Generally, prestigious private universities with hundreds of students don't get shut down over fairly minor, six-month-old technical issues that have since been resolved. But that is precisely the predicament facing the European University at Saint Petersburg, a bastion of Western liberal arts, which has been ordered closed by a district court after a furious conservative assault against it, writes Fred Weir for The Christian Science Monitor. The university’s problems began last June, when an ultra-conservative lawmaker from Saint Petersburg, Vitaly Milonov, lodged an official complaint against it, which under Russian law requires an official investigation to be launched. Milonov is a key author of Russia's "anti-gay propaganda" law. Reached by telephone, Milonov, now a deputy of the State Duma, insisted that he merely passed along complaints made to him by citizens, including a letter he allegedly received from five students of the university. The students "raised a bunch of issues about the quality and services of the school", he said. "I can't remember most of them, but one was the teaching of gender studies at the school. I personally find that disgusting; it’s fake studies, and it may well be illegal," he said. "But I'm not qualified to judge, so I handed it on to the proper authorities."