Two Comments On Longread About Smolny

On October 24, “Novaya Gazeta. Europe” published a longread about Smolny by Daria Kozlova. I liked this text, which shows how actively the Faculty is fighting for its preservation. I admire the determination and courage of my fellow teachers, and, of course, the loyalty of Smolny students to the ideas of liberal arts.

War Through The Eyes Of An Economist

What do economists know about the unfolding and effects of military conflicts? How do wars affect economic growth, macroeconomic and sectoral imbalances, and the financial system? What are the channels of an inter-country military conflict’s impact on the global economy? Are there limits to the use of economic sanctions as a response of the international community to military aggression in the 21st century? What is the optimal economic policy for post-war reconstruction, and what could a possible “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine be?

Dismissal for Anti-War Stance

There has come another round of persecution of teachers at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For participating in an anti-war rally, our colleague Denis Skopin was fired with the wording “for an immoral act.” We express our solidarity with Denis, whose anti-war position, on the contrary, is the only moral and civic responsibility. It is characteristic that St Petersburg University, led by a “lawyer”, so clearly demonstrates the final loss of university autonomy and completely submits to the dictatorship, inventing such legal novels.

Launch of the Smolny Beyond Borders Project

We are proud to launch a new educational project, Smolny Beyond Borders, which provides the opportunity for students from Smolny College and others to continue their studies in spite of the disruption from the intensification of the war in Ukraine (see About the project). On October 14, St. Petersburg University revealed that it was dismantling the Liberal Arts and Sciences program (known as Smolny College), and the faculty itself would face a similar sad fate. However, we are still committed to education. Smolny, which was founded in 1999, is the oldest liberal education program in Russia and, in spite of the current situation, maintains a large, active, and international community of students, faculty, and alumni. We intend to continue its tradition of innovative teaching and critical thinking. The first step to support and develop this community will be this initiative.