Alexei Chumachenko, the head of Saratov State University in central Russia, has asked his employees and students to limit all contacts with foreign citizens, news website Meduza reports.
In a letter addressed to university departments, Chumachenko mainly focused on World Youth Day, which is to be held in the Polish city of Krakow in late June. According to Chumachenko, the event was organized by the Roman Catholic Church and it “could be used to spread pro-Western values and anti-Russian assessments among the youth.”
The letter was reportedly written on behalf of Denis Fadeev, the Saratov region's deputy governor, and includes quotes from a speech made by President Vladimir Putin in February, in which he said that “outside attempts to interfere in inter-political processes” is a threat to Russia's national security, Meduza reported. Chumachenko's letter said that to achieve such goals, different technologies and communication channels could be used, and this could happen in the Saratov region as well.
In particular, Chumachenko mentioned an Oklahoma judge and a U.S. Embassy employee who had visited the university in April, adding it could be used “to establish contacts with promising teachers and graduates of legal professions and pull them into their orbit of influence,” Meduza reported.
Chumachenko's letter requested that school management be informed immediately if students plan to take part in World Youth Day events.