Russia ranks 147th on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the worst it has ever been in eight years of Vladimir Putin’s presidency and premiership. Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports that Russia now ranks equal to Kenya, Syria, and Bangladesh, behind such countries like Indonesia and Togo.
According to conservative estimates, the total turnover of corruption in Russia exceeds USD 240b. INDEM Foundation estimates that the volume of corruption rose from USD 33b in 2001 to USD 316b in 2005. The average sum of bribes given by Russian businessmen to officials has risen from USD 10,000 to USD 136,000 in a matter of few years.
Corruption has become systemic in Russia. The executive branch actively interferes in business, extracting significant material gain for itself. As a result, “administrative rent” now constitutes the main part of the income of state officials.
Yevgeni Yasin, research director at the Supreme School of Economics in Moscow, is convinced that the situation with corruption in Russia will not improve as long as the state does not become the servant of the society. At the moment, the opposite is true, and nothing is being done to combat corruption, Mr Yasin said.