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Corruption on the rise in armed forces

July 12, 2013, 11:05 UTC+3

Shocking data about the growth of corruption in the Russian Army were cited by Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky on Thursday

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The prosecutor's office reports growing corruption in the Russian Armed Forces, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes, analyzing the results of the coordinating meeting that was held on Thursday to discuss counteraction measures against corruption in the Armed Forces and other troops and military forces.

Shocking data about the growth of corruption in the Russian Army were cited by Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky on Thursday. According to him, material damage caused by corruption crimes to the state this year has increased 5.5 times, exceeding 4.4 billion rbls. The number of detected cases of fraud with power abuse increased almost 1.5 times, the newspaper notes.

More than 7,000 law violations of a corruption character have been discovered. Following the demand of the military prosecutor's office, more than 1,100 persons have been brought to account for administrative and disciplinary offences, and criminal cases were opened against 505 persons, Fridinsky said. He noted that the high rate of bribery, forgery and power abuse in self-interests remained. A third of corrupting crimes is committed by civil servants and civilian personnel.

According to the chief military prosecutor, the worst for corruption are the areas of distribution and use of funds from the federal budget, first of all provided for state defence orders.

Fridinsky's statements were immediately commented on by Chairman of the State Duma's Committee for Defence Vladimir Komoyedov, who said that there were positive trends with the change of the defence minister, but the problems that emerged in the Army and the Navy during the work of the former minister "penetrated into the blood and the body" of the Armed Forces, the Nezavisimaya writes. The team of managers intruded by ex-minister Anatoly Serdyukov into the army organism successfully spread its style of budget fund managing in the military sphere, showing various ways of budget money use, the daily noted in the article.

Meanwhile, the Russian Investigative Committee's head Alexander Bastrykin complained that appraisers were behind each suspicious operation of Oboronservice and they presented documents for each facility, and it was hard to argue against the presented materials. Investigators have to gather evidence with complex economic expert examinations. "If we come to court with a declaration that it is bad or good, we will receive a verdict of not guilty," the department chief said. A result of such an approach was the ruling announced by judge Marina Syrova at Moscow's Khamovniki district court that the investigation into the Oboronservice case was prolonged to October 8.

Various structures of the Defence Ministry and the Oboronservice company give grounds to initiate new criminal cases, the number of which nears 30. But it is unclear whether they will be brought to court, the newspaper concludes.

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