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’s annual seminar, “A Year Amidst War: Prospects for Russia in 2023”


On January 13, 2023 (Friday), the Institute of Russian Studies (Chief Sang-Yong Pyo) held an annual seminar, “A Year in War: Prospects for 2023 Russia,” as part of the publication of the annual report, Russia Report. The Russia Report Seminar is a regular academic event held every January by the Russian Institute, and this seminar was specially organized in line with the event of the Rus-Ukrainian War.


The academic seminar, which began with an opening address by Director Pyo Sang-yong of the Russian Institute and a congratulatory speech by Professor Emeritus Lee In-ho of Seoul National University, consisted of two sessions. The first meeting, which was moderated by Seong-hoon Je, professor of Russian language at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, was held in three areas: domestic politics (research professor Yeon Dam-rin, Hanshin University), economy (researcher Ji-won Park, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency), and foreign relations (Joo-yeon Lee, academic research professor, Hanyang University). I had time to look at Russia in a year. The second meeting was moderated by HK Professor Song Joon-seo, and extensive discussions were held on military security (Kim Gyu-chul, lecturer at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies), Korea-Russia relations (Professor Byun Hyeon-seop, Keimyung University), and social culture (HK Research Professor Ra seung-do).


After each presentation, about 50 participants shared their opinions, pointing out notable phenomena in Russia in the past year when a major event called war occurred, and had a meaningful time forecasting the year 2023. Manuscripts presented at this seminar will be published as a book at the end of February and distributed online.


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