A CNBC article reports that a total of 53 books that related to the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Institute charities of George Soros were burned by the Vorkuta Mining and Economic College in northern Russia. College libraries were also searched across the region for books that were associated with a project of these charities. In all, 427 books were found and confiscated for shredding as a result of this search effort. Russian news sources reported that a presidential envoy made a claim about the charities having directives that were foreign to Russian ideology.
Tension and Banning
Rising tension between George Soros and the Russian government along with a banning of his charities predated the book-burning incident. In July 2015, the Russian government associated the charities with other pro-democracy organizations that launch soft aggression against Russia, and the government hinted about banning all of these organizations.
In November 2015, the Russian government announced an official banning of the George Soros charities, as reported in a CNBC article. Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office reported in a statement that the Open Society charities would be put on a list of foreign non-governmental organizations that the Russian State deemed undesirable. In a translated statement, the Russian government reported the reason for this ban was that the charities posed a threat to the foundations of the Russian constitution and the security of the state.
The Open Society Charities
George Soros is a billionaire hedge fund investor who created the Open Society charities, which encompass a vast network of projects, partners, and foundations in over 100 countries worldwide. His efforts began in 1979 when he provided black South Africans under apartheid with college scholarships, reports the Open Society Foundations. Central to the operation of these charities are the core values of individual rights and governmental accountability. The charities provide assistance to lawyers and paralegals who represent unlawfully held individuals, and the charities help promising individuals pay for university, including refugees of armed conflicts and young people from marginalized groups. George Soros originally founded the Open Society charities to help countries transition from communism, but the charities currently engage in work related to establishing democracy throughout the world.