Science policy Two years of war

“In the struggle for a just world, Russian scientists should not be victims of this struggle, but its allies”

What can the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty oppose to the process of polit­i­cal iso­la­tion? What could be the con­se­quences of the break with CERN for Russian high-ener­gy physics? What did Alexei Navalny think about sci­ence and edu­ca­tion in the Russia of the future? T-invari­ant’s ques­tions were answered by the co-founders of the free online com­mu­ni­ty “Dissernet” - physi­cists Andrey Rostovtsevand Andrey Zayakin.

T-invari­ant: Soon it will be 40 days since the mur­der of Alexei Navalny. You both took part in devel­op­ing his polit­i­cal pro­gram. What place did sci­ence and edu­ca­tion occu­py in it?

Andrey Zayakin: Alexei Navalny had a pho­to­graph hang­ing in a promi­nent place in his office in Moscow. A pho­to­graph from the Solvay Congress, which depicts Einstein and oth­er great sci­en­tists who formed the pic­ture of the world in which we now live. For Alexey, this was not a trib­ute to fash­ion, but rather a deep need. He want­ed to see those who formed ratio­nal ideas about the world. Because it was impor­tant for him that in the Russia of the future, rea­son and com­mon sense would sup­plant the obscu­ran­tism that had been grow­ing over the past years. And it was to rea­son, to ratio­nal approach­es, that he appealed when he pub­lished his investigations.

But if we talk more specif­i­cal­ly about how Alexey saw sci­ence and its place in the coun­try, we need to remem­ber those pro­gram doc­u­ments that I was lucky enough to work on with him. 

And one of the key points in that pro­gram was that sci­en­tists them­selves should decide what to do. They must be free from that bureau­crat­ic pres­sure, from the pres­sure of peo­ple, first­ly, not relat­ed to sci­ence, sec­ond­ly, cor­rupt, third­ly, some­times try­ing to imi­tate this science. 

That is, free from every­thing that has become signs of sci­en­tif­ic man­age­ment in Putin’s Russia. This free­dom of sci­en­tif­ic cre­ativ­i­ty, per­haps, was not­ed by all the pro­gram doc­u­ments that Navalny and I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work on.

Andrey Zayakin. Photo: “Like this”

T-i: At what stage of Navalny’s polit­i­cal activ­i­ty did this hap­pen? We are talk­ing about his elec­tion cam­paign for may­or of Moscow in 2013?

AZ: Yes, but not only. Later, in 2019, there was a project called “Plan of Change”, in which, in fact, Alexey’s team pre­sent­ed their vision of Russia’s future.

T-i: Was it Navalny’s own ini­tia­tive to invite sci­en­tists to pre­pare pol­i­cy documents?

AZ: Yes. Moreover, I will remind you that when there was no such ter­ri­fy­ing pres­sure as now, Alexey also held pub­lic meet­ings with sci­en­tists. Let’s say there was a very famous meet­ing dur­ing his may­oral cam­paign.

Andrey Rostovtsev:I want to note that Navalny’s elec­tion pro­gram con­tained a large num­ber of points, both polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic, in all fields, includ­ing sci­en­tif­ic ones. And when we dis­cussed it in Alexey’s office, it was clear that for him all the points were of equal impor­tance, he was well aware of the role of sci­ence and edu­ca­tion in the devel­op­ment of the coun­try and the for­ma­tion of society. 

And, as Andrei Zayakin cor­rect­ly not­ed, Navalny saw the world through the ratio­nal glass­es of a sound sci­en­tif­ic approach. And that is why in eco­nom­ics, in pol­i­tics, in edu­ca­tion, and in sci­ence, he denied the place of false­hood and, strict­ly speak­ing, dis­tor­tion of facts. 

Therefore, what Dissernet is fight­ing was impor­tant to him. This kind of puri­ty, hon­esty in rela­tion­ships in var­i­ous spheres of life, includ­ing sci­ence and edu­ca­tion, stood on the same shelf with pol­i­tics, eco­nom­ics, and soci­ety in gen­er­al, which he thought about.

T-i: Did Navalny know the essence and tasks of Dissernet? Did he sup­port this line of activity?

AZ: Alexey, of course, extreme­ly val­ued Dissernet and believed that this is what we should do in the field of science.

