Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin , and then the Russian media shared the good news: Moscow was in the top 10 world megacities in terms of innovative attractiveness, as well as attractiveness for tourists.
“Moscow took first place in terms of the value of the Innovation Infrastructure Index. There are more than 100 co-working spaces and 3 innovation clusters in the city. <...>
Also, the Russian capital turned out to be one of the most attractive cities in the world for tourists. We took second place in terms of the number of theaters, museums and galleries, third in terms of unique places and attractions, and are among the top five in terms of the number of stadiums.
In the overall rating of innovative attractiveness, which includes the results of technological development, the state of creative industries and the urban environment in megacities, the Russian capital entered the TOP-10 world leaders along with London, New York, Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles , Shanghai and Seoul.
Moscow owes such positive reviews not to foreign compilers of ratings and not even tourists, but to the Higher School of Economics - it was its specialists who assessed the attractiveness of the Russian capital. However, the impartiality of researchers raises serious doubts. The university has long been considered close to the Kremlin: it makes money on research for the government and the presidential administration, fires teachers for anti-war positions, removes materials on the topic of LGBT and “foreign agents” from the site, and its departments and centers are headed by propagandists and Kremlin sociologists .
In addition, in recent years, Moscow does not appear at all in the top ratings of innovative cities compiled by authoritative international organizations. For example, she, like other cities in Russia, is not mentioned in the World Economic Forum rating , published in early February last year. In the recently published annual rating of the Australian agency 2thinknow, which is usually referred to by the leading business media, Moscow only ranks 76th for the period 2022-2023. In four years, it has fallen by almost 30 positions.
Finally, even judging by the description of the HSE research criteria, Moscow does not really meet them.
“In our ranking of 200 cities in 53 countries, we took a close look at where highly cited scientists, tech entrepreneurs, unicorns, venture capitalists, and prominent representatives of the creative industries (from fashion and IT to architecture and cinema) live and work,” - writes Evgeny Kutsenko, director of the Russian Cluster Observatory Center of the Institute for Statistical Research and Economics of Knowledge, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
However, after the start of a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine, scientists leave Russia en masse . As The Insider wrote , scientific work has become almost impossible: the world's leading institutions are curtailing joint projects, there are not enough reagents, and not everyone is given mobilization armor.