Students at Russian universities will be required to attend mandatory lectures on state ideology from next year, Russian independent news outlet Meduza reported on Tuesday, citing anonymous Kremlin-linked sources.
The lecture content is to be developed under the close supervision of the Kremlin’s first deputy chief of staff Sergei Kiriyenko and will aim to teach students "where Russia is headed and why," according to the publication’s sources.
"The West is rotting, it has tried repeatedly to weaken Russia, but its time has passed," Meduza quoted one of its sources as saying when asked to describe the course's core message.
"We [Russians] have a great future, a rich history and culture. We must take advantage of this moment of crisis and get everything from it," the source added.
The ideology course will reportedly consist of sections on Russian history, Russian culture, Russian foreign policy, and Russia’s "future image." Each section will be assigned to a state-aligned expert in the discipline, such as the director of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, and the head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Sergei Karaganov.
Students of history and political science will reportedly be required to attend the ideology classes throughout their studies, while those studying other social sciences and humanities disciplines will take the course for at least a couple of years.
All other students will be expected to attend one year of ideology studies.
State ideology lessons — dubbed "the important conversations"— were introduced to Russian schools earlier this year alongside the mandatory raising of the Russian flag and the singing of the national anthem every Monday.