Andrey Rostovtsev. Photo: Vladimir Kudryavtsev’s web­site

AR: Navalny per­fect­ly under­stood the goals and meth­ods of work of the Dissernet com­mu­ni­ty. And, more­over, it was clear to him how cor­rup­tion chains work in sci­ence and edu­ca­tion. Everything relat­ed to the sale and pur­chase of dis­ser­ta­tions, sci­en­tif­ic degrees, and diplo­mas of all kinds - a huge bud­get is involved in all of this. And here our activ­i­ties inter­sect­ed with what Alexey said about cor­rup­tion, about trans­fer­ring mon­ey abroad or in oth­er areas, with every­thing he did in inves­ti­ga­tions. He saw per­fect­ly well that the same thing was hap­pen­ing in sci­ence, and, more­over, one of the key ideas that he pro­posed was that sci­en­tists must clean up their own clear­ing; no one will help them with this. Just as sci­en­tists must choose for them­selves in a free sci­en­tif­ic soci­ety what to do, in the same way they must cleanse them­selves of the cor­rup­tion that has grown into sci­ence and edu­ca­tion over all these years.

Andrey Zayakin and Andrey Rostovtsev togeth­er with Alexey and Yulia Navalny. Photo: Yakutia. Info

T-i: In this regard, it seems nec­es­sary to con­tin­ue the con­ver­sa­tion about how sci­ence and edu­ca­tion should be struc­tured in the future Russia. Navalny him­self, even in prison, did not stop think­ing about its struc­ture. And in order to bet­ter under­stand what changes will be required in the aca­d­e­m­ic sphere, it is nec­es­sary to record the prob­lems that it is expe­ri­enc­ing today. One of these most impor­tant prob­lems is the iso­la­tion of Russian sci­ence from the West and its turn to the East. Over the two war years, two approach­es have emerged in its dis­cus­sion. The first is that the West has cut off Russian sci­ence for­ev­er, so we need to turn to the East. And this will ensure Russian science’s sur­vival in new con­di­tions. Russia is a big coun­try: a lot of uni­ver­si­ties, a lot of tal­ent­ed young peo­ple, a lot of aca­d­e­m­ic research insti­tutes. And we must learn to devel­op inde­pen­dent­ly and coop­er­ate with those coun­tries that are ready to inter­act with it in the sci­en­tif­ic field. This posi­tion, for exam­ple, was pub­licly for­mu­lat­ed by Alexander Fedorov, rec­tor of the Kant Baltic University, when he said at a meet­ing with stu­dents: “It will nev­er be the same as before”.

And he rec­om­mend­ed that stu­dents take a clos­er look, for exam­ple, at the sci­ence of Uzbekistan. The same idea, accord­ing to our infor­ma­tion, is heard in infor­mal con­ver­sa­tions with sci­en­tif­ic admin­is­tra­tors: “Now it is dif­fi­cult to main­tain rela­tions with the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ties of the West, it is impos­si­ble to pay for par­tic­i­pa­tion in con­fer­ences, it is dif­fi­cult with visa sup­port, it is impos­si­ble to over­come the ban on insti­tu­tion­al inter­ac­tion. But there is China, India, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Iran - a huge part of the world that has not turned its back on Russia. And we need to estab­lish sci­en­tif­ic and edu­ca­tion­al ties with these coun­tries.” The sec­ond posi­tion, which is more dif­fi­cult to hear pub­licly, is this: the iso­la­tion of Western sci­ence for Russia is com­plete­ly abnor­mal and unnat­ur­al. This is a tem­po­rary phe­nom­e­non, so we must try to pre­serve every­thing we can as much as pos­si­ble, wait until the war ends, and then rela­tions with the West will quick­ly be restored. Until this hap­pens, you need to teach stu­dents well and try to live until brighter times.

This idea sounds approx­i­mate­ly in inter­view of Fedor Ratnikov, a mem­ber of the LHCb col­lab­o­ra­tion at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN: “The basic idea that all the mad­ness will some­day end and nor­mal life will begin again. For this we must pre­pare stu­dents, and we can­not say that that’s it — noth­ing else will hap­pen with sci­ence in Russia — to close our doors and fold our paws.” 

