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: September 01, 2023

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Institution(s):Russian Academy of Sciences

Region & Country:Europe | Russia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 1, 2023, Russia’s Academy of Sciences (RAN) dismissed Valery Garbuzov, the director of RAN’s U.S. and Canada Studies Institute (ISKRAN).

On August 29, 2023, Garbuzov published an opinion article in the news publication Nezavisimaya Gazeta in which he criticized the Russian government’s approach to foreign policy and condemned the presence of propaganda and anti-Western ideology in state media.

Two days after the article was released, RAN fired Garbuzov, reportedly at the request of ISKRAN leaders.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the dismissal of a scholar in retaliation for exercising the right to academic freedom and free expression on matters within her area of professional expertise. Such conduct is expressly protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Russia is a party. State academic institutions must refrain from restricting the peaceful exercise of academic freedom and freedom of expression. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, the retaliatory dismissal of a scholar undermines academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.