Political Science 4341
In her article “From the Moon to the Earth,” Yulia Latynina discusses several pressing issues facing Russia and citizens on a daily basis that have gone largely ignored by the Russian government in favor of lavish, ultimately meaningless projects that do little to help the people of the nation. Latynina draws a stark comparison between extravagant projects such as the 2018 Sochi Winter Olympics, which will cost her country an estimated 1.4 trillion rubles, and the broken, unworkable medical, educational, legal, and business infrastructure that has resulted in her country’s rapid decline from the world’s elite. This essay focuses on the decline of Russia’s education system when compared to that of other countries.
Latynina is quick to draw a comparison between the downward trajectory of Russia’s educational system and the upward trajectory of one of its regional rivals: China. In the time it took for all of Russia’s representatives on the list of best universities in the world to fall off of that list, China saw seven of its best schools move onto it. The author then points to an example of the incompetence of the Russian educational system. According to Latynina, four wealthy Russian students were recently arrested while racing their expensive sports cars in Geneva, Switzerland. The students in question attended the “International Branch of the Moscow State University Law Department” in Geneva. While that may sound prestigious, it turns out this school is run by a man from Azerbaijan who was wanted for fraud.
The author uses the example of the students to question whether these are the type of individuals, people would want representing them in a legal setting, and whether the educational merits of the institution they attended were of a nature the country can be proud of. Left unspoken is a similar critique to the one made by Latynina about Russia’s medical system earlier in her...