The Institute of Russian Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies was established as the Institute of the Soviet Union and East European Issues on January 13, 1972 in Seoul. In those days, the international community was dominated by cold war ideology, which made any communication or exchange between the Republic of Korea and the Communist bloc virtually impossible. The IRS was the first research center that began collecting and examining periodicals from the Soviet Union, North Korea, and other socialist states. Being the only Soviet Union and East European Issues research institute in Korea, the IRS was able to obtain an unrivaled position in this field. In a country where little research was being conducted on socialism, the IRS exerted a strong influence on the direction of these studies, leading the discourse on communism. From the early 1990s the IRS began to narrow its research subjects to Russia and the CIS region. Concentrated studies on the economies, politics, societies and cultures of the CIS region and Russia became the focus of the Institute. In 1993, the Institute officially changed its name to the Institute of Russian Studies, and in July of 1999, due to space constraints, the IRS relocated to Hankuk University’s Global Campus in Yongin.

The IRS regularly invites distinguished scholars from Russia and other parts of the world to give special talks.
Invited speakers come from diverse academic fields, including politics, economics, and literature.


Seoyeon High School humanities lecture


The Russian Research Institute HK+ Project Group held a humanities lecture on the topic “Russian Economy in War: What was Gained and Lost” at Seoyeon High School in Dongtan, Gyeonggi-do on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. In a special lecture given by Professor Kim Sang-won of the Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Kookmin University, he explained the basic flow of the Russian economy that transitioned from socialism to capitalism and pointed out the potential and problems of the Russian economy. In other words, the Russian economy converted to a market economy in 1992, grew rapidly in the 2000s due to the rise in international oil prices, suffered from economic structural reform and Western economic sanctions in 2010, and stagnated in the 2020s in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. It was analyzed that it appeared. He also mentioned that although Russia has sufficient potential and competitiveness in terms of population, resources, and technology, corruption, bureaucracy, resource-dependent economy, excessive government intervention in the market, and population shortage in the future may act as obstacles to the Russian economy.


Professor Kim Sang-won said that what the Russian economy gained from the war was territorial expansion, revival of nationalism, competitiveness in energy and grain markets, solidarity with the third world, and public support and solidarity. He explained that, on the contrary, what was lost was enormous human casualties, astronomical war costs, exclusion from international supply chains, and decline in national trust. Although Seoyeon High School in Dongtan is a general high school that was newly established three years ago, interest in Russia is very high, with a total of 200 students taking Russian language classes.


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