Support The Moscow Times!

Average Cost of Bribe in Russia Spiked in 2014 Amid Ruble Crisis

The police chief also attributed the rise in prices to the government's successes in battling corruption.

The average cost of a bribe in Moscow rose 37 percent last year to hit 327,000 rubles ($5,250), according to Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin, news agency Interfax reported on Wednesday.

The typical cost of a bribe in Russia's regions, which are far poorer than Moscow, stood at 139,000 rubles ($2,230) said Yakunin, citing a recent study completed by Moscow's police.

Corruption overall cost Russia's budget about 47 billion rubles ($762 million) last year, he added.

Speaking to newspaper Kommersant on Wednesday, Yakunin said that the steep rise in bribery rates was tied the ruble's volatility, as most bribes are paid in U.S. dollars and euros.

 The ruble has fallen over 40 percent to the greenback since last summer and over 30 percent to the euro, weighed down by Western sanctions and the falling price of oil.

The police chief also attributed the rise in prices to the government's successes in battling corruption. As the government's renewed focus on the issue rose, the cost of a bribe went up, he said.

According to the Moscow police report the biggest bribery cases investigated by law enforcement officials last year typically involved officials accepting money to overlook administrative violations or to protect businesses employing illegal migrant workers.

The average price of bribes far outpaced the average salary for a Moscow resident, which is 50,000 rubles ($800) a month, Maxim Reshetnikov, head of Moscow's economic policy department, was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying last year.

Average salaries Russia-wide are about 32,000 rubles a month ($513), Reshetnikov said.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.