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.


2023 IRS Summer Workshop


The Russian Institute (Director Sang-Yong Pyo) held a summer workshop in Donghae, Gangwon-do from Monday, August 21 to Tuesday, August 22, 2023. For two days, researchers under Director Pyo Sang-yong looked back on the results of the first year of the HK+ Type 2 Phase 2 research project and established plans for the second year.


Major meeting agenda items included ‘Briefing on one year’s work and research results’, ‘Coordination of opinions among team members regarding division of work’, and ‘Planning for HK+ follow-up projects’.


In particular, measures to improve work efficiency of the English journal REGION (SCOPUS registered journal) were intensively discussed. In addition, in relation to the research agenda, the need for field research in the Central Asian region was confirmed and opinions were exchanged on ways to raise financial resources to carry out this study and ways to hold a local academic conference.


Director Pyo Sang-yong, who hosted the workshop, emphasized, "It is time for the Russian Institute team members to actively engage in external activities to not only improve the academic status of the institute and its team members, but also the competitiveness of domestic humanities and Russian studies in general." “Let’s check and supplement the issues every six months and strive not only to address the immediate issues, but also to develop a permanent agenda for the Russian Institute,” he said.



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