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Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky Keeps PhD, Despite Plagiarism Allegations

Vladimir Medinsky (Lyubimov Andrei / Moskva News Agency)

Russia’s state academic panel has ruled that Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky will keep his PhD despite claims of his doctorate not meeting academic standards, a source that took part in deliberations told the Interfax news agency on Friday.

Russia’s Higher Attestation Commission convened behind closed doors to decide whether to rescind Vladimir Medinsky’s doctorate in historical sciences. Earlier this month, its expert council voted in favor of stripping the minister of his Urals Federal University PhD.

The unnamed source told Interfax on Friday that 14 commission members voted in favor of Medinsky keeping his doctorate, while six voted against. The minister reportedly personally attended the closed-door vote.

Last year, the panel formally withdrew its application to strip Medinsky of his doctorate degree because of an expired consideration deadline.

An anti-plagiarism historian who filed an application described the minister’s dissertation as unscientific, replete with errors and “simply absurd” in places.

The Culture Ministry has previously called the opposition to Medinsky a politically-motivated smear campaign.

Accusations of plagiarism have surrounded Medinsky since he assumed the ministerial post in 2012.

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