The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology has canceled an open Q&A session for students featuring Novaya Gazeta Editor-in-chief and Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov. The event was scheduled for March 28.
According to the university’s rector, Dmitry Livanov, the session was canceled after it proved impossible to ensure the “depoliticization” of the discussion, which heightened the risk of “provocations” and “an increase in tensions” in the student community.
“We consider it important to fulfill the condition of depoliticization of these open conversations, which are dedicated to discussions of professional issues, and thus to maintain the unity of our community, which, like all communities, contains various points of view regarding today’s hot button issues,” Livanov said in a statement.
The rector noted that the initial announcement of the event provoked a “flurry of negative emotions” from people not associated with the university. A number of pro-Kremlin Telegram channels attacked Muratov and Novaya Gazeta, including the channel Readovka, who called the journalist a “Russophobe.” Nonetheless, Livanov said the university plans to host Muratov in the future.