Russian spy Anna Chapman hits back at plagiarism claim

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Russian spy Anna Chapman, whose espionage activities were recently exposed in FBI videos, on Thursday ridiculed claims she had lifted the thoughts of a Kremlin spin doctor for a newspaper column.

"Plagiarism is for people who think in terms of the last century," Chapman said in a defiant statement on her website, while acknowledging she was influenced by Oleg Matveichev, a presidential advisor and philosophy professor.

Chapman, nicknamed Agent 90-60-90 in Russia for her curvaceous figure, wrote a column about national poet Alexander Pushkin for tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda on Monday.

Controversially, she argued the 19th century aristocratic poet could have become a more significant figure in history than Shakespeare and Homer, had he not been killed in a duel by a "European fop" at the age of 37.

Bloggers, including Kommersant reporter Oleg Kashin, swiftly picked up similarities with a 2007 essay by Matveichev, accessible on the Internet, which makes the same point in very similar words.

"There are no thoughts that belong to someone in particular," Chapman explained herself. But she also posted a link to Matveichev's website and advised her fans to read his book.

Matveichev himself on Thursday said he disagreed with the concept of author's ownership of his words, because it does not reflect postmodernist ideas of the death of the author.

He even thanked Chapman for copying his work.

"Not only will I not sue Anna Chapman, but I will give her a big thank you," the Kremlin advisor, who is also deputy governor of Chapman's native Volgograd region, wrote in his blog.

Chapman regularly posts inspirational sayings on her Facebook account, along with highly posed photographs of herself.

© 2011 AFP

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