What do you think about these two approach­es? Which one is the most rational?

AR: I don’t see any con­tra­dic­tions between them. Science is a sub­stance that spreads like water: where there is free space, it will go there. Opportunities have opened up in China to par­tic­i­pate in sci­en­tif­ic projects - we must take advan­tage of this. However, now many Russian sci­en­tists con­tin­ue to work in the West and in devel­oped coun­tries. And it can­not be said that all coun­tries where there is high­ly devel­oped sci­ence have stopped work­ing togeth­er with the Russians. There is, for exam­ple, Germany, where it has indeed become very dif­fi­cult for Russian sci­en­tists to engage in sci­ence. And there is, for exam­ple, Japan, where it is much eas­i­er. And this sug­gests that it was not sci­en­tists who orga­nized the per­se­cu­tion of Russian cit­i­zens based on the col­or of their pass­port. Rather, some sci­en­tists sim­ply suc­cumbed to dif­fer­ent polit­i­cal trends, and we see this mosa­ic. Scientific con­tacts are now polit­i­cal­ly charged. But not just paint.

But the sec­ond approach is also quite ratio­nal, so when the polit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion changes, the pres­sure will imme­di­ate­ly dis­ap­pear and sci­en­tists will again be more free in their com­mu­ni­ca­tion. We remem­ber this from his­to­ry. German sci­en­tists were cut off from the rest of the world dur­ing the war years dur­ing World War II; they did not pub­lish in inter­na­tion­al jour­nals, they did not go to inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences. But the first inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence, to which German sci­en­tists were invit­ed, took place in England a year and a half lat­er after the end of the war.

So the boy­cott of German sci­en­tists did not last long, I think that restora­tion in our field will hap­pen very quickly.

T-i: It is impor­tant to note that the first approach is based on the fact that the sit­u­a­tion in Russian sci­ence and high­er edu­ca­tion has changed irre­versibly. The sec­ond is that noth­ing irre­versible hap­pened. In your opin­ion, have irre­versible things hap­pened dur­ing these two years?

AR: There are no irre­versible things, except death. And even more so in sci­ence. Another thing is that there is a delay in sci­ence or a lag. Yes, this def­i­nite­ly hap­pened. And a new brain drain has occurred - we have to live with it some­how. But this is not irre­versible. I empha­size that in our world sci­ence is sub­ject to pres­sure from politi­cians: if pol­i­tics changes, sci­ence will change. This just takes time.

AZ: I would like to object to post-war Germany. Yes, peo­ple began to come there again for con­fer­ences, nor­mal aca­d­e­m­ic life seemed to have returned again, purges were car­ried out at uni­ver­si­ties, Heidegger got it, and not only Heidegger, but also many oth­ers who col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis. But at the same time, we note that irre­versible changes have occurred with German sci­ence: it has ceased to be lead­ing in the world, and the German lan­guage has ceased to be the lan­guage of sci­ence. If we read the ear­ly works on quan­tum mechan­ics, many of them were writ­ten in German. And dur­ing World War II, obvi­ous­ly, English became the dom­i­nant lan­guage in physics, and after that in all oth­er areas, not only in physics. 

Russia did not have a dom­i­nant posi­tion in the world before all this mil­i­tary mad­ness began, but in a num­ber of areas it did have world-class suc­cess­es. And now, strate­gi­cal­ly, many of these posi­tions have been lost. And if, after every­thing returns to nor­mal, extra­or­di­nary efforts are not made in terms of finan­cial, in terms of per­son­nel, in terms of insti­tu­tion­al, if we final­ly do not give sci­en­tists the free­dom to decide for them­selves what to do, then, I think, many things will not suc­ceed in over the next fifty to hun­dred years to beat back. This con­cerns the point of view of a Russian observ­er who is inter­est­ed in sci­ence being revived in Russia.

But I want to spec­u­late a lit­tle from the point of view of Western pol­i­cy mak­ers who are now mak­ing deci­sions. And this is pre­cise­ly the approach of Western politi­cians, which Andrei Rostovtsev spoke about, because of which pass­port ter­ror some­times aris­es against Russian col­leagues in large inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tions - this is the most stu­pid thing that Western aca­d­e­m­ic lead­ers, heads of rel­e­vant min­istries and foun­da­tions involved in financ­ing of sci­ence, and those involved in issu­ing visas to sci­en­tists of Russian origin.

