SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: December 25, 2012

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Kabardino-Balkar Agricultural State University

Region & Country:Europe | Russia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On December 25, 2012 Boris Zherukov, Rector of Kabardino-Balkar Agricultural State University, was shot and killed in his university office by two gunmen.
Zherukov had served as Rector of the university since 2000, and was also Head of the United Russia Party Group in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic’s Parliament. An investigation into the killing was launched immediately, and on January 29 Russia’s Interior Ministry announced that one of the suspects in the shooting, a member of a local militant group, had been killed in a special operation on January 20. He and his alleged accomplice, who at the time of reporting remained at large, were also believed to be responsible for the murder of a popular Russian TV journalist on December 5. 
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the killing of a university official on campus.  In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and institutional autonomy. State and university officials have a responsibility to ensure the security of higher education communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators of violent attacks accountable.
Sources: [Russian] [Russian]