Putin Has a Massive Corruption-Fighting Record You’ve Never Heard Of
Mr. Putin is tackling corruption, whereas his predecessor embodied it. But you wouldn’t know it from the Western press
I love Russia, but let’s not sugarcoat things.
After the widespread sociopathy of the 1990s—when people had to break all rules just to feed their families, and it was not unknown even for priests to steal from their flocks—a too-high proportion of the Russian population remains in a state of going through each day with little thought other than how to cheat and defraud its fellow man. Yet it is also a fact that you cannot lock up everyone (Всех не посадишь, as the Russians say) or you would have no country left.
The Kremlin’s solution has been to make conspicuous examples of some, while creating parallel structures to work around corrupt or incompetent state bodies and officials.
Probably the most prominent example of such a structure is the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, commonly known by its Russian initials, SK or SK RF, or less commonly by the acronym, Sledkom.
The SK traces its history to 2007—when authority to make criminal charges was taken away from Russia’s Prosecutor General—and has existed in its current form since early 2011.
Today, the Office of the Prosecutor General is responsible for prosecutions only. It is the SK that investigates crimes and decides whom to bring to trial and on what charges.
Since it was brought out from under the Prosecutor General and made into an independent body reporting only to the President, the SK has been at the very center of the Kremlin’s anticorruption drive.