Acting governor of the Moscow region Andrey Vorobyov is in hot water following allegations that he plagiarized his thesis, making him yet another high-profile state official to be accused of cheating in his university days.
More than half of the politician's dissertation was copied from other works according to a study by the plagiarism investigation group Dissernet, Gazeta.ru reported Thursday.
Dissernet identified a total of 12 uncredited sources in the United Russia member's work, concluding that 107 out of 165 pages contained plagiarized material. Large parts were identical to a book by a student named Aminet Khuazheva, with only small changes such as changing the word "must" to the word "should."
Vorobyov defended the thesis, which deals with the development of investment potential in the depressed regions of southern Russia, at the Russian Academy of State Service on December 22, 2004.
The news could affect Vorobyov's chances in the September 8 race for governor of Moscow region, which he was widely expected to win.
"The evidence is ready, and the moment has come, the voter has the right to know who they are dealing with," said Sergei Parkhomenko, a journalist and longtime member of "Dissernet."
Vorobyov's dishonesty is the main issue for Parkhomenko. "It is not important to me that [Vorobyov] did not become an academic, or a specialist in regional economics. But the fact that he lies — that is important," he said.