Sunday, May 06, 2007

Russian scientists clash with Kremlin

Last month, a full meeting of Russia’s Academy of Sciences passed an almost unanimous vote for a charter that would preserve its autonomy. Now the Kremlin is trying to challenge that decision on the grounds that the scientists and their work are needed to develop the country’s commercial and industrial base, The Sunday Telegraph reports:
Prof Vitaly Ginzburg, who is 90 yet still academically active, said Mr Putin’s Russia was worse than Stalin’s Soviet Union. “Of course, in Stalin’s times the Academy was under the control of the central committee of the Communist Party,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.

“But in those days you could come up with an idea and create - that’s how we put the first Sputnik satellite into space. Now the government thinks science must bring only income and profit, which is absurd.”

He added: “Of course it is about Putin. Our democracy is far from ideal.”
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