Russia’s opposition party, People’s Freedom Party, has produced a report accusing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of presiding over a boom in corruption and enriching his inner circle over the past decade. The report, titled “Putin.Corruption,” was authored by former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, former State Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov, and former Deputy Energy Minister Vladimir Milov. The report details how once relatively obscure businessmen used their ties to Russia’s powerful prime minister to amass personal fortunes over the past decade. Nemtsov says the general public is largely unaware that people like Swiss-based oil trader Gennady Timchenko, Putin’s former judo partner Arkady Rotenberg, and Bank of Russia boss Yuri Kovalchuk enriched themselves due to their ties to Putin. Nemtsov adds that corruption is directly responsible for harming people’s quality of life. “We have bad roads. This is because of corruption,” he says. “The fact that prices are going up on utilities in our country is because the tariffs are going up on gas, and the tariffs on gas are going up because Putin’s friends have appropriated USD 60 billion worth of property,” Nemtsov points out. The People’s Freedom Party operates under the slogan, “For a Russia without tyranny and corruption.” Nemtsov says reports like this are necessary because the state-controlled media do not report about corruption among Putin’s inner circle. “If there was a place for discussion, if there was a place for discussion on federal television, then there would be no need for reports like this,” Nemtsov says. Corruption rose in the first five years of Putin’s tenure costing Russia USD 300 billion a year, which was 25% of its GDP, according to the INDEM think tank. “Putin’s supporters often assert that corruption in the so-called wild 1990s was worse than it is now. The facts speak to the opposite,” the report states. Transparency International found that Russia’s global corruption ranking was now 154th out of 178 countries. http://www.rferl.org/content/russia_opposition_party_says_corruption_rose_under_putin/3541988.html
The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.
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