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Professor Who Opposed Crimea Reunification in Opinion Piece Fired

Professor Andrei Zubov at an anti-war congress in Moscow on Wednesday.

A professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, or MGIMO, has been officially fired by the university administration.

Administrators said in a statement released on Monday that they had decided to fire professor Andrei Zubov, who came under fire earlier this month for writing an opinion piece for Vedemosti newspaper comparing Russia's annexation of Crimea to Hitler's Anschluss in 1938.

The statement said that Zubov had "knowingly and repeatedly violated" the institute's charter, and ignored multiple warnings from the administration concerning his public statements on Russian foreign policy in the wake of the Crimea crisis.

MGIMO is affiliated with the Foreign Ministry, and Zubov was warned that his views were at odds with the foreign policy of Russia. Monday's statement said the professor's "reckless and irresponsible criticism of government policy" was proving detrimental to the learning environment at the institute.

Zubov's daughter wrote on her Facebook page on March 4 that the professor had been fired for writing the opinion piece titled, "This Has Already Happened."

The next day, on March 5, MGIMO rector Anatoly Torkunov denied the reports that Zubov had been let go and Zubov's daughter confirmed that her father would continue to work at the institute. The administration said Monday that on March 5 it gave Zubov a formal notice on the "inadmissibility" of his statements.

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