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Every Third Russian Has Paid a Bribe, Says Transparency International Survey

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At least one in three Russians have paid a bribe for public services over the past year, Transparency International’s new global survey has revealed.

2017 in Russia was marked by a series of anti-corruption rallies led by opposition leader Alexei Navalny and several high-profile fraud cases implicating figures that include cabinet members and artists.

The 2016 Global Corruption Barometer rated Russia as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe and Central Asia. Russian respondents said they perceived corruption as the country’s third-most pressing problem, but also said they were unlikely to report cases of bribery.

The 2017 Transparency International study asked more than 150,000 adults from 119 of the world's countries, territories and regions about bribery in the past 3 years.

Of those who said they’ve come in direct contact with public services over the past 12 months, 34 percent of polled Russians said they’d paid a bribe in exchange for a particular service, including education, health, road police and official documents.

Only 18 percent said they reported paying the bribe, the 2017 Global Corruption Barometer said. More than half of the surveyed Russians saw disclosure as socially frowned upon.

Asked why people don’t usually report instances of corruption, the answers ranged from it being dangerous, futile, difficult to prove, or would implicate the bribe-giver.

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