An investigation into the finances of Russia’s Interior Ministry (MVD) has uncovered a wide array of questionable practices and led to the instigation of criminal proceedings against some 30 officials, Russian presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky announced on January 17. Misappropriations of funds, he said, were connected with delays in payments to ministry employees and, in some 17 Russian regions, had led to the illegal diversion of moneys intended for the construction of prisons and prison cells. Exemptions from federal tax payments were reportedly also misused.
In a further confirmation of the corruption endemic to Russia’s police and MVD troops, Interior Minister Anatoli Kulikov announced the same day that 10,000 officers had been brought to trial in 1996, some 3,500 of them for what were described as criminal offenses, and another 418 for bribery. Kulikov also said that 128 top-ranking MVD officials had been dismissed last year, and he promised to make public soon more facts on corruption in the Ministry. The announcements by both Yastrzhembsky and Kulikov were apparently the result of a probe, called "Clean Hands," launched last year by the Russian president’s office.
…As Ministers Voice Caution on Defense Reform Plans.