2009: Year of Russian Corruption

Vladimir Ryzhkov’s column in the Moscow Times points to a very bad year in terms of human rights and corruption in Russia.  It’s really quite a staggering list.

Throughout the year, Medvedev was incapable of managing the country’s numerous political and economic crises. In March, Moscow’s Khamovichesky District Court started a new criminal case against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his former business partner Platon Lebedev that is even more absurd than the first conviction. There was a trial against several minor accomplices in the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, but the mastermind has yet to be charged.

In April, drunken Moscow police Major Denis Yevsyukov went on a shooting spree in a supermarket, using a gun that had been sought in connection with a previous crime. Not long ago, police Major Alexei Dymovsky made a YouTube appeal to Putin complaining of abuses in the police force. Amazingly, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, a close associate of Putin, has managed to hold onto his job. Nor have there been any shakeups in the secret services, despite a repeat bombing of the Nevsky Express train and a wave of terrorist acts in the North Caucasus.