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Controversial ex-MP fired from her university post

by Martin Fornusek November 15, 2023 10:04 PM 2 min read
Student protests calling for a dismissal of controversial professor and former far-right MP Iryna Farion, Nov. 14, 2023, Lviv. (Les Kasyanov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Linguist and former far-right lawmaker Iryna Farion, currently investigated by security services, was fired from her position at Lviv Polytechnic University, Education Minister Oksen Lisovyi said on Nov. 15.

"The relevant order has been signed by the rector," Lisovyi said.

Farion, until recently a professor at the Ukrainian language department, sparked outrage when she said on Nov. 6 that she couldn't call Ukrainian soldiers Ukrainians if they speak Russian.

In response to these comments, students from Lviv Polytechnic University and other universities organized protests demanding Farion's dismissal.

"Students were, are, and will always be a powerful force of change and transformation," Lisovyi said.

"Students started the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, which put us firmly on the path of European integration."

EuroMaidan Revolution
The EuroMaidan Revolution is often credited with being the single most consequential event in Ukraine’s modern history. After pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych took power in 2010, the political and business landscape in Ukraine was gradually deteriorating. In November 2013, Yanukovych refuse…

The scandal around Farion's statements escalated after she allegedly received a message of support from Maksym Hlebov, a pro-Ukrainian student living in occupied Crimea.

Farion published the email, where Hlebov wrote down his hopes for the arrival of Ukrainian troops in Crimea and his personal information, on her social media, which reportedly exposed the student to Russian authorities and led to his arrest.

She received harsh criticism for this step, and Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) said earlier on Nov. 15 that Farion is under criminal investigation both for her statements about Russian-speaking soldiers and for leaking the message from Hlebov.

Farion, who is known for her controversial statements on the use of the Russian language in Ukraine, entered the ultranationalist party Svoboda in 2005 and served as a member of the parliament between 2012 and 2014.

Ex-MP Farion under investigation over student message leak, radical statements
Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) launched criminal proceedings against linguist and former far-right lawmaker Iryna Farion for leaking a private message that led to the arrest of a student in occupied Crimea, the SBU announced on Nov. 15.

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