Sign Up | Login

The School of Russian and Asian Studies to Change Names, Launch Fully Updated Website

Summer Study Abroad: Update on Recent Diplomatic Events

SRAS Announces Special Moscow-St.Petersburg Summer RSL Program for 2018

Summer Study Abroad: Important Updates

The State of Study Abroad in Russia

Russian Studies Abroad (RSA) Splits Into Two Programs

Join SRAS at NAFSA and Forum

SRAS and SPBGIKIT Language Partnership: The Year in Review

SRAS Site Visit to Irkutsk

Summer Programs Abroad - 2018

Travel Alert for Russian Cities: May 25 - July 25, 2018

Scholarships Available!

Stetson University and SRAS Announce New Partnership

Call for Papers: Vestnik!


The SRAS Newsletter
A Resource for Students, Educators, and Anyone Curious about Eurasia
Apply for Fall, 2015 by May 15!
Deadlines for Summer start March 15!

For life on the ground in Russia, this graph is likely to be the most important influence over the next year.

Добро пожаловать!

What will the coming year be like in Russia? The graph shown to the right, and where it goes from here, will likely be the single largest contributor to the answer.

The ruble has lost about half its value since October of last year. In the simplest terms, this means that a ruble will now buy about a third less foreign-imported food (Russians have imported about 40% of their consumption), and a third less foreign-imported electronics and clothing (of which Russians import a majority of their consumption). Prices are already edging upwards and inflation, already above 10%, is growing.

Effects, positive and negative, will be felt deep within the Russian economy. Russia’s domestic state expenses, denominated in rubles but largely funded by exports priced in dollars, are likely to become more manageable even as the state braces for deficit spending. Agricultural producers, also seeking the highest price, have exported much of their stock to international markets, driving food prices in Russia higher. Real estate developers are trying to raise rents on restaurants and retail shops that occupy spaces renovated or built with dollar-denominated loans. Those shops may be forced to pass on that expense (along with higher inventory costs) or to vacate the premises, causing significant shifts in real estate value. At the same time, low ruble rates combined with high domestic prices and government pressure are already edging up investments into domestic production, particularly agriculture, and infrastructure inside Russia.

As a resident of Russia with family here, I find myself bracing for the coming year. I’m also excited to see what it may bring. The changes will most certainly be profound. Like all times of change, there will be opportunities and costs. Watching what the Russians do with those opportunities and costs will make 2015 likely the most exciting year to be on the ground in Russia since the fall of the USSR.

Our newsletter this month overviews Russia’s current economic crisis as well as major political and economic factors to watch for the coming year. You’ll find information about our new Jewish Heritage Summer program in Poland as well as our revamped Home and Abroad Program, which is now more flexible and extensive, offering $5,000 – 10,000 to students looking to build language skills and professional experience in multiple fields and locations across Russia and Kyrgyzstan. Lastly, make sure to check out "Poland in the News," a new feature of our Koroche section, contributed by new SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Josh Seale.

We hope to see you abroad soon!

Study Abroad
in Poland!

Study Abroad
in Poland!

Study Abroad
in Eurasia!

Internship in Russia

In this month's newsletter:

- Russia's Economy     - Programs     - Koroche!
- Books     - Language and Culture     - Articles


Call for Papers: Vestnik - Deadline: May 30!
Students who submit papers for this edition of Vestnik will be eligible for a $200 Jury Award. Click here for details. Make your submissions by May 30, 2015.

– Russia's Economy –

USRCCNE Newsletter - The Russian Crisis
The US Russia-Chamber of Commerce of New England put together an excellent newsletter covering the causes and early effects of the current Russian economic crisis.

OPEC Cuts Into Russian Coffers in Expensive Strategy
Is Russia a petrostate for which increased energy revenues permits increased foreign policy aggression and expansionism, or is it responding to legitimate security threats?

RAD: The Russian Economy
This edition considers the troubles facing the Russian economy. This includes articles on the factors responsible for the loss of momentum of the Russian economy, a review of Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia, as well as statistics and survey data relating to the Russian economy.

Putin Stays
Economist Chris Weafer argues that the current economic crisis will not cause political change in Russia.

Putin Goes
Political Scientist Alexander Morozov argues that the current economic crisis will cause political change in Russia.

Should You Believe The Numbers About Russia?
Many argue that one shouldn't believe numbers provided by Russia's government. Some argue you can't use numbers to understand Russia at all.

80 Percent of Russians Back Putin as Ruble Falls
Russians See Costlier Food as No Crisis
St. Petersburg Times Suspends Publication

– Programs –

Home and Abroad Scholarships - Expanded!
These scholarships now offer $5000 - 10,000 in a more flexible program offering more locations and more subjects.

Jewish Heritage Summer
Once the home to the majority of the world's Jews, nearly 70 percent of all Jews can now trace their heritage back to Poland. Study the major triumphs, the Holocaust tragedy, and the current revival of Jewish life in Poland this summer!

Crossroads of Empires: Central Europe
This program will look at Central Europe as a case study for better understanding Security Studies in general. The program will also cover the region's history, including its connection to the European Jews.

Food and Festivals: Faculty Development
SRAS invites educators to explore the cultural and culinary heartlands of Ukraine and Georgia. This program will be conducted in Russian, with a focus on development of food-related language and lesson plans.

