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Mar 25, 2014 06:14 AM EDT

Philosophy Professor Sacked for Vocal Criticism of Russia’s Foreign Policies


Andrei Zubov, a philosophy professor at a state university in Russia has been fired for comparing Moscow's actions in Ukraine to Nazi Germany's 1938 Austria invasion in an opinion piece.

When lawmakers gave President Vladimir Putin the consent to send troops into Ukraine to guard ethnic Russians, Zubov cautioned against a potential war in an op-ed article titled 'This Has Already Happened.'

Zubov wrote that a military incursion would seriously harm Russian relations with Ukraine and the West, leading the world to enter into another cold war.

"We need to come to our senses and stop," Zubov wrote. "Our policies will drag our people into a terrible, horrible venture. Historical experience tells us that nothing costs so much. We must not behave the way Germans once behaved, based on the promises of Goebbels and Hitler," the Moscow Times reports.

He urged readers to vote against this insane and needless violence. "...we don't need any more blood or tears."

Zubov has worked at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) since 2001. Zubov was asked to either submit a letter of resignation or be fired for his vocal criticism of Russia's policies in Ukraine. The Professor refused to write any letter. The school eventually handed over the resignation notice March 5, the day after the opinion piece was published in Vedemosti Daily.

"Let the inappropriate and offensive historical analogies and characterisations lay on Zubov's conscience, the leadership of MGIMO view it as impossible for A.B. Zubov to continue working at the institute," MGIMO said, Reuters reports. "Numerous statements and interviews by A.B. Zubov on what is happening in Ukraine and on Russia's foreign policy have caused indignation ... They counter Russia's foreign policy course."

 Despite his removal from the University, Zubov has promised that he will not stay put.

"I am afraid, but there are situations in which you have to act, regardless of your own fear," Zubov said.

Liberals and critics of the Kremlin see his dismissal as a Soviet-style crackdown on dissent.

The news of the professor's removal from office shocked several people, who took to twitter to convey their feelings.

Konstantin Matsan, one Facebook user, wrote that he was 'ashamed of MGIMO' and urged Zubov to "hold on!" Another user Vasiliy Rulinskiy wrote, 'Lord, have mercy!'

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