A group of experts in Russia have established a new website, Election 2012, ahead of the Kremlin’s decision on who will take on the post of President in 2012. The group, Expert Monitoring Group, intends to publish seven reports about the state of the country. The first report takes a close look at the corrupt clans ruling Russia. The report notes that corruption has become a “family affair” in Russia. Government ministers, their relatives, and closest friends are in control of the country’s most important financial resources, which flow in massive amounts to private pockets, the report states. Corrupt businesses prosper, often with the help of state budget funds. Functions of government are being converted into money, and money into more money and more power. Around 50 families of Russia’s highest officials and businessmen have appropriated not just the country’s oil and other natural resources, but have built a system of finances that direct money flows to their own pockets. The first report details the actions of 18 ministers and top officials in Russia’s current government. Based on the information published in the report, many of the officials could face criminal charges, the authors contend. Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, heads the top 10 list of corrupt officials. The group of experts intends to publish the second part of the report, looking at other members of the Russian government, in May 2011. The Expert Monitoring Group is headed by opposition politician and human rights defender Marina Litvinovich. She characterised the impudence of Russia’s corrupt elite as shocking. “Russia’s resources are being pilfered by a very small group of people. This group of people is robbing budget funds through different corrupt schemes. This group has established a global system for money laundering in faraway and nearby offshore areas. This same group is holding the reins of power in Russia,” Litvinovich noted. http://www.election2012.ru/reports/1/
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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