Despite High-Profile Pardon, Russia Continues Scrutiny of Academics

Despite a High-Profile Pardon, Russia Continues Scrutiny of Outspoken Academics 1

John MacDougall, AFP, Getty Images

Russia showed clemency to the former oil tycoon and activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky (shown in Berlin after his pardon and release from prison last month), but an investigation of several academics who are accused of illegally lobbying on his behalf continues. The case has placed a prominent university at the center of what some Russians see as an effort to quiet academics who speak out against government policies.

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close Despite a High-Profile Pardon, Russia Continues Scrutiny of Outspoken Academics 1

John MacDougall, AFP, Getty Images

Russia showed clemency to the former oil tycoon and activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky (shown in Berlin after his pardon and release from prison last month), but an investigation of several academics who are accused of illegally lobbying on his behalf continues. The case has placed a prominent university at the center of what some Russians see as an effort to quiet academics who speak out against government policies.

The Kremlin appears to be in a forgiving mood.

Russia recently pardoned the oil baron turned activist Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky and other prominent critics of President Vladimir V. Putin in a move widely seen as an attempt to mollify international criticism on the eve of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. But at least one university remains tied up in a scandal connected to Mr. Khodorkovsky­—and there are few signs of its abating.

Several professors at the Higher School of