The Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation has declared the Free University a "undesirable organization." Russian laws allow citizens to be prosecuted for any "participation in the activities" of such organizations. By doing so the authorities are declaring teachers and students who attend independent seminars and engage in free academic discussion as criminals. They want to sow fear and distrust and deprive Russian citizens of the right to education.

We affirm that independent education is not a crime. Universities only become "undesirable" in a state built on ignorance. We believe that the actions of the Prosecutor General's Office, which essentially makes the idea of a university illegal, are unconstitutional.

The Free University is an idea of extraterritorial education without censorship. This idea cannot be deemed "undesirable."

At the same time, our lawyers have concluded that the Prosecutor General's Office is declaring not a specific organization, but the name of the Free University itself as undesirable. Therefore, classes in any "free universities" in Russia may become a reason for the persecution of citizens. We see this as recognition of the significance of our work by the Russian authorities.

Taking these considerations into account, the Academic Council has made the following decisions:

  1. To consider the safety of students and teachers as the top priority.
  2. To suspend the activities of the university on the territory of the Russian Federation.
  3. To develop the Free University outside the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, focusing on supporting students and teachers, maintaining academic ties, and independent scientific schools.

We are grateful to all colleagues who have already supported us.

We call on colleagues from universities in Europe and the world to stand in solidarity with our students and teachers. The Free University will continue to protect for our values: openness of scientific research and academic discussion, respect for the right to education.