables CEP to expand its law teaching activities to the training of talented young lawyers. CEP has furthered its goals by assisting in the preparation of practitioners with skills necessary to practice law in a globalized society but based in the territory of the CIS. Graduates of the LL.M. program will be able to carry out professional work bilingually. The certificates will be awarded jointly by the Faculty of Law at St. Petersburg State University and CEP.

The Human Rights Educational Initiative (HREI) is another example of the impact that the collaborations between CEP Fellows have on universities and local communities. The program was initiated in May 1998 by Visiting Faculty Fellow Alumna Janet Helin (Tyumen State University) and supported by then current Fellows, Michael Deaver (Tyumen State University), John Ball (Urals State Law Academy), Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua (Tomsk State University), Jana Shvedova (Ural State University) and Alla Kassianova (Tomsk State University), along with Valery Mikhailenko (Advisory Board and Local Faculty Fellow Evaluation Committee member, Ural State University). The idea for the HREI emerged as a result of the obstacles facing Human Rights organizations in Russia, and the lack of comprehensive efforts to embrace the concept of Human Rights through educational initiatives. The HREI relies on the valuable network developed by CEP Russia during its years of activity and focuses on distance learning. CEP Russia continues to support the HREI at Tomsk University.

The "First Legal Aid" project coordinated byEFFAlumna Elena Limanova at Novosibirsk State University is another outreach project sponsored by CEP in Russia. Advanced law students under supervision offer "first aid" legal advice via Internet.

CEP Russia will host an Local Faculty Fellows Round Table (ESRT) in February 2001:"Legal Education in the Postcommunist World: Training Legal Minds in Transition Societies." It will be held in Yoshkar-Ola, Mari-El. The ESRT will focus on (1) setting up a system of quality assurance at the law school level; (2) developing legal skills and (3) introduction of the Socratic and case-study methods of teaching law.

Russia

Extending nearly halfway around the Northern Hemisphere and covering much of eastern and northeastern Europe as well as the whole of northern Asia, Russia is the world's largest country and ranks sixth in the world in population. On its northern and eastern sides Russia is bounded by the Arctic and Pacific oceans, with small frontages in the northwest on the Baltic Sea at St. Petersburg and at the detached Russian province of Kaliningrad. On the south it borders North Korea, China, Mongolia, and the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In the southwest and west it borders the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as Finland and Norway; in addition, Kaliningrad abuts Poland and Lithuania. The capital of the Russian Federation is Moscow.

St. Petersburg, Russia's current second largest city, was the pre-revolutionary capital.

The climate ranges from steppes in southern Siberia through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in northern Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north. Winters vary from cool along the Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along the Arctic coast.

Living and Working in Russia

Novosibirsk State University (NSU), provided by Visiting Faculty Fellow, Sergei Kovalyov

NSU is located in Akademgorodok (Academic City), a well known scientific and research center in the heart of Siberia. Akademgorodok, a city of over 100,000, lies along the great Siberian river Ob, surrounded by dense birch and pine forests. Novosibirsk, one of Russia's largest cities, is twenty miles north.

The traditional hospitality of Siberians is well matched by the weather, which is a welcome surprise to many visitors. Winters are cold but sunny; summers are short but warm and pleasant. The lifestyle of local people is relaxed. Many (especially in academic circles) enjoy tourism, mountain climbing, sports and yachting. Living far from international crossroads such as Moscow or St. Petersburg, Siberians are happy to meet people of different cultures and share their experiences with each other. On the streets, most people would not understand English. However, in Akademgorodok there is a small English-speaking community organized as the "English Club," hosted by the House of Scientists, which invites all the English-speaking residents of Akademgorodok to attend. The club meets once a week, and has an active social life.

Novosibirsk is rich in culture. Six theaters, a philharmonic orchestra and a musical conservatory are located in the city. The Novosibirsk Opera House is the home of two permanent ballet and opera companies known throughout the world. The intellectual community is equally rich and is fostered by more than 16 institutions of higher education.

The university provides access to Akademgorodok hospitals and clinics. All of them are located near-by. Many of them have commercial divisions that claim to provide near-Western standards of medical service.

What other CEP Lecturers have to say about living and working in Russia:

"We have felt lucky to be in Nizhni Novgorod. It is more attractive than I had expected, with many tree-lined streets and a vibrant downtown. I suspect that Nizhni is one of the more livable places in Russia There are many opportunities for cultural activities at very low prices. There are more and more western goods and foods available (tuna fish appeared in stores recently)."

"All consumer goods including peanut butter are available in Novosibirsk,. It has a world class orchestra and ballet easily within reach and at reasonable rates."

"Petrozavodsk is the main center for exploring Karelia, which is known throughout Russia for its nature and for Kizhy Island, famous for its unique examples of Russian wooden architecture. Petrozavodsk. There is a gold domed church converted to a museum that is undergoing prolonged restoration; two blue domed churches are open and have old cemeteries. There are a cultural museum and a geological museum worth a visit. The city has the benefit of several parks (located around the streams running through town to the lake) worth a visit even in the colder months. They include monuments to those who fought the Finns and Afghans and to the site where the first foundry was established by Peter the Great. The waterfront is very pleasant, decorated with several non-Soviet statues.