What should be the main tar­get func­tion of any rea­son­able politi­cian from the free world now? Not only to ensure that the war ends, and not only to ensure that the war ends just­ly, but also to avoid a pos­si­ble relapse, a pos­si­ble slide of Russia into a new total­i­tar­i­an­ism and into a new branch of mil­i­tary aggres­sion. And in the new post-war Russia of the future, the role of sci­ence in pre­vent­ing this slide will be very impor­tant. Because it is pre­cise­ly this that should pro­vide some pro­tec­tion from a new tran­si­tion to an irra­tional pic­ture of the world. And there­fore, it is now in the inter­ests of the free world to pre­serve the poten­tial of Russian sci­en­tists, who could then return to their country.


In 2024, the his­to­ry of coop­er­a­tion between the Council of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and Russian sci­en­tists will end. Since 1993, the sta­tus of an observ­er coun­try has allowed Russian physi­cists and engi­neers to par­tic­i­pate in the con­struc­tion of the Large Hadron Collider, become mem­bers of large col­lab­o­ra­tions, con­duct exper­i­ments, and pub­lish in the best inter­na­tion­al jour­nals. Since 2012, Russia has sought to become an asso­ciate mem­ber, but its appli­ca­tions have been reject­ed for sev­er­al years in a row. However, sci­en­tif­ic ties not only did not weak­en, but con­tin­ued to devel­op. So, in 2019 CERNand Russia planned exper­i­ments on Russian ter­ri­to­ry.

By 2020, more than a thou­sand Russian spe­cial­ists and stu­dents were reg­is­tered at CERN and par­tic­i­pat­ed in 22 experiments.

In con­nec­tion with the out­break of hos­til­i­ties in Ukraine, CERN froze the sta­tus of Russia, and then announced that in December 2024, when the next five-year term of the coop­er­a­tion agree­ment expires, inter­ac­tion inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tion and sci­en­tists with Russian affil­i­a­tion will end.

Several gen­er­a­tions of Russian pro­gram­mers, physi­cists, math­e­mati­cians, and engi­neers grew up on research and exper­i­ments at CERN. Now the war has put an end to the his­to­ry of the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Russian sci­en­tists in a unique sci­en­tif­ic project that allowed Russian sci­ence to remain at the world level.

“After this deci­sion, I felt like a chick­en, run­ning around with­out a head,” com­ment­ed weight: 400;”>this event is a mem­ber of one of the CERN col­lab­o­ra­tions, Fedor Ratnikov. “I believe that the Russians at CERN will make efforts, but they can be replaced. And when we break ties and say that we will do import sub­sti­tu­tion, then the West is also doing its own import sub­sti­tu­tion. Only we need to replace 90%, and they are only 10. I don’t think we will start pulling our detec­tors out of the instal­la­tion, I real­ly hope it doesn’t come to that. Although legal­ly I don’t under­stand very well how this divorce will hap­pen, because it is not spelled out in the col­lab­o­ra­tion char­ter,” the sci­en­tist points out.

More infor­ma­tion about the end of offi­cial coop­er­a­tion between CERN and Russia and ways to pre­serve the 70-year his­to­ry of par­tic­i­pa­tion of domes­tic physi­cists in the work of the Large Hadron Collider - read in our text.

TheLarge Hadron Collider at CERN. Photo: Naked Science

T-i:In con­nec­tion with the deci­sion of CERN, I again return to the top­ic of irre­versible and irrepara­ble and I want to ask Andrey Rostovtsev. You worked at CERN, this top­ic is close to you, how do you eval­u­ate this decision?

