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March 26, 2006

Russian President Putin - Plagiarist Or Victim Of Right-Wing Smear?

-- by Dave Johnson

When Bush first met Russian President Putin, Bush declared that he had "looked into his soul" and a bunch of hogwash like that. Maybe that should have been a tip-off: Researchers peg Putin as a plagiarist over thesis,

Large chunks of Mr. Putin's mid-1990s economics dissertation on planning in the natural resources sector were lifted straight out of a management text published by two University of Pittsburgh academics nearly 20 years earlier, Washington researchers insisted yesterday.
Six diagrams and tables from the 218-page dissertation mimic in form and content similar charts in the Russian translation of the Americans' work as well, according to Brookings Institution senior fellow Clifford G. Gaddy.
Warning, this story originated at the Washington Times, which is published by a Korean-based religious cult with shadowy connections to the Korean CIA and the Japanese mafia. So there are reasons to suspect this accusation (as anything from this source) might just be propaganda with an agenda behind it,

In a semiautobiographical series of interviews published just after he was named president of Russia in 2000, Mr. Putin does not even mention the thesis, referring only to preliminary work he did on another dissertation on international law at the then-Leningrad State University in 1990 while still formally an employee of the KGB. It is not even clear when Mr. Putin wrote the thesis, formally titled "The Strategic Planning of Regional Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations," although it is known he returned from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 1997 to defend his work.

[. . .] Although it may fall short of Western scholarly conventions, Mr. Putin's effort should be seen in a Russian, post-Soviet context, some scholars said.
E. Wayne Merry, senior associate at the American Foreign Policy Council, said dubious academic credential building was common in Eastern Europe and especially the old East Germany, where Mr. Putin served as a KGB agent in the dying years of the Soviet Union.

"It was really quite common for an up-and-coming apparatchik to get a ghostwritten work done to obtain a degree," he said. "It's probably an open question whether Putin even read his dissertation until shortly before he had to defend it."

Grain of salt...

Posted by Dave Johnson at March 26, 2006 2:28 PM

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