MOSCOW—A top official at Moscow State University came to the defense of a geography professor accused of discriminating against a Jewish student as he arrived for an exam earlier this week, The Algemeiner rerported.
The student, Lev Boroda, entered the classroom where the test was being held on Monday wearing his kippah, the skullcap worn by observant Jews. The invigilator, Prof. Vyacheslav Baburin, told Boroda to either remove his kippah or leave the classroom. Boroda stood his ground and was prevented from taking the exam, according to a report of the incident published by the Sova Center — a Moscow-based research institute that monitors antisemitism, racism and hate crime in Russia.
Boroda issued an emergency appeal to the university’s administration, who arranged for him to sit the exam with a different supervisor.
Prof. Baburin’s boss at Moscow State University, Geography Department Dean Sergei Dobrolyubov, issued a fulsome defense of his subordinate, citing campus rules that forbid the wearing of headgear and head coverings.
“He had every right to do what he did,” Dobrolyubov told the Moskva news agency.
Baburin personally defended his actions on Wednesday, telling Kommersant-FM radio: “I don’t care who he is — a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist or a Sikh.”
However, Boroda has reported experiencing antisemitism on the campus on other occasions. Last October, he was told by another academic to become “baptized” as a Christian after requesting to be excused from classes on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.