The British Intelligence services have raised concerns about the growing militarization of higher education in Russia. They point to the establishment of a new institute on military strategy at the Moscow Higher School of Economics (HSE) in February 2024. The Institute of Military World Economics and Strategies was created by Sergei Karaganov, an advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Karaganov’s ideas about defending ethnic Russians in surrounding countries have been used to justify actions such as the invasion of Ukraine.
Admiral Sergei Avakyants, a former commander of the Pacific Fleet, will lead the institute. He believes that Russia is at odds with the West and will focus on political and economic issues, with an emphasis on the foreign military industry. The institute will also study deterrence strategies and the role of nuclear weapons in these strategies.
The British Ministry of Defense’s Intelligence service expressed concern that the institute’s establishment would lead to closer ties between Russian academia and the defense sector, driving the militarization of higher education in Russia.
The institute’s faculty will mainly consist of members from the HSE, but researchers from various military academies, such as the Russian General Staff Academy, will also be involved. This closer interaction between academia and the defense sector is expected to further militarize higher education in Russia.