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Comic Book Teaches Moscow's Civil Servants Not to Accept Bribes

A comic book has been used to teach 30,000 Moscow civil servants not to take bribes.

A comic book designed to grip readers' attention from beginning to end has been used to teach 30,000 Moscow civil servants not to take bribes, the Izvestia newspaper reported Tuesday.

The comic book, available online for civil servants to download, was created by a team of illustrators and copywriters hired by the Moscow City University of Management with the goal of being simple enough to understand and engaging enough for government employees to want to read the whole thing.

"We decided to use a nonstandard approach … to depart from the complex language of legislation and normative acts that are often used in such courses," Olga Vladimirova, a department head at the university, told Izvestia.

The comic book, which illustrates a number of tricky but realistic situations that officials can face on the job, as well as the consequences of unacceptable decisions, has been used to teach a wide range of officials from rank-and-file bureaucrats to deputy mayors since June 2014.

One featured predicament is that officials can accept gifts worth less than 3,000 rubles (about $50), but they cannot accept them from the same person or entity frequently — doing so might constitute bribery.

Officials should also be careful when delivering toasts at dinners paid for by businessmen, to not seem like they have too close a relationship with the business.

One illustration shows the consequences of accepting a bribe: a fine of 60 times the bribe's amount and up to 12 years in prison.

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