AR: Yes, indeed, I worked at CERN, but in recent years, for obvi­ous rea­sons, I have not been involved in this top­ic. However, I keep in touch with col­leagues and fol­low events. This deci­sion is pure­ly polit­i­cal, and it vio­lates the over­all fab­ric of sci­ence. Modern sci­ence is not nation­al. When we say “Russian sci­ence”, this is not entire­ly cor­rect: sci­ence is inte­grat­ed into the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, all con­nec­tions, con­tacts are, so to speak, one fab­ric. And here it’s dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish parts of this fab­ric by the col­or of the pass­port: it doesn’t work that way. And the deci­sion that was made at the end of last year at the CERN coun­cil is not sci­en­tif­ic, it is polit­i­cal. I was not present at this debate, but I heard that it was very heat­ed, and to express all the argu­ments on both sides, the deci­sion was made by a nar­row mar­gin. But at the same time, among the physi­cists work­ing at CERN, in this entire inter­na­tion­al com­pa­ny, on the oth­er hand, a kind of counter-behav­ior is brew­ing on how to cor­rect this situation.

Firstly, a com­mu­ni­ty arose imme­di­ate­ly, which is now called Science for peacewhich, so to speak, rais­es the impor­tance of this ques­tion: why this deci­sion is wrong, what needs to be done to cor­rect the con­se­quences of this deci­sion. And these mea­sures, in fact, are being tak­en, and many insti­tu­tions are offer­ing Russian sci­en­tists to change their affil­i­a­tion. And some­one has already changed it. There is a dis­cus­sion on the issue of allow­ing those who are cur­rent­ly writ­ing dis­ser­ta­tions on exper­i­ments at CERN to com­plete their PhD work, accord­ing to the data. And I tried to find out exact­ly how many peo­ple are now in this trag­ic sit­u­a­tion, when autumn comes and that’s it - will we have to pack our bags? Nobody told me the exact num­ber, but it is about sev­er­al dozen peo­ple at CERN, so there is hope that over the course of this year many of them will solve this problem.

T-i: Is it pos­si­ble to some­how assess the con­se­quences of the break with CERN for Russian sci­ence? Two oth­er exper­i­ments remain in Russia, which are intend­ed to be inter­na­tion­al. One of them is at Sarove, the oth­er - this is NICA in Dubna. Now, obvi­ous­ly, they will be more like­ly to be more Russian with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of sci­en­tists from China and oth­er coun­tries, although ini­tial­ly implied a very strong European com­po­nent. How will the change in the con­fig­u­ra­tion of inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion now affect the devel­op­ment of high ener­gy physics?

AR: It seems to me that the most impor­tant con­se­quence for the Russian side is that Russian youth do not have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn work in inter­na­tion­al CERN col­lab­o­ra­tions. Progress in this area has stopped here, although pre­vi­ous­ly the exchange of youth was very intense.

NICA col­lid­er in Dubna. Photo: Moscow Region Today

Laser instal­la­tion at the Sarov Nuclear Center. Photo: NTA Privolzhye

T-i: According to var­i­ous sources, approx­i­mate­ly 30% of Russian youth have left this field - high-ener­gy physics.

AP: 30% is a dra­mat­ic loss. But I believe that there are no irrev­o­ca­ble loss­es. It is impor­tant not to stop progress in this area. Now one of the mea­sures that CERN is plan­ning is to stop Russian sci­en­tists’ access to data. If this hap­pens, it will be a seri­ous blow.

AZ:I agree that Russian physics has now suf­fered quite a big blow, espe­cial­ly to young peo­ple. And one can­not fail to men­tion those who are the most impor­tant rea­son that such deci­sions are made - these are Russian rec­tors and direc­tors of insti­tutes who pub­licly expressed sup­port for the inva­sion of Ukraine.

Because, unfor­tu­nate­ly, these peo­ple, whom Dissernet espe­cial­ly loves (rec­tors are per­haps the most cor­rupt lay­er of Russian bureau­cra­cy after State Duma deputies), “ “befriend­ed” Russian sci­en­tists with their absolute­ly dis­gust­ing let­ter in sup­port of mil­i­tary aggres­sion. And it was their let­ter that direct­ly brought the great­est trou­bles to Russian institutions. 

These rec­tors nev­er dis­tanced them­selves from the posi­tions they held, and this, of course, served as a seri­ous rea­son for the fact that polit­i­cal deci­sions were made regard­ing all Russian scientists.

T-i:This was the mean­ing of this let­ter, it was a planned, com­plete­ly con­scious action. We now already know: not all rec­tors signed it vol­un­tar­i­ly; many were under seri­ous pres­sure and many were black­mailed. And this means that the ini­tia­tors of this let­ter well under­stood the con­se­quences of what would hap­pen. And, as we see, the let­ter worked. A huge num­ber of inter­na­tion­al projects were stopped. Do you know any inter­na­tion­al projects relat­ed to Russia that have not been terminated?

