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Krasnoyarsk student expelled from university for thesis on regional government debt


Ruslan Miroshnichenko, a student at Siberian Federal University (SFU), told the outlet that he has been unable to defend his thesis, which addresses the increasing government debts of Krasnoyarsk Krai, since 2017.

The thesis pointed to Accounts Chamber figures that showed the region’s government debts rose from 1.6 billion rubles in 2008 (then about $64 million) to 68.7 billion rubles in 2015 (then about $1.15 billion). When Miroshnichenko attempted to defend the thesis, university officials sent it to regional governor Viktor Tomenko and then expelled Miroshnichenko. After he complained to prosecutors and was reinstated, the student said, his advisor began criticizing his work despite initial positive feedback, and he received a failing grade.

University officials argued that the thesis was “unscientific,” saying it included citations of unreliable sources and was written in the overtly political manner characteristic of public rather than scholarly writing. They indicated that Miroshnichenko has until mid-July to make another attempt to defend his thesis and graduate.