A leading Russia university, attacked by Vladimir Putin as an agent of American and European intervention, has been shut down, the Guardian reports. A court ordered the European University at St. Petersburg to close on Friday, ostensibly because its aging buildings posed a fire hazard, but school officials say the move is retaliation by the Kremlin for the university's involvement in election monitoring.
The European University, one of the country's top graduate schools, recently accepted an EU grant to research election reform. Its participation in a program that encourages fair elections landed it in Putin's crosshairs. "The university was carrying out important work in connection with election monitoring," said an opposition leader. "Now it's being punished for it."