Is Vladimir Putin a plagiarist?
Russian President Vladimir Putin, famed for his multi-faceted career which includes being a KGB spy, has now been labelled a "plagiarist" by US researchers, a media report has said.
"Large chunks of 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 have insisted," The Washington Times said.
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, Brookings Institution senior fellow Clifford G Gaddy was quoted as saying by the paper.
"It all boils down to plagiarism," he said. "Whether you're talking about a college-level term paper, not to mention a formal dissertation, there's no question in my mind that this would be plagiarism."
Gaddy said that in the 20 pages that open the dissertation's key second section, 16 pages are taken either verbatim or with minute alterations from the American work.
The book had been translated into Russian by a KGB-related institute in the early 1990s.
The official Kremlin biography asserts Putin obtained a PhD in economics in 1997 from the St Petersburg Mining Institute, but his thesis was for a "candidate of sciences" degree that is considered at least an academic class below a formal doctoral degree, it claimed.