Support The Moscow Times!

Defense Ministry Gets 'D' for Corruption

The Defense Ministry’s opacity makes it difficult to determine whether anti-corruption reforms are being carried out, Transparency International said in a report released on Tuesday in which it gave Russia a D- on an A-to-F corruption index.

The rating put Russia on par with Turkey, Belarus and China and far behind Australia and Germany, the only countries to receive an A.

Nearly half of the defense budget’s spending is classified, and there is “almost no external control” over the intelligence services, making it difficult to measure the results of a reform plan adopted by the Defense Ministry in May 2010, the report said.

The authors found plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the anti-corruption drive’s success.

While parliament and defense committees have de jure oversight of the budget, there are doubts about whether they actually control spending. Government statements about defense spending are seen as coming through interviews with military officials, rather than publicly available documents.

Furthermore, the report found no evidence of people assigned to fight corruption in the field, parliamentary oversight of several state-owned arms companies, or protection of whistle-blowers.

In a rare compliment, the report offered tepid praise for the ministry’s non-secret spending, which it said was done with “relative transparency.”

The Berlin-based NGO heralded the index as the first global analysis of corruption risk in defense establishments worldwide.

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more