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Yuri Vasilenko tells Spanish students about Russian history and politics


The head of the Political Sciences programme, Associate Professor at the HSE Perm Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Yuri Vasilenko has given a series of lectures on the ‘History of Russian civilization and Russia’s contemporary politics’ at universities in Spain.

The lecture series was designed for first and second year BA and MA students at the Saint Anthony Catholic University (Murcia) the Universidad San Pablo CEU (Madrid).

Yuri Vasilenko developed the lecture series especially for the Spanish students, and it comprises two sections: context (a short excursion through Russian history from ancient times to the end of the 20th century) and contemporary (looking at development processes in the Russian economy and Russian political structures, prospects for international relations).

‘The questions the Spanish students asked were largely to be expected: civil war in Ukraine and the state of human rights and civil liberties in Russia. The students also asked me to talk about the pop music scene and literary classics. From all that rich diversity, they have only heard of Lev Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Other questions related to Spanish and English language books about Russian history,’ Yuri Vasilenko said.

The course proved particularly interesting, in the context of the ‘two Spains’, for those students whose grandfathers and relatives fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, ‘Those who identify themselves with Franco and the modern pro-American Spanish right wing had quite a different perspective. But even they benefited from the course of lectures, which helped break their preconceptions of a ‘red menace’ Vasilenko said.

During the lecture course, Spanish students were able to learn several phrases in Russian and promised to further deepen their understanding of Russian culture and the Russian language.