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Corruption in Russia Essay

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Updated: May 14th, 2020


Corruption has become a livelihood for many government officials worldwide. Russia is no exception with government officials being the most involved in corruption cases. The rising corruption cases have been related to the 2006 Russian president’s policies that were meant to strengthen the state on the expense of the Russia’s civil society. The vice even expanded in 2007 – 2008 elections as well as in other aspects of Russian public life.

Though anti-corruption organizations such as Transparency International agree that corruption in Russia has decreased over the years, the amounts of bribes being given are increasing as well (Welu 1). Many corruption cases in Russia have been associated with bureaucrats which instead of developing economic growth, they are more involved with corruption. The most incidences of corruption cases in Russia are occurring in the cities where large numbers of bureaucrats are found.

However, corruption is basically everywhere in Russia. Traffic police have been shaking down motorists, bribes by government officials especially from businessmen, just to mention a few. As a matter of fact, Transparency International has ranked Russia as one of the major corrupt economies in the world with the prime minister being alleged of having obtained wealth by illicit ways. Law enforcement agencies including the police are no exception.

Some even go to the extent of tricking drivers roads in order to get them to break the law so as to obtain bribes from them. Institutions like schools and hospitals are also involved in corruption where students pay their teachers in order to get good grades, patients pay doctors in order be given health services that should be given free. The greatest percentage of Russians has admitted having given bribes to the extent of threatening the nation’s economic stability.

The core of Russia’s corruption has always been the law enforcement which has made alliances with a number of crimes. Most of the law enforcement officials spent most of their time looking for possible ways of obtaining corporate raid. This has drained great Russian citizens especially businessmen who have fled to other countries for fear of getting mixed up with the law (Owen 1).

Corruption has destroyed many citizens’ relationships with the police, politicians as well as non- governmental officials. The amounts of bribes given by businessmen have been reported to be more than the national budget. What is disturbing is that bureaucrats take bribes from businessmen promising them to provide legal business operation regulations, but they do not keep their promises. Studies have described this kind of corruption as being a great threat to the nation’s economy.

Corruption has been linked to low salary levels of most officials. Due to these claims, they get involved in corruption with the claims that it is the governments fault after all. Corruption has been described as a symptom of other nation problems. Such problems in Russia include an impassive parliament, intimidated media or an influenced judicial system. Failure to practice democracy in Russia has been another cause of corruption.

However, public servants have been received salary increments but this has not stopped their corrupt deeds. This is because are much lower than what they always get from bribes. For instance, judges’ salaries have been raised and still bribery levels in this department are increasing.

This scenario is worsened by the fact that current bureaucracy operates without any supervision and control of power since the internal checks have been abolished from the administration. As a result, basis for corruption is created especially in the nongovernmental organizations which now have the rights to control actions on them by the government.

Consequences of corruption in Russia

A number of negative outcomes have occurred in Russia due to corruption. Most o them have affected the nation’s economy as well as political systems. The 2007 and 2008 parliamentary and presidential elections respectively were greatly influenced by corruption.

It is obvious that official who were in office before the elections were afraid of losing power to new groups since they can only obtain wealth illegally when in office. They were also afraid of being prosecuted once they leave office and lose power. This has caused a battle between the new group and that of Putin being left behind.

Formation of political parties have also been a problem since the bureaucrats have an already established party of their own that is only based on staying in office to preserve their power(Feifer 1). However, the opposition party made the fight against corruption its main agenda during the campaigns which resulted to be a powerful tool for them. However, these anti corruption claims were not real since both groups used the claims only to gain support in the elections.

Government officials have cracked down the Russian media in order to prevent exposure of their corrupt dealings. The most influential television networks are now operating under the direct control of the government. Printing companies that were initially private are now being run under the state’s control.

Political officials are ensuring that there is no information publication in regional media and the internet. However, some anti-corruption efforts have bared fruits with a Russian governor being jailed recently while other political officials are facing charges over abuse of power. Despite the success however, the corruption fight was used as a political tool by Kremlin which means that after he gets into office, he no longer fought against the vice.

The energy sector has been the most affected as the government is taking over most of the assets of this very vital sector. The state has bought and moved most of the assets of the important oil companies to the company that is controlled by the state. Russia’s oil pipelines are also exclusively owned and controlled by the state giving it control over foreign energy firms that are involved in Russia’s energy sector (Englund 1) .

The banking sector has also been affected by corruption with the state making no efforts to reform the financial institutions whose operations have not been clear. This is in order for the political officials to control the country’s economy. These intentions were clearly demonstrated with the murder of the country’s great economy regulator, Andrei Kozlov, who was working on shut down of corrupt banks.

The increased crime and terrorism attacks have been facilitated by corruption especially in the law enforcement department which is supposed to protect the country against such vices. Instead the officials are involved in allowing the operations of crime and terrorism in order to get bribes all at the expense of fellow citizens.

Corruption has also enabled the entry of illicit goods to the country by corrupt border guards. Most of these goods are drugs which have affected the youth negatively. A number of mayors responsible for city property management have been assassinated to allow corrupt political officials to access the property.

Addressing corruption

The initial effort in fighting corruption in Russia should be the reformation of the bureaucracy. The government too should be accountable to citizens and this can only be achieved by allowing free media. Power should be decentralized to local levels to allow for efficient checks and balances between the federal and local levels of governance.

Initiation of equal economic developments all over the country can provide a great base for the fight against corruption. Policy makers especially from U.S. should help Russia in realizing its anti-corruption policies. Russia has been advised to join an Anti-Bribery Convention which will evaluate Russia’s current anti-corruption efforts and enforce implementation of policies to prevent corruption by all member officials.


It is clear that corruption in Russia has diminished economic growth in the country with the most affected being the poor citizens who, in most cases, are deprived of their rights. Instead only the rich enjoy the state’s services through bribery which are meant to freely serve everyone. Since corruption is deep-rooted from the government officials, only they can twist the situation by stopping abuse of power to get everything they want.

Power should also be decentralized to allow the local authorities check and balance the state’s operations. A transparent and efficient commission against corruption should be formed to investigate those who are faced with corruption allegations and ensure that they are dealt with by the law. Most importantly, for the fight against corruption in Asia to succeed, federal officials should start the process from a personal level by not accepting or giving a bribe.

Works Cited

Englund, Will. “”. Web.

Feifer, Gregory. “”. Web.

Owen, Matthews. “”. Web.

Welu, Carol. “Corruption: Russia’s Economic Stumbling Block”. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Corruption in Russia." May 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/corruption-in-russia-2/.


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