Summer Seminars & Russian as a Second Language!
Sign up for a full summer of Russian as a Second Language and choose from one of five specially priced seminars - in art, business, environment, or anthropology.

View ALL 12 Summer Study Programs!
Study in locations across Eurasia! Study subjects as diverse as art, politics, the envrionment, and more.

View ALL 12 Fall Semester Programs!
Funding for Study in Russia and Eurasia
The Case for Study Abroad
25 Skills That Got People Hired in 2014
Russia Direct to Rank Russian Studies Programs

– Koroche! –

Top 5 Movies in Russia
Poland in the News
How the Russian Economy is Reported in Russia
SRAS Students Abroad: Food and Culture
Nashe Radio's Top 5

– Language and Culture –

113 Free Russian Lessons
Over the last ten years, we've accumulated 113 free language lessons on our site. These are geared to teach intermediate to advanced students additional vocabulary and to teach everyone a bit more about Russian culture and about modern life in Russia.

Happy New Year from Bishkek!
How they celebrate the New Year in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. As witnessed by SRAS student Sophia Rehm.

Volunteering in Russia
Learn how you can volunteer while abroad with this fully updated resource page!

The Seven Santas of Siberia
Siberia is huge. It's populated by diverse people with diverse traditions.

10 Ways to Enjoy Moscow’s Winter Parks
Russia is famous for miserably cold winters. This means that, in winter, Russians must stay at home being miserable, right? Not at all!

How Comedians Covered US-Russia Relations in 2014
The current state of bilateral relations between Russia and the U.S. may be nothing to laugh about, but somehow throughout the year, comedians from the two nations always found a way to brighten the mood.

15 Study Abroad Side Effects
Mistakes to Avoid When Learning a Language
How Different are Russians and Americans, Anyway?
Mother Tongue and Second Language Acquisition
Popular Baby Names (Graph in Russian)

  – Never Too Many Books! –
Subtly Worded and Other Tales (Teffi) A Personal Journey through the Russian Baths A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka
The Russian Folktale Dictionary of Idioms The Strong State in Russia

Study Abroad
in Russia!


– Articles –

2014: Russia's Year in Review
The outgoing year will be remembered for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, President Vladimir Putin’s unprecedented high rating in public opinion polls and the beginning of a severe economic recession.

Russia’s New Foreign Policy Course
Moscow’s new course is laid down first and foremost by President Vladimir Putin, but it also reflects the rising power of Russian nationalism.

Russia's New Military Doctrine
The revised military doctrine signed by Putin updates a 2010 version. Both documents cite NATO expansion as a primary risk to Russian security.

The Foreign Policy Story of the Year
The top foreign-policy story of 2014 sneaks up on you. It generated precious few headlines…

US and Russia Must Find an Exit if Not Stage a Reset
Ukraine is an ongoing tragedy. That nation is being ravaged by conflict. Everyone involved underestimated the cost of their actions.

Beware of the New Cold War Consensus
In the four decades preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall, there existed a considerable range of views as to how to carry out American-Soviet relations.

Will the Real Russia Please Stand Up?
The West has been unable to develop a coherent strategic policy toward Russia. Is it strong or weak? A bully or a buffoon? Leaders and media can't make up their minds.

Putin's Grand Experiment
What does Crimea say about how Vladimir Putin views the world?

Putin Sends Obama a New Year’s Message
Putin said in a New Year’s message to Obama that Moscow is looking for equality in bilateral relations next year, noting the pair’s special role in resisting global challenges and threats.

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly
The full text of the presidential address, in official English translation.

Full Marathon News Conference with Putin
Full video, with English translation, of Vladimir Putin's annual public news conference - Crimea, santions, and the economic crisis are all discussed.

The Grozny Attacks & Russia’s Relationship with the West
A more important consequence of the dramatic violence in Grozny may be the impact it has on Russia-Western relations.

The Russo-Abkhaz Treaty and Russo-Georgian Relations
The Russo-Abkhaz agreement was essentially a watered down version of an earlier draft treaty of “alliance and integration” proposed by Moscow.

The Next Battle for Ukraine
Ukraine's new leaders are young. Many were trained abroad. Most are well off. They are from business and many have run complex organizations.

Ukraine Moves to Ban Communism
While the consensus so far has been that the project is a response to what the Ukrainian government has referred to as an “information war” against Kiev orchestrated by Moscow, independent observers have already expressed concern.

Ukraine's Truly Foreign Ministers
Ukraine granted citizenship to an American, a Georgian, and a Lithuanian so it could make them government ministers.

Post-Soviet Russia’s Image in the United States
An overview of how journalism has traditionally formed and continues to form America's views of Russia.

Russia Seeks More Influence on Korean Peninsula
By reactivating its policy on Pyongyang, Moscow is sending messages to Seoul, Tokyo, Washington and Beijing. These should be properly understood.

Central Asia Between Sinking Russia And Dominant China
These very real economic and security concerns are causing the region’s leaders to re-evaluate their options and their relationships with outside powers, and may present an opportunity to Washington and Europe.

RAD: Russian Foreign Policy and the Ukraine Crisis
This edition considers the sources underlying Russia’s policy toward its western neighbour, how the 2014 Ukrainian crisis has laid bare the differences between the European Union and Russia, and the impact of the Ukraine Crisis on Central Asia.

If you have views or material you would like to contribute to the newsletter, please contact us.
Want the newsletter?

« back to newsletters archive