News

    Russian President Renews Anti-Corruption Drive

    Russian President Renews Anti-Corruption Drive
    Russian President Renews Anti-Corruption Drive
    <!-- IMAGE -->

    In his state of the nation address this week, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev vowed once again to reduce the level of corruption in his country.  His announcement comes on the heels of renewed allegations of widespread corruption and abuse of power among the country's law enforcement officials.  And, the Russian prosecutor's office is being inundated with corruption complaints.

    President Medvedev began speaking out against corruption since before his inauguration in May 2008. In July of that year he cautioned that the anti-corruption effort itself can be corrupted.  He renewed his pledge to fight for an honest society on the first anniversary of his inauguration.  And during his state of the nation address this week, he said zero tolerance of corruption should become an intrinsic part of who Russians are as a people.

    Mr. Medvedev says corruption is one of main obstacles to Russian development. He says it is clear that the fight against it must be waged on all fronts: from improving legislation, law enforcement and judicial systems, to an informed citizenry that does not tolerate any form of corruption, even the most ordinary types of this social evil.

    In its latest global corruption index, the independent watchdog organization, Transparency International, places Russia in 147th place among 180 nations it monitors.  The group's executive director in Russia, Elena Panfilova applauds the government's anti-corruption measures. But, she says President Medvedev has a tough road ahead of him, if he really wants to stamp out corruption. "The rejection and sabotage against these reforms will be enormous because in Russia we have people in senior positions that see their positions as a position for access to elicit enrichment. They resist efforts against the president in an administrative way. You change one word here, postpone one decision here. It's all starting to stagnate. The only kind of ally the president has is society," she says.

    Police Major Alexei Dymovsky agrees. Dymovsky says corruption has invaded his daily work as a police officer in the southern Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.  He says the problem bothered him so much that he spoke out about it on YouTube. Dymovsky says senior officers have pressured subordinates to charge innocent people with crimes to meet statistical targets. He continues with an appeal to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for help.

    Dymovsky, however, was fired for alleged slander against law enforcement after he posted the video.  But the former police officer says he will not abandon his struggle. Dymovsky says he wants to proceed and to achieve justice, adding that he wants to revive respect towards policemen.

    Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev says there is no investigation into the officer's allegations, but rather an administrative review.  Nurgaliyev also criticizes Dymovsky for taking
    his allegations public rather than going through channels.

    But the officer's charges seem to have struck a cord with the ordinary Russians.  His online video has been viewed about one million times. Muscovite Kirill Nesterenko says he thinks it is admirable that Dymovsky is trying to do something about corruption. Nesterenko says Dymovsky has found the strength and courage to do this, and this is worthy of respect. So he thinks that is an important first step.

    Meanwhile, the Russian state prosecutor's office says it investigated at least 35 thousand corruption complaints, and that was just in the first half of this year.  In this week's address, President Medvedev offered more data about the prosecution of corrupt officials.

    The Kremlin leader says that in just six months of this year, authorities have reviewed more than 4,500 cases of corruption, convicting 532 federal and local officials, and more than 700 law enforcement officers. Mr. Medvedev says these figures unfortunately show the extent to which corruption has infected Russian society.

    The Russian leader says simply incarcerating a few will not resolve the country's corruption problem, but he says they must be locked up.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora