Russia’s Culture Ministry has rejected a request by Higher Attestation Commission member Sergey Mironenko to see a copy of Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky’s dissertation.
Mironenko says he decided to investigate Medinsky’s case after learning that there might be problems with his dissertation defense. Ministry officials initially told Mironenko that the dissertation is stored at a nonexist archive. When he challenged this claim, the official apparently said he needed to speak to his supervisors, and then disconnected his phone.
On October 13, the newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that Medinsky’s records show the presence of two historians who never actually attended his dissertation defense.
On October 20, the presidium of the Higher Attestation Commission will meet to discuss revoking Medinsky’s doctorate in history. Previously, one of the commission’s expert councils characterized Medinsky’s dissertation as “unscientific.”
Correction: an earlier version of this text incorrectly identified Vladimir Medinsky as Russia's education minister. He is, in fact, of course, Russia's culture minister. Meduza apologizes for the mistake.