RUSSIA

“They close the British Council, but buy houses in London"

'Until now, Iran and Burma were the only countries to ban the British Council'. Russians react to the . One of them remembers when it was closed down once before in the past. That was in 1947, and it marked the beginning of the Cold War. Another says that the Russian authorities are becoming schizophrenic: "They close the British Council, but buy houses in London."

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'Until now, Iran and Burma were the only countries to ban the British Council'.

Russians react to the closure of the British Council by the Russian authorities. One of them remembers when it was closed down once before in the past. That was in 1947, and it marked the beginning of the Cold War. Another says that the Russian authorities are becoming schizophrenic: "They close the British Council, but buy houses in London."

 

"Like in 1947"

A Russian blogger from Frankfurt-on-Main. See his blog.

It's not the first time Russia bans the British Council. The USSR did the same thing back in 1947, and it marked the beginning of the Cold War."

“They close the British Council, but buy houses in London"

Vladimir Yagutyan is a blogger and lawyer from Togliatti. See his blog.

The whole picture is totally schizophrenic. On one side, the guys who rule the country are promoting a "sovereign democracy", while at the same time picturing Russia as surrounded by enemies, by evil imperialists that masquerade as educators and cultural ambassadors, when all they do is spy and undermine the country's achievements. On the other hand, the same guys drive the prices for London real estate through the roof, buying mansions in Mayfair and Belgravia for themselves and their children - who, by the way, study at Oxford and Cambridge. Their idea of a "sovereign democracy" seems to be conceived purely for "internal usage", for Russians who never saw London and hardly ever will."

“Where will I find British magazines?”

A blogger based in St.Petersburg who went to the British Council often. See her blog.

Well, I guess I'll have to find another way to get hold of [British] magazines, newspapers and films. And what about the annual festival of British cinema? What about the Cambridge qualifications? Where will English teachers go? The British Council was the only organization in Russia certified to administer Cambridge exams. Of course, there are other libraries, but theirs was the best.

They organized festivals, held exhibitions. There's no one left to take their place. And those who want to get their Cambridge certificates will have to pay for an expensive trip to England - that is, if they manage to get a visa."

“Next target: the French culture centre”

A 17 year old blogger who lives in Moscow.

As always, our authorities got the wrong guys. The British Council was created as a purely cultural and educational institution, and if anyone is going to suffer from the shutdown, it's common Russian citizens. From now on, we can take pride in being the third country in the world after Iran and Burma to have banished the British Council. Next target: I suggest the French culture centre: after all, it's located in the same building."