Russian Opposition Leaders Attend Student Protest

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MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - Leading opposition figures joined students protesting against the inclusion of their university on Russia's notorious “list of inefficient colleges” on Tuesday evening.

Leftist opposition figure Sergei Udaltsov and two State Duma lawmakers from the A Just Russia party, Ilya Ponomaryov and Dmitry Gudkov, visited students, who began their sit-in in a lecture hall of the Russian State Trade and Economic University in Moscow.

“I fully support the students’ demands. I suggest a protest outside the education ministry if officials fail to respond,” Udaltsov wrote in his Twitter.

Police have warned the protestors against violating public order.

Students said their sit-in is indefinite and will be held daily after lectures end at about 18:00 p.m. Moscow time [14:00 GMT].

The university was put on a list of 136 Russian higher education establishments ruled “inefficient” in a recent survey by the Education and Science Ministry, published in November.

The survey was vehemently criticized by the educational community for its vague and poorly thought-out evaluation criteria, which discriminated colleges focused on creative occupations such as architecture or literature.

 

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