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Fewer Russian Bureaucrats But Salaries Increased 30%, Study Shows

Russian bureaucrats' monthly income is 31 percent above the average salary nationwide. Yevgeny Razumny / Vedomosti

The number of Russian officials has decreased slightly from 2009, but their collective earnings have grown 31 percent to 682 billion rubles ($16 billion), a new study showed Wednesday.

Russia had 1.45 million officials in 2013, compared with 1.5 million five years ago, the study conducted by the RBC news website said.

This still amounted to 102 officials per 10,000 citizens — a figure comparable to many developed countries, including the U.S., Germany, Japan and Israel, but less than in the Soviet Union, which had only 81 officials per 10,000 in 1988.

The average salary of a Russian bureaucrat was 39,000 rubles ($950) in 2013, up from 28,000 rubles ($580) in 2009, the survey showed. The salary hike was especially pronounced in the Kremlin administration, where salaries grew 2.4 times over the five-year period.

The figure puts Russian officials' monthly income at 31 percent above the average nationwide salary, the study said, based on publicly available sources.

Meanwhile, top officials are making 14 to 15 times more than the average Russian with a higher education. In developed countries, the difference is generally three to four times.

Russia also remained among the world leaders for police numbers: Though down 19 percent from 2009, the country still had 523 policemen per 100,000 people, compared with 271 in the U.S. and 202 in China. Of countries with a population above 5 million, only North Korea has a bigger proportion of police officers (583).

Despite the large police numbers, Russia had a murder rate of 176 per 10,000 people in 2012, comparable to the United States (174) but 10 times as many as in Japan.

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