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Russian students and researcher get threatening phone calls

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Russians in the Netherlands for academic purposes are getting threatening phone calls. Several students and one researcher have received phone calls asking about who they are loyal to in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Dutch universities and the Ministry of Education confirm.

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According to an article published by the newspaper Financieele Dagblad, the Russians were called by someone claiming to be from the Russian government and wanting to know if they supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The universities say that “several students and one researcher” have been approached in this way and that they have been referred to the Netherlands intelligence and security service, AIVD. “When someone receives a threat, we recommend reporting the incident to the police but this is often a bit of a grey area”, a spokesperson for the association of Dutch universities, UNL, told the newspaper.

The Ministry of Education describes the phone calls as highly objectionable. “Our top priority is that students and researchers can study and work safely and in freedom.”

 

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