Saturday, November 05, 2011

Russian Bloggers Accuse Russian Spy Anna Chapman of Plagiarism

"You can't call this a normal situation," says Alexei Lukatsky, an Internet specialist. "It's becoming rather common to appropriate someone else's ideas, without giving proper attribution. If there are no consequences, it will just become more common."---Christian Science Monitor (2-2-11)


The Washington Post (10-31-11) reports that on Halloween, the FBI posted more information about the Russian spy Anna Chapman on their site. The FBI investigation was code-named "Ghost Stories" because the spies took the names of dead people.


The FBI boasts that the Russian spies never stole a single secret in ten years, and the Russians seem to concede the point. If this is true, perhaps the FBI has time to investigate if any people in America were involved in the cyber-theft of the emails of the world's most famous climate scientists from the computer at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. These cyber-criminals stole the emails in order to spread disinformation about the supposed conspiracies of Western climate scientists so they could torpedo the Copenhagen Conference. Instead, the FBI seems to be spreading disinformation about Western climate scientists in a so-called FBI "white paper." See here and here for some background.


This week, Russian bloggers are accusing Chapman of plagiarism in connection with an article she published in Komsomolskaya Pravda. The article is titled  "Если бы Пушкин успел написать свои зрелые произведения, то, возможно, не было бы революции и убийства царя!" (10-31-11). ["If Pushkin had managed to write his mature works, then perhaps there would not have been a revolution and the czar would not have been killed."]


The Guardian (11-2-11) explains:


Since her expulsion from the US last year for spying, Anna Chapman has reinvented herself as an entrepreneur, TV personality, and cheerleader for the Kremlin.


But the 29-year-old has also become a growing target for ridicule over her role in a series of state-promoted PR stunts.


Now she faces claims that she plagiarised a controversial Kremlin spin doctor in the column she writes for a tabloid newspaper.


Prominent bloggers say Chapman copied almost word for word a passage from a book by Oleg Matveyechev in her article for the mass market Komsomolskaya Pravda on Alexander Pushkin, Russia's most revered poet.


Chapman argued that the bloody Bolshevik revolution of 1917 would never have happened had Pushkin not been killed in a duel in 1837 at the age of 37.


"Just half a century later, liberals and socialists flooded Russia and killed the tsar, and then set the course for the revolution," she wrote. "I'm confident that things would have been different if Pushkin had managed to write his mature works."


But bloggers said her text was almost a direct copy of a passage from a book by Matveyechev, a member of prime minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia


Matveyechev's 2009 book, The Sovereignty of the Soul, goes further, describing Pushkin's death as an anti-Russian plot organised by Europe. Chapman merely argues that, had he lived, Pushkin could have become "a poet whose global historical significance would have surpassed that of Homer and Shakespeare". [See full text.]


The U.K. Telegraph (11-2-11) suggests that Matveyechev may have actually ghost-written Chapman's article:


Mr Matveyechev, a politician in Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, is unlikely to object though. Based in Miss Chapman's native Volgograd, he has collaborated with her on a number of projects in the past, stoking speculation that he may have actually ghostwritten the offending article itself.


The Christian Science Monitor (2-11-11) reports:


The release of the FBI materials about Chapman and her fellow sleeper agents has reinvigorated a debate among Russian security experts about what Russian secret services thought they were doing by planting so many spies in seemingly ordinary, suburban American lives.


Some argue that the 10 agents, who never uncovered a single classified secret during a decade of working in the US, were not actually spies at all but just "moochers" living off the budget of the SVR, Russia's intelligence service.

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