"Petrozavodsk is a city of 280,000 that serves as the capital for the Republic of Karelia. It is a site for tourism due to Finnish interest in the area and the ferry to Kizhy Island. It is also a center for exporting mica and lumber. Many of its Soviet factories have closed, which has been painful for the local economy. Locals have mixed feelings about its provincial character.

"Generally everything available in Russia is available in Petrozavodsk. One day every kiosk and store will have the same product and will soon sell it out. Since some items (e.g. lentils) are less common, it is best to buy when they are available rather than wait too long."

"An old merchant city on the Volga, Saratov has some nice art nouveau architecture and older houses in the center. It developed as a major grain-trading center during the 19th century and some of the "flour-kings'" villas have survived around the Lipki-park. The area of Saratov and Engelsk on the other side of the river was the center of settlement for the 'Volga-Germans' in the 18th century, but they are not really noticeable in the post-Soviet life of the city. The main street is ulitsa Nemetskaya, a pedestrian zone with shops and cafes. Another main business street is ulitsa Moskovskaya, which goes from the train station down to the Volga.

"There is a very nice covered market at one end of ulitsa Nemetskaya with fresh fruits and vegetables, milk products, meat, and fish. More and more food stores with imported goods are opening up in the city center, so one can find most anything one needs, even spices and other things that used to be hard to find. It might take a while until one finds it, but really everything is available. The only thing really still absent from provincial Russia are foreign newspapers and books (even Russian newspapers and books are sometimes hard to find).

"Saratov has a good conservatory, a philharmonic, an opera theatre, a drama theatre and some smaller theatres, all with the solid quality of provincial Russia."

"Tomsk is a 400-year old city of about 500,000 people. It is an academic city, containing many universities and academies. About one fifth of the population are students. Everything is available here. Western imports are more expensive, but things are available. Life is generally more expensive in Siberia than in other parts of Russia. There are museums, theaters and other facilities as well. There is a good football (soccer) team here as well."

"Tyumen is a medium size city of about 400,000 inhabitants and the capital of the region ("oblast"). Tyumen is soviet-style city: a lot of big, grey and anonymous concrete buildings, lots of parks and trees. It is not a beautiful city, but you find everything you need and everything is close by (this is REALLY an advantage since you have to walk a lot here). The transport system is good: you have plenty of buses. The train station is not far from the center.

"The advantage of being in a smaller city is that you can get to know the people much more easily. As a foreigner in a city where there are few foreigners, you are sometimes an "attraction." If you really want to live the "Russian way" and experience Russian life then Tyumen is the right place. It is definitely a provincial city, but you find everything you need. They have all the West's major brands and every store has milk, butter, fruits, vegetables, etc.

"Most over-the-counter medications are available here, but possibly not the brand you prefer (and not all the time and not at a price you might like), so it's best to bring at least a few months' supply of anything you really don't want to be without. Contact lens solution is available in Moscow, but it is not available in Tyumen. Local medications are fine for coughs, sore throat, headache, fever, and upset stomach, and these are usually quite available and cheap. Herbal medicine is very popular here.

"Dentists are reputed to be quite good in Tyumen (and in all of Russia, in fact), and quite low priced. Their facilities and equipment are reportedly very clean and modern. I've never received dental treatment here (yet), but two Western colleagues have, and both said that the treatment they received here was equal to or superior to what they received in their home countries. "

"Yaroslavl (pop. 800,000) is a major industrial center in Central Russia. All essential consumer goods including peanut butter and Ben & Jerry's ice cream are available. The city is very old, is considered a part of "The Golden Ring of Russia," and is full of ancient churches and cathedrals. There are many museums, a conservatory, a theater that started its 271st season, a major league soccer team, and the Russian champion ice hockey team. There are always many events going on, including the Coca-Cola Streetball Tournament and the Volga Jazz Music Festival."

"Yoshkar-Ola is the capital of the Republic of Mari-El, and an important industrial and cultural center in the Middle Volga region. The population is about 300,000 people. All kinds of essential consumer goods can be easily found and the city offers a lot of social and cultural activities, ranging from recreation zones and sport centers to clubs to 6 theaters."

Universities Hosting CEP Fellows

Currently, CEP sponsors Visiting Faculty Fellows and Eastern Scholars in universities throughout Russia, in a variety of disciplines, including Economics, Gender Studies, History, International Relations, Law, Political Science, and Sociology.

Buryat State University
European University of St. Petersburg
Mari State University
Nizhni Novgorod State University
Novosibirsk State University
Omsk State University
Samara State University
Saratov State Academy of Law
St. Petersburg State University
The Law Faculty at St. Petersburg State University
St. Petersburg Institute of Technology
Tomsk State University
Tver State
Tyumen State University
Ural State Academy of Law (Russian Only)
Urals State Polytechnical University
Ural State University
Volga Region Academy of Civil Services
Volgograd Politechnical Institute
Yaroslavl State University

Other Links
The Russian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Russian Links Page
UK Travel Advice
US Consular Information Sheet


Spring Retreat in Russia


CEP staff at Lake Baikal, Russia

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