Staunton, Nov. 18 – Twenty-one Russian federal subjects in the Far North where ground transportation isn’t available for months at a time face more than logistical challenges in avoiding shortages and prices far above the all-Russian averages. That is corruption, something that occurs because regional officials are compelled to buy large amounts at one time.
Elsewhere in the Russian Federation, individual businesses do much of the purchasing for distribution; and when regional governments are involved, they tend to buy things more frequently but in smaller amounts than do those who have to buy for a whole year when they can deliver them only when weather permits.
Officials have decided to devote more attention to fighting corruption by sending in federal officials to monitor the situation, thus restoring according to some regional experts the system that existed in Soviet times to deal with similar problems of corruption involving goods and services for the north (ng.ru/economics/2023-11-16/4_8879_russia.html).
Some of these experts are optimistic that this will work; but those who remember the corruption that affected the north and other isolated regions in Soviet times have compelling reasons to doubt. Instead, what may happen again as happened before is that those sent in to monitor the situation may themselves be corrupted.