Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Putin Overhaul of Science Risks Final Blow to Soviet-Era Machine

 Yulia Nelyubina is an internationally recognized chemist at the Russian Academy of Sciences. An overhaul of the academy pushed through by President Vladimir Putin may leave her homeless and further damage the country’s already bruised science establishment.

The changes mean the academy will lose control of billions of dollars worth of real estate, which may cost Nelyubina her one-bedroom, rent-free apartment in a Moscow suburb. The perk, a vestige of the Soviet era, allows her and her scientist husband to get by even on the academy’s average salary of 38,000 rubles ($1,150) a month, the same as Russia’s prison guards.