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British intelligence analyses the situation with corruption in the Russian army

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Estimated Reading Time: 1 min

UK intelligence has assessed the extent of corruption within the Russian army, a factor significantly compromising its effectiveness on the battlefield, according to the British Ministry of Defence.

As reported, the independent Russian newspaper Verstka unveiled findings on military bribery, analyzing over a thousand cases. Their research exposed corruption schemes and a bribery system utilized by Russian military personnel and their commanders.

Bribes were either given or demanded for various ‘services,’ including leave, physical fitness certification, military rank, driving licenses, and avoidance of disciplinary action related to smartphone use or intoxication.

Post-February 2022, the array of ‘services’ expanded to include certificates of injury, awards for participation in the war in Ukraine, and exemption from combat missions. Verstka published the prices for these ‘services,’ ranging from 40,000 rubles (over $440) for a deferment from frontline duty to 1 million rubles (over $11,000) for a certificate of injury.

British intelligence acknowledges that corruption has long plagued the Russian armed forces, citing journalist Dmitry Kholodov, who investigated military corruption in the 1990s and was murdered in Moscow in 1994.

«It is likely that corruption significantly undermines the effectiveness of the Russian army. There is only a small chance that significant progress will be made in reducing corruption», – the report concludes

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