Russia ranks 135thout of 180 in Transparency International’s World Corruption Index

February 2018
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Russia ranks 135thout of 180 in Transparency International’s World Corruption Index. For the third year in a row, in the ranking of perception of corruption, compiled by Transparency International, Russia received 29 points out of 100. According to TI, corruption cases against high-profile officials, such as the former Minister for Economic Development Alexei Ulyukaev and former governors Nikita Belykh and Alexandr Khoroshavin, did not impress the experts enough to register progress in the fight against corruption in Russia.


Dagestan government dissolved amid major corruption investigation

February 2018
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Dagestan government dissolved amid major corruption investigation. High-ranking officials of the Dagestani government, including its acting head Abdusamad Gamidov, acting deputy heads and other individuals were apprehended on charges of embezzling funds, allocated from the budget to the Republic of Dagestan to implement social programmes in the region. According to the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, “this is not a political crisis but rather a continuation of work of the law enforcement bodies”.


Business climate in Russia is viewed as in pre-crisis 2013 by foreign business

February 2018
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Business climate in Russia is viewed as in pre-crisis 2013 by foreign business. According to the survey conducted by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the agency FleishmanHillard Vanguard/KG “Orta”, the number of respondents noting the positive dynamic in Russian business climate amounted to 33% in 2017. At the same time, the number of respondents viewing corruption in government as the key factor hindering business development in Russia almost doubled. Removing administrative barriers, ensuring transparency and lowering taxes for responsible entrepreneurs were named among measures that could improve business environment in Russia. 


Russia’s Vostochny cosmodrome bosses jailed for mass corruption

February 2018
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Russia’s Vostochny cosmodrome bosses jailed for mass corruption. Yuri Khrizman, former head of Vostochny Cosmodrome construction company, was sentenced to 12 years behind bars, having been found guilty of embezzlement of 7.5 billion rubles ($126 million) during the construction of the Cosmodrome facilities. Khrizman and other sentenced ex-employees of the construction company were also ordered by the court to compensate the Roscosmos Federal Space Agency 5 billion rubles in damages for misappropriating funds in 2007 and 2008. Vostochny Cosmodrome is seen as vital to Russia’s interests in space; eleven Russian and foreign satellites were launched from the site earlier this year.


Fraud tops Russia’s most frequently recorded crimes

January 2018
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Fraud tops Russia’s most frequently recorded crimes. Fraudulent activities were among the most frequently committed crimes in 2017, with one fraud registered every three minutes in average, according to the statistics of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation for January-November 2017. Whereas the overall crime detection rate across Russia was 54 %, clearance data for fraudulent activities was 25 %.


Prosecution demands a 10-year prison term for ex-governor

January 2018
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Prosecution demands a 10-year prison term for ex-governor. A prosecutor asked for a 10-year prison term and a 100-million-ruble fine ($1 790 000) for ex-governor of the Kirov region Nikita Belykh accused of taking bribes. Belykh’s defense asked the court to acquit him. In his final statement to the court, ex-governor said that his guilt had not been proven during the investigation or the trial. The court will return with its verdict on 1 February 2018.


Dmitry Zakharchenko’s lawyer sends an open letter to Vladimir Putin

January 2018
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Dmitry Zakharchenko’s lawyer sends an open letter to Vladimir Putin. Viktor Yemelyanov, who represents the interests of the family of the former deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department, sent an open letter to the Russian President, stating that the trial of Dmitry Zakharchenko’s relatives and acquaintances as well the property seizures were illegal. According to Yemelyanov, former colonel’s family members are not civil servants and therefore do not fall under the anti-corruption legislation aimed at controlling incomes and expenditures of government officials.  In his letter, the lawyer is suggesting establishing a certain platform for public examination of the charges against Zakharchenko rather than asking the President to interfere in the case.


Transparency International Russia published a first-ever study of anti-corruption programmes and financial transparency

January 2018
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Transparency International Russia published a first-ever study of anti-corruption programmes and financial transparency of Russia’s 200 largest companies. The report Transparency in Corporate Reporting: Assessing Russia’s Largest Companies assesses the financial disclosure practices of 200 companies in Russia with respect to their anti-corruption programmes as well as the availability of information on their subsidiaries and foreign branches and payments to government. According to the study, 84 % of the major Russian companies rate low in terms of transparency, as their median assessment is just 2.6 out of 10 and only 32 companies received more than 5 points out of ten. Commenting on the report’s findings, Anton Pominov, general director of Transparency International Russia, said, “Even though companies are driven to be more open.., there is still lack of commitment to openness from the companies’ owners and top-management.”


The Communist Party’s presidential candidate proposes to establish a national anti-corruption bureau

January 2018
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The Communist Party’s presidential candidate proposes to establish a national anti-corruption bureau. Pavel Grudinin put forward a suggestion to set up a national anti-corruption bureau under the President of the Russian Federation and leaders of the major political parties. According to him, this would place the fight against corruption at the forefront of national politics. Moreover, he proposed to urgently ratify Article 20 of the UN Convention against Corruption as well as promised to put the fight against corruption first should he win the presidential election in March 2018.


Former Minister for Economic Development sentenced to 8 years in jail

December 2017
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Former Minister for Economic Development sentenced to 8 years in jail. On 15 December, Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky court sentenced Alexey Ulyukayev to 8 years in a maximum security correctional facility and a fine of 130 million roubles ($2.2 million) for accepting a bribe. While state prosecutors had urged the court to sentence Ulyukayev to 10 years in prison and a fine of 500 million roubles ($8.5 million), the court took into account mitigating circumstances, namely that he has two underage children and elderly parents as well as various honours and achievements. On 19 December the spokesperson for Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky court announced that Ulyukayev’s defence attorney filed an appeal against the sentence.