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Tag Archive for Corruption

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

RIA Novosti: Ex-Defense Minister To Be Formally Charged Friday ­ Source

Anatoliy Serdyukov file photo

MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti) ­ Investigators plan to formally charge a former Russian defense minister with negligence on Friday, according to a police source familiar with the situation. Investigators said last week they were opening a criminal case on negligence charges against Anatoly Serdyukov over claims he caused 56 million rubles ($1.7 million) of

RIA Novosti: Chief investigator details corruption cases in Russia as Putin vows action

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

(RIA Novosti – December 4, 2013) Crimes of corruption in Russia cost the state more than R9bn (about 270m dollars at the current exchange rate) over two years, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported head of the Russian Investigations Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin as saying on 4 December. Damage to state, need to extend investigation

Interfax: Most bribe givers, takers in Russia sentenced to fines

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

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – The sentencing of corruption suspects to fines has practically doubled in Russia in the past two years, the Supreme Court said. “The number [of suspects] sentenced to fines has grown in the past two years, since the moment the amendments that significantly raised fines for corruptive practices came into force.

Interfax: Work on counter-corruption mechanism not completed in Russia – Transparency International

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

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – The director of the Transparency International office in Russia, Yelena Panfilova, said that Russia’s 127th place on the Berlin-based organization’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index was to be expected. The authorities did not sort out the issue of protecting people who report corruption-related crimes, and the work on a mechanism that

RIA Novosti: Putin Sets Up New Kremlin Anti-Corruption Department

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the establishment of a new anti-corruption department in the presidential administration, according to a decree published Tuesday. The department will be responsible for monitoring current anti-corruption laws and suggesting legislative changes to counter corruption, the Kremlin said. Putin has appointed Oleg Plokhoi ­

RIA Novosti: Russia Takes 127th Place in Corruption Survey

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

MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia ranked 127th out of 177 countries on a 2013 corruption perceptions ranking published Tuesday by anti-graft organization Transparency International, showing little change since last year. Russia received the same score (28 points of a possible 100) as it did in 2012, but moved up from last year’s 133rd

Russian chief prosecutor reports successes, failures in combating corruption

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Interfax – November 27, 2013) Some 3,600 corrupt officials at various levels were convicted in Russia in the first nine months of the year, Prosecutor-General Yuriy Chayka said on 27 November, as quoted by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax. “The stereotype that high-ranking officials are untouchable is being destroyed,” Chayka said, speaking at a coordination

Russian official reports sharp rise in losses from corruption-related crime

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

(Interfax – Moscow, November 27, 2013) Financial damage from corruption-related crimes increased more than sevenfold this year, Russian First Deputy Prosecutor-General Aleksandr Buksman has said. “According to prosecutors’ files, the amount o financial damage in the [first] nine months of this year exceeded R10bn [about 330m dollars], a more than sevenfold increase,” Buksman said at

A Warning to Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Tatiana Stanovaya – November 25, 2013) Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin gave the police and security forces an opportunity to take revenge for their losses during Dmitri Medvedev’s presidency. Practically all of the initiatives of the former Russian president and current prime minister have been revised­ –

Interfax: Stereotype on immunity of high-level officials being destroyed – Chaika

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

MOSCOW. Nov 27 (Interfax) – Law enforcement authorities made progress in fighting corruption in 2013, Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said. “The stereotype on immunity of high-level officials is being destroyed. A total of 3,600 corrupt officials of various levels were convicted in January-June 2013,” Chaika said when speaking on Wednesday at a coordination meeting

Documentary Highlights Corruption in Sochi Construction

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 25, 2013) A documentary about extortion and threats surrounding the construction of the Sochi Olympic Village is slated to premiere in Moscow next month, despite what its producer said were attempts to bribe her into canceling a screening at a European film festival this week. The

Interfax: Corruption is called systemic threat in Russian public security policy

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

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – The level of corruption in Russia remains high and criminal schemes continue to involve officials and representatives of the Russian and foreign business communities, Russia’s draft public security policy, which is available for viewing on the Kremlin website, says. “We are seeing stable tendencies towards the merging of the interests

Browder Expects Broader Magnitsky List Sanctions for Russian Officials in U.S., Europe

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 20, 2013) The United States may publish the extended version of the “Magnitsky list” as early as next month, while Europe is expected to pass a  similar measure, Hermitage Capital investment fund president and bill supporter William Browder said. The Magnitsky Act, enacted by the U.S. Congress in December

Kremlin struggling to get a hold on graft

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – November 19, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin is frustrated with the slow progress in his anti-corruption drive and struggling to take charge of the situation. Having ignored the problem for over a decade, the president has been forced to finally deal with the problem

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