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Russians not buying high profile arrests as genuine fight against corruption — poll

October 10, 2016, 13:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The arrest of Russian high-ranking anti-corruption official Dmitry Zakharchenko resonated widely throughout society as 77% of the poll’s participants said they had heard about it

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© Evgeniy Yepanchintsev/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, October 10. /TASS/. Russians view the high-profile corruption arrests, like the case of Dmitry Zakharchenko (the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs' Committee for Economic Security and Combating Corruption), as mere public displays that fail to prove the government is really fighting corruption, a poll conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center shows.

"Most Russians do not buy these prominent corruption cases as proof of a consistent fight against bribery. So, 57% of those polled think these were some demonstrative activities while 33% believe the contrary," the Center’s statement says.

Dmitry Zakharchenko’s arrest resonated widely throughout society as 77% of the poll’s participants said they had heard about it: men (82%) and elderly people (86%) expressing more interest in the case. That said, 59% of those polled believe that the money seized from Zakharchenko was ill-gotten, gained through embezzlement and bribery. The number of Russians who are ready to justify Zakharchenko’s crimes turned out to be as little as 4%. Only one percent believe he somehow won the money or had been set up.

At the same time, the survey demonstrated that Russians consider Zakharchenko’s case to be a perfect example of the widespread problem of police corruption. As many as 63% of those polled said that police corruption was a pervasive phenomenon, while only 30% believe that this case is a single incident. When speaking of corruption cases, Russians tend to mention Zakharchenko’s case first, since 21% of those polled remembered it.

"Corruption scandals in our society draw the most attention from the bulk of the population. At the moment almost half of the people without being aided by any hints could name at least one of the detained or convicted high-ranking officials. However, it should be taken into consideration that most Russian still think this is a mere public display that wouldn’t shake off the corruption problem affecting various areas of society," the Chairman of the Board of the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center Konstantin Abramov explained.

The Center conducted the poll on October 1-2, 2016, among 1,600 respondents, having a margin of error of 95% certainty that does not exceed 2.5%.

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