Russia’s Inability to Fight Corruption

Despite the “anti-corruption drive” at the Ministry of Defense which has got so many people unreasonably excited, Russia continues to find it difficult to leave the bottom third in international corruption rankings such as Transparency International’s CPI.

This year’s ranking represents a very modest improvement, but still leaves Russia right in the range of Kazahkstan and Zimbabwe, and well behind even Belarus, which somehow has improved its anti-corruption efforts.

Speaking to the Moscow Times, Yelena Panfilova has some pretty blunt words:

This is “the zone of national shame,” said Yelena Panfilova, director of Transparency International Russia. It indicates an “incorrect attitude on the part of the authorities toward fighting corruption and a lack of participation on the part of society in fighting corruption.”

According to Panfilova, events such as Serdyukov’s ouster and the accusal of a recently retired Cabinet member of corruption are likely the result of both Kremlin power struggles and a wider campaign against corruption. She noted that recent corruption scandals have occurred mostly in spheres related to the regime’s two prime concerns: social stability and security.

“It’s no longer possible for the authorities to not fight corruption in the country,” Panfilova said. “Leaving everything as it is … would be risky for the stability of the regime over the next six years.”