Ukraine’s leader accused of plagiarism in new book
The Syndicate of Austrian Authors condemned the book because of those accusations and because the publisher refused to provide full information on the book and how it was published. The 3,500-member group also refused to support the book because that would be tacit backing of Yanukovych’s undemocratic policies, it said in a statement.
Yanukovych’s office declined to discuss the matter with the AP, but previous comments on the book have been contradictory.
Yanukovych adviser Hanna Herman dismissed the allegations of plagiarism as a “shameless” and immoral campaign to discredit the president. She also told the UNIAN news agency that Yanukovych did not copy anyone else’s statements, but that it was the other way around; others must have used thoughts from his earlier books. Yanukovych has authored some five books and publications, which include his interviews, speeches and reflections on Ukraine’s reforms and its future, according to his office.
“I can only congratulate the president on this book,” Herman was quoted as saying.
But then the translator of the book, Kostyantyn Vasylkevych, acknowledged that he deleted most of the footnotes, including the one for the Korrespondent article, in an attempt to make the book more readable. In an article on a government-linked news website, Vasylkevych issued his “deepest” apologies to Yanukovych and those journalists who were “disoriented by this mistake,” but he lamented that it was being used in a “continuing, cynical anti-presidential campaign.”
Vasylkevych, however, disputed most of the other similarities between the book and other publications, saying Yanukovych was simply stating information that was common knowledge.
But many Ukrainians remained unconvinced.
“European politicians have lost their posts over such actions,” said Valeriy Chalyi, a senior analyst with the Razumkov Center in Kiev. He referred to Germany’s defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who was forced to resign in March after it emerged that he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis without attribution.
“This is clear plagiarism … and of course this isn’t European style.”
Associated Press writers George Jahn in Vienna and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.