A Russian anti-plagiarism group has accused MP Valeri Korb for partially or completely copying his 2002 thesis.
An analysis subscribed by the group found that 200 out of 286 pages of Korb's PhD thesis at a state university in St. Petersburg were partially or completely written from three previously published works, the group said.
Korb successfully defended his theses on the problems of preparing local government staff for official tasks in 2002.
Sergey Parhomenko, one of the heads of the group, said the plagiarism situation in Russia is appalling and there are workshops set up for writing academic papers. In the light of the situation, there is nothing extraordinary about Korb's case, he said, adding that his group targets big fish.
Even if found guilty, Korb would not be eligible for legal punishment in Russia as the alleged crime has expired.
Korb, an MP since 2007, told ETV he is certain his work is correct and he is surprised by such accusations 12 years after the thesis was defended.
“The defense of my thesis took place at the St. Petersburg State University and I am sure there are serious people there who know and make sure all necessary tasks had been done correctly,” he said, adding that even after a successful defense, it takes six months in Russia to receive approval from necessary academic authorities. He said he worked at the university for three more years and there were no complaints.
Before becoming an MP, Korb was the mayor of Kohtla-Järve on and off since 1990.
Dissernet, the group in question, has previously found plagiarism cases with academic works of 20 Russian MPs.
Editor: J.M. Laats