Russia's corruption rate declines, but bribe amounts increase

Russia's corruption rate declines, but bribe amounts increase

Last year, the number of corruption offences in Russia declined by 10% compared to 2016, the country's National Anti-Corruption Committee reports.

It is specified that more than 2 million crimes were reported in the country in 2017, 1.4% of which were corruption-related.

According to the Committee, there has been a decline in the number of such crimes in 48 regions of the country, but, on the contrary, the number has increased in 33 regions.

Kostroma, Tver and Kemerovo regions have the most rapid decline in the rate of reported corruption offences.

However, the total value of bribes identified in 2017 is almost 7 billion rubles, which is almost three times higher than a year earlier. "Bribe amounts have increased significantly: for example, the total bribe amount was 6.7 billion rubles," the report says.

According to the committee, the total bribe amount was  2.3 billion rubles in 2016, RIA Novosti reported.

The chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Committee, Kirill Kabanov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the decline in the number of corruption-related crimes was due to the increased quality of law enforcement work. "Therefore, our statistics on street-level corruption went down, as well as general indicators on the number of criminal cases," he explained.

The statistics of the total bribe amount for the last year has increased for the same reason - the more effective and focused on serious crimes work. "The three-fold increase in the bribe amount was due to the increase in bribe amount in major corruption cases. The work of law enforcement agencies is now focused on the category of crimes, where the bribe amount is significantly higher. Accordingly, statistics showed an increase in the average bribe amount due to reorientation from street-level corruption to serious cases," Kirill Kabanov said.

According to the chairman of the NAC, the declining dynamics of corruption crimes will continue this year, as well as the growth in the amount of disclosed bribes. "The fight against corruption is intensifying in Russia," he concluded.

The director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, also noted more qualitative statistics on corruption crimes. "The sharp increase in the revealed bribes is connected not with some deterioration of the situation, but with the optimization of the system of registration and prevention of these crimes. In several years, we will see a drop in the level of corruption in the country. The more sophisticated methods of crime detection are, the higher corruption rate in shown in statistics, although it's not true," he said.

"This and the next year, I believe, there will be less corruption-related crimes. According to our report on the dynamics of corruption, the level of corruption is objectively declining over time," Alexei Mukhin added.