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.


Russia Report Annual Seminar to be held '30 Years of Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Prospects for 2022 Russia'


On January 13, 2021 (Thursday), the Russian Institute (Director Pyo Sang-yong) held an annual seminar, "30 Years of Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Prospects for 2022 Russia," as part of the publication of the annual report Russia Report. The Russia Report seminar is a regular academic event held by the Russian Institute in January every year, and this seminar was organized especially in time for the historical 30 years of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The academic seminar, which began with the opening speech of Pyo Sang-yong, director of the Russian Institute, consisted of two sessions. At the first meeting, hosted by Professor Je Sung-hoon of the Department of Nor Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, we had time to look at Russia last year in three areas: domestic politics (Jang Se-ho), economy (Park Ji-won), and foreign relations (Lee Joo-yeon, a lecturer at Anyang University). The second meeting was hosted by Professor Kim Soo-hwan of the Department of Nor Studies, and a wide range of discussions were held on military security (Kim Kyu-chul, lecturer at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies), Korea-Russia relations (Kim Jung-ki, visiting researcher at Hanyang University), and social culture (Ra Seung-do HK research professor).

The seminar was held in a Zoom format due to the COVID-19 situation, but more than 60 Russian experts and follow-up generations attended and held active discussions. After each presentation, debaters and attendees shared their opinions, and the seminar participants had a meaningful time to discuss notable phenomena in Russia last year, which marked the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and to look forward to 2022.


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