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University Rector Denies Firing Professor Because of Ukraine Intervention Criticism

Moscow State Institute of International Relations rector Anatoly Torkunov denied that professor Andrei Zubov was dismissed for writing a controversial editorial criticizing Russia's incursion in Crimea, and said that he continues to work at the institute.

Zubov had told media he was told to resign or be fired for his Vedomosti piece "This Has Happened Before," in which he compared Russian military operations in Ukraine to Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938.

Torkunov said that he did not share Zubov's view, but insisted that firing practices were carried out according to the law and added that he was surprised by the reaction to the announcement that the professor was fired.

The professor's daughter Irina Bobrinskaya, confirmed that her father would stay at the institute on her Facebook page, where she had previously announced his sacking, and thanked his supporters.

A number of Russian high school teachers and historians expressed their support for Zubov in an open letter on tuesday, saying that they differ in their views on the situation in Ukraine, but are united by their condemnation of the decision to dismiss Zubov for what he wrote.

After news of his dismissal spread, Zubov had been offered a position at Taras Shevchenko Kiev National University, Lenta.ru reported.

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