Russia’s Culture Minister May Have ‘Absurd’ PhD Revoked

The Russian government’s academic panel may revoke the Culture Minister’s PhD because of errors and bias, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Russia’s Higher Attestation Commission (HAS) previously submitted then withdrew an application to strip Vladimir Medinsky of his doctorate in historical sciences. An anti-plagiarism historian who filed the application labeled the minister’s dissertation unscientific, replete with errors and “in some places simply absurd.”

The HAS will reportedly convene on Oct. 20 to decide whether to rescind Medinsky’s degree from the Urals Federal University.

The reports emerged after the scholar, Ivan Babitsky, announced the HAS group’s support for the application on Monday.

Kommersant, which gained access to the HAS’ official letter that was sent to the commission’s leadership, reported that errors in Medinsky’s dissertation are “off the charts.”

“Of course, any study can contain some shortcomings, mistakes, inaccuracies, misprints,“ Kommersant reported, quoting from the letter. “But they are off the charts in V.R. Medinsky’s thesis, constituting a systematic, qualitative problem.”