Support The Moscow Times!

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.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.