AR: Yes, there are many such projects. Here, for exam­ple, is the project Belle is a very large inter­na­tion­al project in par­ti­cle physics. It is locat­ed in Japan. A strong Russian group is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the exper­i­ment there, and they have not stopped work­ing with it. Our physi­cists also work in the project ITER in France. There are a num­ber of oth­er projects in which coop­er­a­tion continues.

The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) build­ing in France. Photo: offi­cial website

But I want­ed to return to the rec­tors’ let­ter. Indeed, not all uni­ver­si­ty lead­ers signed this appeal — about a third. We know that pres­sure was exert­ed, and we also know that some names were entered there auto­mat­i­cal­ly. After this there were scan­dals, and peo­ple who were includ­ed there with­out their knowl­edge tried to jump off this list. Some suc­ceed­ed, some did not. For exam­ple, the rec­tor of the most famous tech­no­log­i­cal uni­ver­si­ty in Russia, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dmitry Livanorefused to sign this let­ter. And yet, his uni­ver­si­ty came under the most severe sanc­tions from the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty and the par­tic­i­pants in the exper­i­ment. The employ­ees of this uni­ver­si­ty are now being expelled from CERN. This sug­gests that ratio­nal argu­ments have ceased to work in the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty. Although we have before us an exam­ple that the rec­tor not only spoke out against this let­ter, he still had the strength to ensure that his sig­na­ture was removed from it. And yet, this has had no effect on what politi­cians abroad think about Russian leaders.

Although the pol­i­cy of iso­la­tion­ism on the part of the West pri­mar­i­ly ben­e­fits the total­i­tar­i­an regime. And ide­al­ly, from the aggressor’s point of view, if Russian sci­en­tists are placed in this iso­la­tion not by his hands and not on his ini­tia­tive. And the let­ter - as a provo­ca­tion - worked suc­cess­ful­ly in this sense. Why did­n’t the West under­stand this? Mystery. Reason stops work­ing in such a sit­u­a­tion for both politi­cians and scientists.

T-i: There are no signs of the end of the war yet. What, in your opin­ion, is the like­li­hood that Western politi­cians and Western inter­na­tion­al sci­en­tif­ic orga­ni­za­tions will rethink their atti­tude and sanc­tions pol­i­cy towards Russian scientists?

AR: I see that these rela­tions are already begin­ning to be recon­sid­ered. The idea that inter­na­tion­al ties in sci­ence can­not be bro­ken is begin­ning to dom­i­nate in the physics com­mu­ni­ty. The under­stand­ing comes that it is not the sci­en­tist, strict­ly speak­ing, who is fight­ing. And, well, it is expect­ed that, first of all, the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty will accept this idea and pro­mote it. Whether politi­cians will get involved in this and how quick­ly this will hap­pen, I can­not say. Well, this is now gain­ing momen­tum - yes. The very emer­gence of ini­tia­tives like Science4Peacethe hold­ing of a Forum on this top­ic indi­cates that the inter­na­tion­al sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty is aware of the impasse politi­cians are dri­ving them into.

AZ: In order for this to pen­e­trate from the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty into polit­i­cal cir­cles, I think it is impor­tant to car­ry out advo­ca­cy work with those col­leagues who who is now in the West and who can reach out to the lead­ers of pub­lic opin­ion and the media here. We need to con­vey to them the sim­ple idea that the fun­da­men­tal inter­est of all human­i­ty is now a just world. And the role of sci­ence in achiev­ing it, as we have already said, can become one of the deci­sive ones. It is very impor­tant that the West real­izes that in the strug­gle for a just world and for a demo­c­ra­t­ic Russia, sci­en­tists with Russian pass­ports should not be vic­tims of this strug­gle, but its allies.

AR: Returning to the first point of our con­ver­sa­tion, I would like to remem­ber that Yulia Navalnaya recent­ly in her pro­gram not­ed that Western coun­tries should not treat Russians are treat­ed as sec­ond-class cit­i­zens in the West. This also applies to science.


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