News / Europe

Russian Professor Compares Russia's Actions to Nazi Annexation of Austria

Reuters
A Russian philosophy professor says he is being forced from his job at a prestigious state university after comparing Moscow's actions in Ukraine with Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938.
 
In an opinion article published on the daily Vedomosti's website on Saturday, Andrei Zubov said Russia was on the verge of war and added: “We must not behave the way Germans once behaved, based on the promises of Goebbels and Hitler.”
 
By Tuesday, he told the internet news site slon.ru that he had received an ultimatum from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO): “I was told that I either write my own resignation or wait to be fired.”
 
“I responded that I would not write anything; let them fire me if they want,” Zubov was quoted as saying. He said he had been summoned to see a superior on Wednesday and believed it was about the article.
 
Officials at MGIMO could not be reached for comment on Tuesday evening.
 
Zubov's article echoed concerns aired by liberals and critics of the Kremlin over what they say is aggression toward Ukraine, where Russian forces have taken control of Crimea, a Black Sea region where ethnic Russians make up a majority of the population.
 
Russia's parliament on Saturday gave President Vladimir Putin permission to send the armed forces into Ukraine at will.
 
Russian police detained dozens of protesters outside the Defense Ministry in Moscow on Tuesday, activists said.
 
Crimea's pro-Russian government plans to hold a referendum on its status on March 30 and lawmakers in Moscow have submitted a bill that would make it easier for Russia to acquire new lands, raising the prospect of a bid to bring Crimea into Russia.
 
“This has all happened before. Austria. Early March, 1938. The Nazis want to build up their Reich at the expense of another state,” Zubov wrote.
 
Many Russians including Putin view victory in World War II as their country's proudest moment of the 20th century, and the government bristles at any comparison of the Soviet Union or Russia with Hitler's Germany.
 
The pro-Putin ruling party sharply criticized a satirist who drew a comparison between last month's Sochi Winter Olympics and the 1936 Berlin Games, which Adolf Hitler used to help entrench his power and offer a rosy picture of Nazi Germany.
 
Dozhd (TV Rain), a television station that has often given a platform to critics of the Kremlin, was dropped by TV providers after asking on its website if Leningrad should have been given up to save lives when Nazi Germany was besieging it in World War Two.
 
The comparison between Ukraine and Austria carries additional resonance because Russian officials have likened militant Ukrainian groups involved in protests that ousted President Viktor Yanukovich to Nazis, and to Ukrainians who aided the Nazis during the war.
 
Zubov, who has taught at MGIMO sine 2001, told the Russian magazine Novoye Vremya (New Times) that he did not want to lose his job.
 
“I am afraid, but there are situations in which you have to act, regardless of your own fear,” he said.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More