On Race and Russia

To the Editor:

As a 21-year-old black woman who is majoring in Russian Studies and has been studying Russian for five years, I was so happy to see Sarah Valentine’s “Russian Studies’ Alt-Right Problem” (The Chronicle Review, September 17). When I got a scholarship to study in Russia in 2012, I was not allowed to visit St. Petersburg. It wasn’t explained to me until later that this was for fear of neo-Nazi violence. When I applied to study abroad through my college last year, I went to the Russian department and ask for the names of students of color who could tell me about being a minority in Russia. Articles like this one give me hope that I’m not alone and that my insecurities aren’t unfounded.

Toni Cross
Middlebury College, Class of 2018

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