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Russia corruption cases on the increase: prosecutor

[JURIST] Corruption cases are increasing in Russia and now account for about 1.5 percent of recorded crimes there, First Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Buksman [official profile] reported in an interview [text, in Russian; Interfax report] printed Monday in the newspaper Gazeta [media website, in Russian]. Buksman said one-seventh of corruption cases take place in law enforcement or judicial settings, citing charges last year against 995 police officers and four judges. Buksman said corruption is a "psychological" problem in Russia, in that its citizens have become accustomed to paying bribes rather than facing the potential consequences of reporting illegal activity.

In December, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed anti-corruption legislation [JURIST report] imposing income reporting requirements on public officials and restricting gifts. Medvedev had urged anti-corruption measures since taking office [JURIST reports] in May. Last June, rights group Freedom House [advocacy website] released a report finding that corruption and repression were increasingly threatening legal rights [JURIST report] in former Soviet republics like Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, with Russia's court system in particular showing significant deterioration of the rule of law.

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