Moscow State University rector tells students to be ‘very careful’ when deciding to attend protests
Moscow State University Rector Viktor Sadovnichy called on the prestigious university’s students to be “very careful” after journalists asked him about student participation in mass protests. “It’s one thing when you have the ability and the talent to express your opinion. The best thing is for one to speak competently,” Sadovnichy said. “But if you’re doing something else, something, say, I don’t know about, I’d call on our kids — I think this is the most important thing — study hard, become experts in your field, and defend your point of view if your beliefs call for that.”
Interfax reported that Sadovnichy was asked about the protests in connection with the rioting case against vlogger and Higher School of Economics student Yegor Zhukov, who has been jailed to await trial. With regards to Zhukov’s case, the rector said, “According to the Constitution, everybody has the right to express their point of view, but here, we need to study things in more detail.” Sadovnichy emphasized that he “doesn’t know much” about Zhukov and the repercussions of his case.
Yegor Zhukov was jailed in what Russian journalists have begun to call the “Moscow case,” which frames the city’s protests for free elections as mass riots. Zhukov has denied the charges against him.
Among those who have defended Zhukov is Higher School of Economics Vice Rector Valeria Kasamara, who is running for the Moscow City Duma and is considered a pro-regime candidate. A series of pickets for Zhukov outside Moscow’s police headquarters led to multiple arrests.