Scrolling through the crime reports of recent months, I involuntarily remembered the well-known expression: War is war, and lunch is on schedule. With regard to today, it can be paraphrased as: The virus is not a hindrance to bribes. Well, how selflessly one must love money in order not to pay attention to what is happening around?
Here are just a few eloquent examples. Andrei Golubtsov, the former Deputy Minister of Construction and Housing and Communal Services of the Altai Territory, was burnt on the two millionth tribute, who promised the head of a local company municipal contracts for the overhaul of heat supply facilities. His Khakass colleague Sergei Novikov, who received a bribe from a construction company in exchange for ensuring its participation in the construction of the Tuim neuropsychiatric boarding school, was caught in the same way. True, he turned out to be much more greedy than his Altai colleague, hoping to receive in the end 12 million rubles.
In addition to the arrested managers, law enforcement officers were also flattered by left-wing earnings in the context of a pandemic. So, the Istra City Court sent the deputy head of the Rosgvardia operational intelligence center Albert Kudryashov to a pre-trial detention center, accused of extortion of 13 million rubles. from an Uzbek businessman wanted in his homeland for major fraud. Here's a detective story. Yuri Knyazev, a senior operative on especially important matters of the Moscow Region customs, went there, and received more than 1 million rubles through an intermediary. for the unhindered registration of a batch of goods received by a local entrepreneur. And there are plenty of similar cases across the country.
Despite a slight decrease in the number of malfeasance in the first quarter (by 1, 4%, to 5 thousand), the number of cases of bribery, on the contrary, increased by 8 percent (to 3 thousand). The number of large bribes increased in a similar way - to almost 800. However, if the number of bribes received was the most by 6 percent, then their giving - by almost 20. Apparently, the temptation to “settle the issue for a skid” turned out to be stronger than the grasping reflex, inhibited by the regular anti-corruption vaccination of the bureaucratic class. And the officials themselves (if you do not take into account the unsinkable ones) have become much more careful and discerning than before.
It's only the beginning. As you know, the largest corruption income is brought by government purchases, especially medical goods (consumables, tools, equipment). In 2017-2019 alone, the number of cartel agreements involving government agencies increased from 204 to 320, and government customers - from 48 to 83. At the same time, medical supplies last year accounted for almost 12% of 424 cartel cases initiated by the FAS (2017 - 19 %, and in 2018 - 16%). In fact, we are talking about billions of budget rubles. Meanwhile, today, purchases aimed at the prevention, prevention and elimination of the consequences of COVID-19 can be carried out from a single supplier, provided that there is a causal relationship between the goal (fight against coronavirus) and the subject of the procurement. And understand this expression as you want! In addition, the pandemic as a force majeure circumstance will be taken into account when considering complaints against government customers, administrative cases, applications for inclusion in the register of unscrupulous suppliers and conducting inspections.
In addition to procurement, there are obscure and thought-provoking government decisions. In early April, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade published a list of backbone enterprises, which included 646 different organizations. For some reason, there were many pseudo-Russian firms among them: McDonald's, Burger, KFS, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Leroy Merlin, Ikea, Hochland, etc.All of them, as a stronghold of the domestic economy, will be able to count on subsidized loans with a state guarantee to replenish working capital and a six-month moratorium on bankruptcy. True, the other day the government commission on increasing the sustainability of economic development, at the suggestion of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, outplayed everything, approving four sectoral lists at once, numbering only 489 organizations so far. This time, both the relevant ministries and the Federal Tax Service participated in their compilation. Given the vagueness of the selection criteria for such "system-forming" enterprises, one can only guess who and for what merits will be included in these lists later.
According to the calculations of the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia, last year's damage from acts of corruption amounted to 55.1 billion (2018 - 65.7 billion) rubles, which is 8.8% of the total amount of material damage caused by all types of crimes. True, the corrupt officials voluntarily reimbursed only 4.1 billion rubles, and it was possible to confiscate their property, money and valuables for another 1.5 billion rubles. To this should be added also about 2 billion rubles, judged by prosecutors in 312 lawsuits. In this regard, only the value of the property seized during the investigation is encouraging - 18.2 billion rubles.
As for the principle of inevitability of responsibility for what has been done, it still does not always work in corruption cases. According to the Judicial Department at the Supreme Court of Russia, 15.5 thousand people were convicted of corruption crimes last year (2018 - 16.6 thousand). As before, most of them paid for bribes or commercial bribery. However, there are also those who were caught, for example, for illegal participation in entrepreneurship - 16 (10). However, only 1,400 (1,300) corrupt officials were sentenced to real imprisonment. At the same time, only 33 (28) people received the maximum speed (period from 8 to 20 years). A fine as the main type of punishment was imposed on 3, 7 thousand (4, 2 thousand) convicts, and confiscation of property and a court fine - 305 and 1, 2 thousand (296 and 930), respectively. Correctional and compulsory labor was "awarded" only to 177 (208) convicts. Only 1, 4 thousand (1, 2 thousand) bribe-takers were prohibited from occupying positions of responsibility after their release. Those released from punishment for various reasons (pre-trial arrest, amnesty, etc.) numbered 266 (349) people. Here is such a simple arithmetic.
As the long-term practice shows, the amount of bribes appearing in the materials of the considered criminal cases is small. So, last year only 885 (2018 - 823) people were convicted for bribes and commercial bribery in the amount of 50 thousand to 1 million, and 189 (150) for more than 1 million. A noticeable increase occurred only due to non-property services - 764 (380) convicts. That is why, with such pomp, law enforcement officers demonstrate searches in the palaces of individual officials and the stolen goods confiscated from them (which, as we see, does not always go to the state).
Shortly before the outbreak of the epidemic, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “it is always necessary to fight corruption in all directions,” obliging the prosecutor's office to pay special attention to the protection of budget funds allocated for the implementation of national projects, state / municipal programs, state order [last year's damage due to crimes in the budgetary sphere exceeded 17.3 billion rubles. - Approx. author], as well as begin to return "assets and funds stolen from the country and society." We hope that his instructions will not become another set of good wishes for the security forces, but will be implemented by them. For the level of confidence in the president on the part of the population directly depends on the quality of public administration, and, consequently, the quality of life of the electorate [at the end of 2019, 18.1 million people or 12.3% of the population lived below the poverty line. - Approx. author]. Moreover, a referendum on the Constitution is ahead.