Lviv Polytechnic fires controversial professor

Iryna Farion
Iryna Farion
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Former MP and linguist Iryna Farion was dismissed from her position as a professor at Lviv Polytechnic National University following an investigation by Ukraine’s SBU security service on Nov. 15.

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The university's rector, Yuriy Bobalo, approved the dismissal order dated November 15.

Education Minister Oksen Lisovyi confirmed Farion's dismissal, stating that "there is no place in the education system for people who lack respect for the soldiers." He remarked that by this action, the system is shedding "the shadows of the Soviet past." The minister also credited the university students for demonstrating their ability to "defend and protect their values."

Earlier on Nov. 15, the SBU announced that it had opened a criminal case against Farion under four articles of the Criminal Code. She faces up to seven years of imprisonment for disparaging military personnel and violating the secrecy of correspondence.

On Nov. 14, students from Lviv Polytechnic, where Farion taught, held a protest demanding her dismissal. The university's vice-rector for strategic development, Liliya Zhuk, stated that there were no grounds for dismissal at the time, and that a working group had been established to review the situation.

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On Nov. 6, Farion publicly said she refuses to recognize Russian-speaking Ukrainian troops as Ukrainians.

On Nov. 7, Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets appealed to the police, SBU, and National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting to investigate Farion's statement.

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Farion published a letter on Nov. 8 from a student in occupied Crimea who supported her stance on the importance of the Ukrainian language and expressed his hope for the liberation of his native Kerch. Farion did not conceal his personal information, name, and place of study, which led to reports that Russian security services had located the student due to this exposure.

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The professor referred to the incident as "another provocation" she believes was orchestrated by Russian propaganda.

On Nov. 14, Farion published an appeal to the President of Ukraine, the Minister of Defense, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to "take measures" against soldiers who had criticized her statements. She believes the military personnel, by doing so, "defile the honor of the Ukrainian officer and cast a shadow over the entire Ukrainian army."

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine