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Security Forces To Take Over Student Dorms During Russia's 2018 World Cup

A woman walks past a mural with soccer-related motifs in Moscow.

Education officials in several Russian cities have begun rescheduling exams and other academic programs for the spring of 2018 because the government plans to use dormitories to house police and security forces during the 2018 World Cup soccer championship.

Russian media reported on November 10 that officials in Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Saransk, and Samara confirmed the plans, but said the rights of students would be protected.

The Education Ministry has set up an organizing committee to coordinate its role in hosting the World Cup.

The business daily Kommersant cited a local lawmaker in Yekaterinburg who said he had obtained a copy of the ministry's order that troops of the National Guard be allowed to move into local dormitories on May 14.

The paper also said a university in Nizhny Novgorod plans to empty four of its six dormitories of some 2,300 students.

The AFP news agency said it had received a statement from the Education Ministry confirming it had sent instructions to "a number of education institutions…concerning how they should correct their academic year."

The World Cup will be held in 11 Russian cities from June 14 until July 15. Moscow has vowed extraordinary security measures in the face of possible terrorist dangers.

Security experts say Moscow's military action in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the regular unrest in Russia's North Caucasus region, make the event a possible terrorist target.

Based on reporting by Kommersant,, and AFP