University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh academic centre revealed to have been funded by a Putin-led Russian cultural unit

Over 90 per cent of external funding came from Russia

It has been revealed that the University's Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, part of the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, received over £200,000 from the RMF, a Russian cultural institute founded by Vladimir Putin.

The RMF, or Russkiy Mir Foundation, was founded by Putin in 2007 with the aim of promoting the Russian language and its cultural heritage, but suspicions have been raised over its possible role as a body for Russian propaganda.

The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre on Buccleuch Place

The foundation, run by a former KGB officer and officially backed by the Kremlin, donated £253,939 to the Princess Dashkova Russian Centre from 2010 to 2017, after the sponsorship was given the go-ahead on ethical grounds. The money was allegedly used to provide the University's academic centre for Russian language and culture with new furniture and equipment, as well as fund an international conference in December 2014.

The University has confirmed that there are is no longer an ongoing relationship between itself and the RMF, telling The Herald:

“The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre retains freedom of action in all aspects of its activities. We currently have no active agreements with the foundation and do not expect that situation to change.”

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