Thursday, June 7, 2012

Plagiarism allegations against new Russian minister of culture

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reports on the history dissertation of the new Russian minister of culture, Vladimir Medinsky. The article begins with some gems from the academic writing of Medinsky:

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact "deserves a monument."
The U.S.S.R. never occupied the Baltic states, it just "incorporated" them. 
An infamous picture of a Nazi-Soviet military parade in Poland in 1939 was "photoshopped."
Anti-Semitism in Tsarist Russia has been "greatly exaggerated." 
Sure. Why, I remember that ancient version of Photoshop, must have been version -31, like it was yesterday.

But a group of Russian historians, perhaps inspired by VroniPlag Wiki, have documented plagiarism in 16 places in Medinsky's dissertation.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty quotes historian Lev Usyskin as passing judgement on the non-plagiarized portions of the dissertation:
"The bits that weren't plagiarized did not conform to the slightest academic rigor. This is actually a fraudulent scientific degree. The doctor himself knows this perfectly well -- this is a person who is not embarrassed to stand before the world as a fraudster," he adds. "His morals are clear."
It will be interesting to see how this develops.  Just a few weeks ago, the Romanian minister of education had to step down on charges of plagiarism, and at the end of March Hungary's president had his doctorate rescinded.

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