The headof the state security veterans’ club told Rossiiskiye vestiAugust 16 that Russian criminals are now better organized,better armed, and better equipped to control the Russian governmentand economy. He said that specialists believe that between 30and 50 percent of the profits of organized crime are now usedto corrupt the state and that as a result of its collaborationwith the state, organized criminal structures control up to 85percent of the country’s commercial enterprises. The gangs arenot above using violence to enforce their will: in 1994, the numberof businessmen murdered (177) was almost as great as the numberof criminal bosses killed (185), and even the American embassyhas said that criminal claims against American firms tripled lastyear. But despite their organization, Russian criminals have beenunable to keep foreign mafia types out: the latter continue toflood into Russia because profits for criminals are "enormous"in Russia, the paper noted. And the authorities are doing littleabout it, apparently. The commander of the special police unitto fight organized crime in Moscow said his men number only 0.6percent of the capital’s police force, Russian television reportedAugust 16.
Yeltsin Approves Election District Law.