SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: November 26, 2022

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Various Institutions

Region & Country:Europe | Russia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 26, 2022, the media reported that Russian authorities were pressuring international students from Africa to enlist to fight in Ukraine.

According to reports, Russian officials promised students monetary compensation if they enlisted in the Russian armed forces or the Wagner Group, a private military company funded by the Russian government. Students who refused to join were warned that they could be subjected to increased tuition fees or have their scholarships canceled. Some international students experiencing financial struggles have reportedly enlisted to fight in Ukraine.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about threats by state authorities to impose academic consequences on students who do not agree to perform military service. Such coercive efforts undermine the right to education, the right of academic freedom, and may impact related human rights. State higher education policy and university policy should not discriminate based on political opinion and socioeconomic status.