Russian Corruption Leads the World
He never once complained to investigators about the state of his health. His death was completely unexpected.
—Irina V. Dudukina, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, on November 25th, responding to questions about the death of attorney Sergei Magnitsky
This was a deplorable incident, which has left a serious stain on the entire work of our judicial system. We are not in any sense playing down our guilt, which clearly exists.
— Alexander Smirnov, the deputy head of Russia’s prison service, on November 27th responding to similar questions.
No sooner had Transparency International come out with its most recent ranking of 180 world nations for corruption, placing Russia in the bottom quintile of all countries on the planet, and no sooner had the Russophile rubbish come forth with their tired drivel about TI’s alleged methodological flaws, than PricewaterhouseCoopers released its own study of 55 countries and, using an entirely different methodology, found Russia to be the very most corrupt of all of them.
It was almost as if the world had baited the Russophile trash into a trap and then snapped shut steely jaws right around their crooked necks. It was truly a beautiful thing to see. And the Russian government’s humiliating about-face on the Magnitsky killing only underlined the absolute incompetence which characterizes the government of Vladimir Putin.
Reuters reports on the PWC report:
Companies in Russia experienced more economic crime this year than anywhere else in the world, according to a report released Thursday, which underscores the difficulties facing an ambitious Kremlin plan to curb corruption and lawlessness.
Of 86 companies surveyed in Russia, 71 percent said they had been subjected to at least one major economic crime in the past 12 months, according to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“This is a shocking 12 percentage-point increase compared with our 2007 research (59 percent), and is well above the global (30 percent), Central and Eastern Europe (34 percent) and BRIC countries (34 percent),” the report said. The BRIC countries are Brazil, Russia, India and China. The figures also exceed results in South Africa, where 62 percent of firms reported economic crimes, and Kenya, with 67 percent.
It’s estimated that corruption costs the Russian GDP at least $300 billion per year, and inflates production costs by 40%. It’s for this reason that Russia continues to see horrifying consumer price inflation even when its level of demand has crashed because the population is out of work due to the national economic crisis that has stripped away half the stock market’s value. Despite this economic reality, corruption goes on unabated, forcing prices much higher than they should be as a result, with devastating consequences on living standards.
So the Kremlin is panicking. It realizes that time is running out on the Putin illusion, and it has no idea how to react as the facade begins to crumble. One minute we get pathetic Soviet-style denials in regad to the Magnitsky killing, and the next the Kremlin is unable to deny reality with a straight face. Corruption is eating into the very Russia soul itself, destroying Russia just as it did the USSR. Indeed, given the craven silence of the Russian people in regard to the Putin crackdown, it seeems that this corruption is actually a good thing, the only chance Russia has to rid itself of dictatorship, rid itself the same way the USSR did. Not with courage but by destroying itself.