The Tsunami of Russian Corruption
Last week the Russian government released statistics showing that the number of garden-variety bribes in commerce increased by more than 10% last year compared to 2008, and the average amount of each bribe — stunningly — increased by nearly triple, from 9,000 rubles per bribe in 2008 to over 23,000 rubles per bribe last year. Kirill Kabanov, chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Committee, stated that if the authorities went after higher-ranking officials, the size of the bribes they would find “would stun both journalists and the public.”
But it wouldn’t stun La Russophobe.
From the earliest days of this blog’s operation, we’ve been saying that statistics published by the Russian government are not worth the inferior Russian paper they are printed on, and that Russia was one of the most repulsively corrupt large economies on the planet. Under the rule of proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin, himself no doubt a major beneficiary of the corruption, the problem has only become worse and worse, and the KGB’s only response to such problems is to lie, cheat and steal. The notion of honestly facing up to such problems and reforming is simply anathema to an organization that solves its problems by means of murder, in the style of the mafia.
The world has just seen Russia make a gigantic increase in spending on Olympics preparation only to win far fewer medals at the actual games.
It has seen Russia spend giant sums on fighting forces in the Caucasus, only to witness violence increasing to the point of anarchy, with civilian victims falling all across Russia.
Over and over, international organizations like Transparency International have documented the scale and scope of Russian graft, only to see themselves attacked by the Kremlin as “russophobes.” Reform, of course, is out of the question.
The world has seen Russia’s so-called “president” Dima Medvedev babble platitudes about fighting corruption and then do exactly nothing in terms of policies. It has seen companies have their assets stolen outright by the Russian government itself, seen those like Sergei Magnitsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who dare to stand up against corruption, either jailed or murdered or both.
In short, the world is watching Vladimir Putin’s KGB state descend into barbarism.