Friday, April 26, 2024

Russian university students launch petition against new research center named after fascist Ivan Ilyin

Ivan Ilyin Higher Political School? No, thanks! Students and academic staff at Moscow's Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) have launched a petition against the naming of the institution’s Higher Political School after 20th century fascist philosopher Ivan Ilyin. 

The "Ivan Ilyin Higher Political School" at RGGU was created in July 2023. Earlier this month, Russian media reported that extreme-right philosopher and ideologue Alexander Dugin, who has served as a consultant to President Putin in recent years, was placed in charge of the school.

The students propose a public vote to rename the Higher Political School. The petition, published on, reads:

"In the 20th century, Ivan Ilyin actively condoned the actions of the Germany fascist regime, justifying Hitler’s crimes as a necessary response to Bolshevism and writing about the necessity of Russian fascism. A research center at one of the leading academic institutions of the country that defeated fascism cannot bear the name of a supporter of fascist ideas, bearing in mind the socio-political situations our country is currently in."

The petition on the platform, by the way, has already received more than 26 thousand signatures.

A notorious fascist ideologue, Ivan Ilyin had publicly praised Hitler for his "fight against Bolshevism". For example, in his work “National Socialism. New spirit", he wrote: “What did Hitler do? He stopped the process of Bolshevisation in Germany and thereby rendered the greatest service to all of Europe... While Mussolini leads Italy, and Hitler leads Germany, European culture is given a reprieve.” 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the issue, but confirmed President Putin's admiration for the fascist philosopher. “We’d prefer not to be involved in this discussion. The president has indeed quoted Ilyin on multiple occasions,” Peskov told journalists in a press conference earlier this month.