A quarter of Russians pay bribes to officials according to an anonymous survey conducted by the Prosecutor General's Office between December 2016 and January 2017.
Russia was rated one of the most corrupt countries in Europe and Central Asia by the Global Corruption Barometer in 2016. Opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny organized mass protests across Russia earlier this year following investigations that accused high-profile government figures, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, of embezzlement.
In an interview with the state-run TASS news agency published on Friday, Prosecutor General official Alexander Rusetsky said that 60 percent of respondents reported never paying a bribe, while 15 percent declined to answer.
According to the survey, half of the respondents have been asked to pay a bribe at least once in their lifetimes and 94 percent said they had negative attitudes towards corruption.
Respondents listed bureaucracy, incompetence and the reluctance of officials to deal with citizens’ problems as the largest issues they faced in protecting their rights.
In a separate interview with the Kommersant business daily on Friday — the eve of International Corruption day, Dec. 9— Russia’s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said that material damages caused by corruption amounted to more than 148 billion rubles ($2.5 billion) since 2015.
Chaika's family was previously accused of extensive corruption and criminal activities by Navalny in 2015, though the investigation did not lead to any indictments.