MOSCOW, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Russian academic authorities said Friday they revoked the doctoral degrees of 11 people in a crackdown on an alleged network cranking out fake PhDs.
All the doctorate holders stripped of titles by the Higher Attestation Commission had defended their dissertations at the Moscow State Pedagogic University, RIA Novosti reported Friday.
One of those stripped of his doctorate because of plagiarism accusations was Andrei Andriyanov, 30, a member of the ruling United Russia party who was appointed last March to head an elite Moscow mathematical school.
Bloggers who questioned his qualifications examined his dissertation and reported numerous violations of doctoral requirements and plagiarism.
A state commission checked a sample of 25 dissertations defended at the Moscow State Pedagogic University from 2007 to 2012, including Andriyanov's, and found violations and plagiarism in 24 of them.
"It looks like a commercial network producing fraudulent ... dissertations in history," said Ivan Kurilla, a historian involved in the blogger check of the dissertations.
Andriyanov has denied the allegations but resigned from the Mathematics school in November.
Friday's decision by the commission has to be approved by the Education and Science Ministry, RIA Novosti said.