For years, students from developing countries were welcomed to the Soviet Union as heroes in the battle against imperialism.
They were given a free education at the University of Peoples' Friendship in the hope that they would spread the word of Communism when they returned home.
But with the collapse of the Soviet Union, African students find they're no longer wanted or welcome in the country which once believed they were the means of bringing Communism to the Third World.
The Patrice Lumumba University of Peoples' Friendship was a symbol of the Soviet intention of spreading Communism throughout post-colonial Africa.
Students from developing countries were offered a number of inducements to study here, including full scholarships, a monthly grant...and even winter clothing.
But when the Communist system collapsed, so too did subsidised education for Third World countries.
These days, life for both the university and its foreign students has become increasingly difficult.
"Those youngsters who pursue their studies here having come from African states, the whole atmosphere in this society, the economic situation in the cities and towns where they pursue their studies, is not very favourable."
SUPER CAPTION : Igor Borisov
Not many students would disagree with that.
Paul Dako shares a room at the University with fellow Nigerian Djenoura.
Both of them have been in Moscow for seven years.
Their small room is decked with souvenirs from their homeland and from Russia.
They're reminders of the days when they had money to spend on such luxuries.
Nowadays their monthly grant comes to less than 10 US dollars and they have had to sell their belongings to make ends meet.
They say they would return home if they could, but their country is too poor to send them any money.
SOUNDBITE: (In Russian)
"I also used to get a grant from my state. But we've also got problems in Africa and for almost six months I haven't got anything from my country and we don't know when we will."
SUPER CAPTION: Paul Dako - Nigerian language student
With so little money, African students have even turned to drug dealing and prostitution to make ends meet.
Having lost their privileged status, they have also become the targets of violence from racist groups.
But for those students whose parents can afford to send money, Russia is still the source for a good education.
"Like in our country, we have a very limited intake of students into the medical faculty and there are so many talented students who don't get the opportunity to study in Sri Lanka, so this place is a godsend."
SUPER CAPTION: Anoushi - Sri Lankan medical student
But the majority of African students now dream only of finishing their studies and returning home.
"This is my sixth, I'm in my final year. So I shall be rounding off very soon."
(Question: "Will you be happy to leave this country?")
SUPER CAPTION: Paul - Sierra Leone law student
Students like Paul, whose government is paying for his flight home, are in a minority.
Africans who the Communists regarded as heroes, are now easy targets for Russians, who are looking to blame someone else for their own problems.
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