The Centre to Counteract Youth Extremism is being established at Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University with the support of Acron Group. The Centre will be named after Dr Viatcheslav Kantor, Chairman of Acron’s Coordinating Board and an honorary citizen of Veliky Novgorod.
The Centre will focus on studying global best practices in counteracting extremism, researching the Nazi’s crimes committed during World War II, and detecting forms of extremism and risk groups among young Russians today. The Centre will hold academic conferences, develop educational programmes, and monitor the impact of extremism on young people. The Centre is scheduled to be opened in 2023.
Dr Kantor commented on the initiative, ‘Young people are the traditional target for extremists of all stripes. Our task is to teach young people how to understand history, remember the lessons of horrific past events, and preserve key humanistic values, especially the value of human life.’
The project will encompass the research programmes in four areas: history, sociology, cultural studies, psychology, and pedagogy. Dmitry Astashkin, an associate professor in the university's journalism department, will supervise the Centre’s research efforts in history. Alexander Osipov from the university’s research division and Oleg Matveev, an associate professor in Russian history and archaeology, will lead the sociology studies. The university’s provost for international affairs, Mikhail Pevzner, and the chair of the engineering and arts education department, Pyotr Petryakov, will supervise research in psychology and pedagogy. Sergey Avanesov, chair of the technology department, will direct the cultural studies.
Acting president of Novgorod University Yury Borovikov said, ‘Acron is our serious ally on several projects. Over the years, the social initiatives brought by Acron and Dr Kantor personally have had a significant impact on the development of the Novgorod region. The creation of the Centre to Counteract Extremism is a new ambitious step that will post interesting questions for the university’s interdisciplinary research team and visibly change the social and humanitarian landscape of the entire region.’