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Russians rally behind science foundation classified as ‘foreign agent’

Russian researchers have gathered in Moscow to protest against a government decision that could lead to the closure of a charitable science foundation.

On 25 May, the Russian government announced that the Dynasty Foundation would be classed as a “foreign agent”. Under rules introduced in 2012, any non­-governmental organisation that engages in “political activity” and receives “foreign funding” must join a register and use the title of foreign agent—which carries connotations of spying—in all of its public activities.

About 3,000 people—including researchers, students, journalists and human rights activists—gathered in Moscow’s Suvorovskaya Square on 6 June to protest against the decision, which has left the foundation threatening to close its doors. Protesters are also unhappy about an overhaul of the Russian Academy of Sciences that they feel would cause it to lose its independence.

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