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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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 Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs