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Tag Archive for Corruption

Ukraine’s battle against corruption faces politicization and tiny salaries

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 11, 2014) Ukraine has declared war on corruption, but the politicisation of the anti-corruption campaign and tiny salaries could lead to collateral damage. On paper at least, anti-corruption in Ukraine is not afraid of big-ticket arrests: on December 10, Serhiy Kostyuk, head of

Russia to study Navalnyy NGO’s anti-graft proposal after 100,000 sign petition

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, December 9, 2014) One hundred thousand Russians have supported the idea of criminal liability to be introduced for the illegal enrichment of officials obliged to submit the details of their incomes and expenditures, which will lead to a federal expert group examining whether the law needs to be amended. A proposal to

Interfax: Russian Investigative Committee opens over 21,000 anti-corruption inquiries in 2014

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Interfax – December 9, 2014) The damage done to Russia by corrupt practices nears 15 billion rubles ($281 million) a year and about half of that sum is compensated for, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said. “The damage done to the budget and aggrieved parties in [corruption] cases referred to court this year exceeds

Interfax: Kremlin chief of staff “acknowledges” corruption problem

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – December 8, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff has spoken about corruption in Russia. In his remarks, reported by Russian Interfax and TASS news agencies on 8 December, Sergey Ivanov said the Russian government “acknowledged” the problem and had been taking “consistent” steps to deal with it. He dismissed a Transparency International

Interfax: Human rights activists expect Russia to achieve anti-corruption results in 30 years

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – December 3, 2014) Russia may achieve tangible anti-corruption results by the middle of this century on the condition the crackdown on corruption starts right now, said Yelena Panfilova, chairperson of the board of the Transparency International anti-corruption research center. “We are asked at every meeting whether we can follow the example of Singapore

Russia Fails to Make Headway in Global Corruption Ranking

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko- December 4, 2014) Russia slipped three places to rank a dismal 136th out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s annual latest corruption survey, unveiled Wednesday. This is evidence that the Kremlin’s anti-graft crusade declared three years ago has not worked, the watchdog’s deputy chairperson Yelena Panfilova said in

Business New Europe: Ukraine remains Europe’s most corrupt country

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 3, 2014) Ukraine remains Europe’s most corrupt country, and one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by international NGO Transparency International. The rating shows almost no improvement with the situation before a revolution promising a

New parliament, old ways in Ukraine

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – December 1, 2014) It should have been a great day in Ukraine’s effort to transform itself into a modern liberal democracy in the EU mould. The freshly elected Ukrainian parliament held its first session on November 27, completing the process of political transition from

Moscow Medical Staff Keep Pressure on Authorities With Massive Street Protest

File Photo of Patient in Russian Hospital

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – December 1, 2014) More than a thousand health care workers took to the capital’s streets Sunday to keep the pressure on authorities amid ongoing medical reforms that critics say are being conducted for financial gain over anything else. The reforms, which were initiated by President Vladimir Putin

Business New Europe: Number of Russians who think corruption got worse in past 15 years went down 20%

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne/IntelliNews – bne.eu – November 19, 2014) According to a poll conducted by the independent Levada centre, 39% of Russians think that corruption in the country got worse in last 15 years. That is 20% less than in July 2010, when 60% of respondents said the situation worsened. Traffic police are

Putin Said to Stun Advisers by Backing Corruption Crackdown

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Evgenia Pismennaya, Irina Reznik- November 19, 2014) Vladimir Putin sat motionless as the minister, seizing on the Russian leader’s first major meeting with his economic team in months, itemized the challenges. A recession is imminent, inflation is getting out of hand and the ruble and oil are in freefall, Economy Minister

Russians tend to call corruption indestructible – poll

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – November 18, 2014) Over a third of Russians believe it is impossible to eradicate corruption in their home country, Levada Center told Interfax. Some 43 percent of 1,630 respondents polled in 134 populated localities said corruption was worst in the traffic police, 39 percent said this about the police in general and 35

Riches Don’t Come Honestly in Russia, Most Russians Say

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2014) More than 60 percent of Russians think it is impossible to get rich honestly in their country, according to a survey published Wednesday by the Levada Center, an independent pollster. Fifteen percent of respondents said that it was possible to become wealthy honestly 15 to 20 years

Crime And Crimea: Criminals As Allies And Agents

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Mark Galeotti – November 3, 2014) Mark Galeotti is professor of global affairs at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University, an expert on Russia’s security services, and author of the blog “In Moscow’s Shadows” Mikhail Volkov is a cop in Moscow (up to a point) and Viktor Skvortsov

How to Become a Russian Spy

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 3, 2014) When a young Vladimir Putin decided to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a spy, he headed to the local branch of the KGB in Soviet Leningrad. Wary of unsolicited applicants, the KGB officers turned Putin away, but not without some valuable advice: Go

Frustrated Ukrainian Activists Dishing Out ‘Trash-Bucket Justice’

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, October 2, 2014) You can call it the “people’s lustration,” the “Trash-Bucket Challenge,” or mob rule. But by whatever name, Ukrainian activists are increasingly taking the matter of punishing officials from the old regime into their own hands. Impatient with unsigned lustration legislation, activists from groups like the ultranationalist Right Sector have

No Basis for Moscow’s Claims that Russian Corruption has Declined, Experts Say

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 26, 2014) Independent Russian experts say that there is no basis for the claim by Boris Titov, presidential plenipotentiary for the rights of entrepreneurs, that the level of corruption in the Russian Federation has fallen. Instead, they say, all measures point to corruption still being a

Ukraine’s Revolutionaries Surrender to Corruption

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – August 18, 2014) To international audiences, Ukraine is now no more than the scene of a Russian-inspired armed conflict. The fighting, however, is confined to areas that are home to 6.5 million of Ukraine’s total population of 45 million. Although the outcome there is important to all Ukrainians, there is

Daching: How to Get Beaten Up in the Russian Countryside

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – August 11, 2014) Many extreme sports, from snowboarding to air racing, are known health hazards. But only one can lead to indiscriminate beating, allegations of terrorism, jail and even self-imposed exile – and all you need to do is take a stroll through supposedly public land. Dozens

Ukrainian Cows Kidnapped, Trafficked to Russia, Police Say

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2014) Against the backdrop of blistering diplomatic tensions between Moscow and Kiev, a 172-head herd of cows has been illegally trafficked across the Russian border, the Luhansk region branch of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry claimed Thursday. The herd went missing Wednesday night from a farm in Luhansk region’s Belovodsky

Death Be Not Proud – Be Profitable: Moscow’s Funeral Business

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn- June 5, 2014) Your beloved mother has died, leaving you in a state of grief just short of catatonic. Who do you call? Many Muscovites will tell you it was not really who you call that matters – it was who the police, the dispatcher or the medics

Medvedev Orders Bank Chiefs to Reveal Personal Assets in Corruption Battle

VTB Bank Facade file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 13, 2014) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the heads of Russia’s two largest banks – state-owned Sberbank and VTB – to report their income, expenses and assets as part of an annual anti-corruption checkup. Sberbank’s German Gref, a former economic development minister, and VTB’s Andrei Kostin were among

Kremlin continues its corruption crackdown on officials with a trust funds ban

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – May 7, 2014) The Kremlin launched a new initiative to outlaw the use of non-transparent trust funds for the holding of shares, Vedomosti reported on Tuesday. One of the biggest problems investigators face in Russia is the widespread use of trust funds to own shares in companies. Trust funds

Russian Billions Scattered Abroad Show Trail to Putin Circle

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – April 28, 2014) Outside a Moscow stadium one night in 2006, deputy central bank chief Andrei Kozlov was walking to his car after playing soccer when two men opened fire, pumping bullets into his head and neck and killing his driver. Days before the murders, the

Major Companies Boost Corruption Fight With Help of New Law

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – April 11, 2014) Large companies in Russia are taking vigorous steps against corruption under the threat of prosecution abroad, even as the domestic legal system veers between stern threats and erratic enforcement. The issue came to a head Wednesday as multinational IT company Hewlett-Packard’s Russian subsidiary pleaded

U.S. Assisting Ukraine With ‘Treasure Trove’ of Yanukovych Records

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(RFE/RL – April 9, 2014) A top U.S. diplomat says the United States is helping Ukraine comb through a “treasure trove” of documents recovered from the government of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in order to prosecute corrupt officials. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Department of Justice

Putin Relative Accuses Russian Railways of Corruption

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 3, 2014) One of President Vladimir Putin’s relatives, Roman Putin, has spoken out against alleged corruption at Russian Railways, a state company headed by one of the president’s closest allies. The criticism by Roman Putin, who has been accused by some of capitalizing on the president’s

25% of Russians Think Government Is Corrupt, Poll Says

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 2, 2014) One in four Russians think that the current government is corrupt and self-serving, while about one in eight have nothing bad to say whatsoever about the administration, a recent poll indicates. The most common complaint of the government, selected by 41 percent of those questioned, is its

Sex, lies, intrigue and everything you wanted to know about Russian corporate culture

Empty Boardroom

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dan Pototsky, RBTH – March 31, 2014) RBTH has collected data from the largest Russian recruiting companies, spoken with employees of a range of corporations with different outlooks and made a list of the main distinctions of Russian corporate culture. Note on Russian office culture: The idea that

Paper trail leads to massive corruption at heart of Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – February 27, 2014) [Graphics here http://www.bne.eu/storyf5807/Paper_trail_leads_to_massive_ corruption_at_heart_of_Ukraine] With former president Viktor Yanukoych and most of his cronies on the run, the full extent to which they have looted Ukraine is now coming to light as activists and journalists sift through documents abandoned in the

Investigative Committee to Crack Down on Corruption During Coming Privatization

Empty Boardroom

(RIA Novosti – February 27, 2014) The head of the powerful Investigative Committee said Thursday that preventing corruption during a planned privatization of state assets will be a top priority for his agency this year. The government recently announced plans for an ambitious three-year program running up to 2016 to privatize a wide array of

Top Russian anti-corruption official nabbed in bribery case

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(RIA Novosti – February 25, 2014) A senior Russian anti-corruption police official has been detained over claims of bribery and abuse of office in a case the appears to highlight the challenges of fighting graft. Boris Kolesnikov, deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s directorate fighting corruption and economic crimes, was held for questioning Tuesday in

Economic Crime Afflicts Over Half of Russian Companies

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 24, 2014) More than 60 percent of Russian companies say that they have been victims of economic crimes like bribery, a report said. Worldwide, the incidence of fraud is much lower, with 37 percent of companies having come into contact with it, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers released late

RIA Novosti: Russian Lawmaker Has Undeclared Luxury Dubai Apartment – Navalny

Middle East Map

MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s leading opposition activist Alexei Navalny published material Tuesday allegedly showing that a prominent lawmaker and son of nationalist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky owns an undeclared $2.5 million apartment abroad with seven toilets and a balcony Jacuzzi. Igor Lebedev, deputy speaker of the State Duma, bought the property in Dubai

NEWSLINK: The culture of corruption: Russians pay, but they don’t like it

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

[“The culture of corruption: Russians pay, but they don’t like it” – Washington Post – Timothy Frye – February 17, 2014 – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/02/17/the-culture-of-corruption-russians-pay-but-they-dont-like-it-2/] The Washington Post features Timothy Frye, Columbia University political scientist and Director of the Harriman Institute for Russia, Eurasian and East European Studies, writing on Russia’s culture of corruption: A central theme

NEWSLINK: Sochi Olympics – Tolstoy’s words ring true as Putin goes for Sochi gold

sochi-olympics-200

[“Olympics – Tolstoy’s words ring true as Putin goes for Sochi gold” – Reuters – Timothy Heritage – February 14, 2014 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/14/us-olympics-halfway-idUSBREA1D0VN20140214] Reuters covers the Sochi Olympics, commenting that at least some concerns voiced prior to the Olympics seemingly have been mitigated: For all the talk of war from Islamist militants before the Sochi

Interfax: Russians doubt Oboronservice suspects will stand trial – poll

Anatoliy Serdyukov file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) – Most Russians (74%) see no serious chance to investigate corruption at Oboronservice, Levada Center sociologists said. Some 41% of 1,603 respondents polled in 45 regions on January 24-27 presumed that Oboronservice and similar cases would be soft-pedaled. A third (33%) said scapegoats would be punished and senior officials would skip

RIA Novosti: Investigators Reopen Case Into Russian Defense Ministry Fraud

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russian investigators have reopened a probe into an alleged multimillion-ruble fraud at the Defense Ministry on the basis of one of the suspect’s testimonies, Kommersant newspaper reported Monday. One of the key figures in the case has claimed that the defense officials accused of masterminding the scheme were not

Report on EU Corruption Could Spur Russian Recrimination

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – February 5, 2014) A report declaring that not a single member of the European Union is corruption-free will likely be taken as political vindication in Russia, a representative from Transparency International Russia said. The report, which was released by the European Commission on Monday and examined corruption

Comment on the Economist editorial entitled “The triumph of Vladimir Putin” (JRL 2014-#21)

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

Subject: Comment on the Economist editorial entitled “The triumph of Vladimir Putin” (JRL 2014-#21) Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2014 From: Ben Aris <editor@bne.eu> [Editor, Business New Europe] I have to comment on the Economist editorial entitled “The triumph of Vladimir Putin” (JRL 2014-#22) as it is a classic example of Russian bashing that is full

Yanukovych’s “family business” links him to Russia

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.ru – January 28, 2014) The pro-Russian leanings of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his associates have triggered a national crisis following November’s shocking decision to back out of signing a deal that would have brought the country closer to the EU. Yet the Kremlin’s hold over Yanukovych may not be

Interfax: Top Russian law enforcer: property confiscation essential in fighting corruption

Alexandr Bastrykin file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 20 (Interfax) – The head of Russia’s top criminal investigation agency has proposed bringing back a law recommending the confiscation of the property of people convicted of corruption. “This is the most effective sanction for preventing corruption,” Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin said in an interview with Russian government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta to

Delayed Regulation Leaves Door Open to Corrupt Officials

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – January 14, 2014) Government delays have pushed back the full institution of controls on state purchases until 2016, leaving officials wishing to extract profit from their positions an extra year to take advantage of lax oversight. State purchases are now essentially unregulated, and procurement by government bodies

Expert Pavlovsky wonders about political meaning of legalization of gifts to officials

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) – The Russian government’s decision to appraise gifts received by officials has certain logic but the possibility to prevent a gift business allowing officials to “launder” bribes is the question, Foundation for Effective Politics President Gleb Pavlovsky said. “What is the political meaning of this decision? It will make sense to

All gifts received by Russian civil servants will be appraised

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – January 10, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a governmental resolution ordering an appraisal of all of the gifts received by the country’s civil servants during official events. The government’s press service said, citing the document, that Russian civil servants will be required to report all of their presents within three

Gifts to Officials Worth More Than $90 to Be Handed Over to State

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 10, 2014) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order requiring state officials to hand over to the state any gifts they receive that are worth more than 3,000 rubles ($90), but gives them an option of buying the presents back. The anti-corruption measure requires government officials to report

Russian Village Reformer Granted Parole

Map of Russia

MOSCOW, December 31 (RIA Novosti) ­ A former painter from Moscow, whose quest to bring culture to provincial villagers resulted in a jail term for bribery, was granted parole on Tuesday. The Tver Region Court upheld a parole request filed by 36-year-old Ilya Farber, who had already spent two years and nine months behind bars.

Interfax: Amnesty fully applies to Serdyukov – source

Anatoliy Serdyukov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) – The amnesty declared for the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution fully applies to former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, a source familiar with the situation has told Interfax. “He qualifies according to all criteria named in the amnesty, namely the crime he is charged with implies punishment of up to

Russian diplomats accused of Medicaid fraud in U.S. to be subjected to disciplinary action at home – Lavrov

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

MOSCOW. Dec 16 (Interfax) – Moscow is already taking disciplinary measures in relation to the Russian diplomats accused in the U.S. of unlawfully receiving Medicaid benefits to cover the pregnancy and childbirth costs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “This is a disciplinary offence, because, by being insincere in filing applications and citing inaccurate figures

Interfax: Law regarding corruption could be amended – Ivanov

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

BARNAUL. Dec 8 (Interfax) – Amendments related to the confiscation of bribe-takers’ property could be added to the law, Russian presidential administration head Sergei Ivanov said. “I will not anticipate the events but certain amendments could probably be added to the law,” Ivanov said in an interview with the NTV TV channel on Sunday. The

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