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Russian College Burns Books Published With Soros Foundation Support

Fifty-three textbooks published with the support of the Soros Foundation — an NGO deemed “undesirable” in Russia last year — were burnt at a college in Russia's northern republic of Komi, the 7x7 local news website reported Wednesday, citing an official letter from the regional Education Ministry.

“In December 2015, libraries of colleges [of the republic of Komi] were inspected in order to find educational literature published during the 'Renewal of Humanitarian Education' project of the Soros Foundation,” the letter reads. Such literature was found in two libraries, and in one of them 53 books were confiscated and “destroyed by burning,” the document goes on saying.

According to the director of the college library Yeleva Vasilyeva, the books were burnt in the college yard, 7x7 reported.

In December 2015, Russian media released a scanned copy of a letter from Andrei Travnikov, presidential envoy in the Northwest Federal District, to the deputy chair of the Komi government Tamara Nikolayeva, stating that books printed with the support of the Soros Foundation were “forming a perverted perception of [Russian] history and making ideological directives alien to Russian ideology popular,” — hence subject to confiscation.

In late November 2015, the Soros Foundation was declared “undesirable” in Russia — the Prosecutor General's office stated it was endangering Russia's constitutional order and the country's security. NGOs deemed “undesirable” are obligated to cease operating in Russia.

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