The Dynasty Foundation, the only private research-funding organization in Russia, has been designated has a "foreign agent" by the Russian Justice Ministry, Science reports. A rally in support of the organization took place this past weekend, the Associated Press adds.
Dynasty's founder, Dmitry Zimin, a co-founder of the cellular network VimpelCom, has said that because of that label, he will shut the foundation down, a prospect Science says is "sending shock waves through the scientific community."
"The main thing that we have lost is hope," Valery Rubakov, a physicist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, tells Science.
The foundation was designated a "foreign agent" because it has received funds from Zimin's foreign accounts — he's given some $10 million of his personal wealth to Dynasty each year — and organizations with that label are subject to a lot of "red tape" and are required to note that anything they produce, including reports and conferences, is the activity of a foreign agent, Science reports.
Some 1,500 people marched in Moscow this weekend to protest low science funding and the increased pressure on the foundation, the AP says.