Our approach

Helping to build a free and democratic Russia

The problem

In Russia, ideas have become the enemy.

Civil society has been systematically restricted. Journalists and activists arrested, educational courses and exchange programmes shut down, human rights violated. People who speak out are targets of harassment and can face imprisonment and mob violence.

There is now a dangerous vacuum where an active civil society should be.

The removal of opposition, of an independent media, of human rights defenders, leaves millions of citizens in political darkness – denied the right to assemble, to debate, to articulate a vision for the future of Russia.

Many Russian people have never seen how open society can work. This is dangerous because we can not be the things we do not know, that we have not seen.

That’s why education is at the heart of all that we do.

We support programmes that open eyes, inspire imagination, and help people to see that a different world is possible.

When citizens cannot express themselves freely, societies take shape without the wisdom of their people.

Our Response

Right now, many Russian citizens are fighting hard at great personal risk to make their voice heard. They want to ensure that Russia has a vision of the future in which the interests of its citizens come first.

They are fighting to keep Russian civil society alive.

They see a future built on good governance, rising living standards, active communities and free-flowing ideas.

A Russia where the people author the country’s development. A Russia that is an ally of the international community and a force for good in addressing global challenges.

We exist to help bring their vision to life.

We do this by supporting individuals and organisations whose work falls within our four thematic focuses of Cultural Exchange, Open Education, Active Societies and Independent Media.

We are a site of connection, communication and collaboration, to make visible to the world a positive future of Russia.