20 years under Putin: a timeline

Corruption in modern Russia has reached its peak and has become a general rule of doing business at all levels of state power and in all areas, especially in law enforcement and the judicial system. According to a report of the World Bank, 48 percent of Russia’s GDP is associated with corruption. Transparency International ranked Russia 143rd out of 183 countries in its 2011 Corruption Perception Index. All attempts to fight corruption are futile, since Russian anticorruption legislation works inefficiently. In this paper, the real character of corruption in Russia, and its causes and effects on the economy are analyzed based on previous studies of the subject and statistical data. To illustrate this problem, the paper provides a deep analysis of the “Putin’s Palace” case as one of the most recent examples of corruption at the top of the Russian government system. The paper also provides a short analysis of the latest changes in Russia’s anticorruption legislation and evaluates their efficiency. The research establishes that despite all the anticorruption measures, the average number of bribes in Russia quadrupled between 2010 and 2011, and continues to grow. It establishes that the fight against corruption in Russia has brought about unexpected results: far more ordinary people who give bribes are convicted than are corrupt authorities. Moreover, Russia’s anticorruption policy usually comes down to fighting common bribes, rather than combating the overwhelming power of authorities with interests in businesses to monopolize markets via embezzlement of state property or nepotism. Finally, based on its findings, the paper discusses some feasible ways of solving the problem of corruption in Russia and proposes guidelines for further research in this area.