Staunton, April 20 – It is an indication of the all-embracing nature of corruption in the Putin system that this plague has been spreading not only among the ever-larger numbers of Russian officials and deputies but also among law enforcement officers and the FSB who are charged among other things with rooting it out.
In his report to the Federation Council, Procurator General Yury Chaika said that 1331 officers of law enforcement organs, 871 officials of local administration, 23 prosecutors and judges, and 108 deputies of various levels had been charged with corruption last year (rosbalt.ru/russia/2018/04/18/1697503.html).
In a Nezavisimaya gazeta article today, Aleksandr Sukharenko, head of the Vladivostok Center for the Study of New Challenges and Threats to the National Security of the Russian Federation, details a series of recent cases in which FSB officers have been charged with and even punished for corrupt actions (ng.ru/kartblansh/2018-04-20/3_7216_kartblansh.html).
In the last few months, the number of such cases has increased dramatically at least in terms of the willingness of the powers that be to bring charges and the media to report them. In the past, he points out, those in power generally preferred to pass over such things in silence. And what is more, now some of those found guilty are even receiving lengthy sentences.
But such cases or more precisely reporting on them has undermined popular confidence in the organs, Sukharenko says. According to the Levada Center, only half of the population “trust the FSB.” Getting rid of corruption within it will help in the long term; but in the short term, many are certain to see these cases as an indication of a fundamental problem.
That is especially likely among those who have been subject to “unjustified repressions by the special services,” the Vladivostok researcher says.
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