Vogue Ukraine editor suspended amid plagiarism allegations

Vogue Ukraine editor suspended amid plagiarism allegations
Image: Tanya Posternak/Vogue Ukraine

1 November 2018

The editor-in-chief of Vogue Ukraine, Olya Shushko, has been suspended amid ongoing allegations of plagiarism.

In a statement released on Wednesday, publishers Condé Nast International and Media Group Ukraine announced that Shushko would step down from the role while an internal investigation was carried out.

Accusations against Shushko, who has held the helm of Vogue Ukraine since 2016, first appeared on Monday after readers noticed that the Editor’s Letter in the magazine’s June issue had copied large chunks from a text written by designer Shakhri Amirkhanova in 2006 for the Russian version of Harper’s Bazaar.

“The editor-in-chief of our main fashion magazine has just taken a 12-year-old magazine from their archives and copied someone else’s text,” wrote local Telegram channel Kiev Fashion Lovers, who brought the story into the media spotlight. “We advise you to think on whether this person really is in the right job.”

The allegation prompted similar examples to appear online, with journalists and readers hunting down ten extracts from Shushko’s column that appeared to be taken from other Russian-language media outlets.

Posting on Facebook, Shushko apologised for the scandal, telling readers that she sometimes hired a freelancer to write the editor’s letter — including the text that appeared in the June issue.

“Truthfully, this is a very difficult situation,” she wrote. “I want to apologise to our readers and the editorial team. This was my mistake. We all make mistakes which we regret. They are lessons in life and opportunities to reflect and become wiser. In my case, it has helped me understand that the editor’s letter isn’t just a page, but the chance to have a direct and personal conversation with our readers.”